Sterling Napa Valley wines show the depth, strength and expressive quality of California’s most famous wine region. Fruit for Sterling wines is grown throughout Napa Valley, from the cool southern Carneros region next to San Pablo Bay to the rugged northernmost benchlands and reaches near our Calistoga homeplace. Reserve wines allow Sterling winemaker Harry Hansen to select the finest lots to create the most memorable expressions of the varietal for each vintage.
“A firm, chewy chardonnay with lots of lemon-cream and sliced-apple character. Just a hint of vanilla. Medium to full body. Pretty, chewy texture. Flavorful finish. Classic Napa chardonnay. Drink or hold.” - James Suckling, February 2020
An elegant expression of Chardonnay with power and grace, and all the things you love in Chardonnay. Aromas and flavors led by a bright citrus character with classic Chardonnay tones of toasted brioche, ripe apple, pineapple, pear and caramel flan. In the mouth, creamy and filling, with notable acidity and minerality alongside oak spice, subtle caramel and vanilla bean with impressive length and a lingering, memorable finish. An elite Napa Chardonnay, rich and compelling.
Early season rains brought yields back to normal levels this year, mitigating the extended drought that afflicted most of California. A cool spring resulted in normal timing for bud break, in late March. Temperatures remained fairly cool in May and June, but high temperatures in July triggered an early start to harvest. Quality was solid for the vintage overall. The cool season and fairly normal hang time helped balance acids and allowed layers of flavors to emerge, with select vineyard blocks revealing themselves to be of reserve level.
Fruit is sourced largely from the Star Vineyard in Rutherford, where deep alluvial soils and consistently moderate warm daytime temperatures allow for the development of layers of concentrated, complex flavors led by lemon curd. The Rodgers Vineyard in the Oak Knoll district, along with a small bit of fruit from Oakville’s Gamble Ranch, provide a solid acid backbone and striking varietal tones.
Lots are picked and tracked separately from the vineyard through the winery. Fermented in barrel with 100% malolactic fermentation before aging for 18 months in French Oak, 67% new, with monthly hand stirring resulting in a rich, creamy texture.
Director of Winemaking Harry Hansen was raised in nearby Sonoma County. “One of my earliest memories of wine was the gallon jug of red wine that we always had at home. I would go with my father to a local winery, maybe in Kenwood or Healdsburg, to refill that jug and chit-chat with the winery proprietors. The aromas of those wines were always something attractive, somehow mysterious, but always memorable.”
Harry joined Sterling Vineyards and relocated to Napa Valley just before the 2011 Harvest. “The opportunity to join such a respected Napa Valley winery is exciting and a fantastic next step in my winemaking career. Sterling Vineyards is making some wonderful wines, and I look forward to taking that next step up in quality and reputation.”
|Oak Treatment||18 months aging in French Oak (67% new)|
|Case Production||350 cases|