This "Limited Edition" Cabernet Sauvignon represents a special 10 barrel selection sourced from a small grower on Diamond Mountain. The vineyards high elevation steep slopes, volcanic soils, and northeasterly exposure result in a richly flavored and complex expression of Cabernet Sauvignon. A classic full-bodied cabernet with concentrated black cherry and blackberry notes enhanced by subtle hints of barrel-based caramel and vanilla notes on the finish.
Notably deep in color, with aromas and flavors of intense black fruit led by black cherry, blackberries and wild mountain boysenberry. Elegant, polished tannins with a silky, full mouthfeel. Sweet oak joins sweet tobacco, notes of bitter dark chocolate and contrasting mocha. Balanced and well structured with a lingering finish and hints of oak spice.
The 2015 growing season was marked by pleasant weather with little pressure from heat spikes or unseasonable rain. A dry winter was quickly followed by an equally dry spring, leading to an early bud break. Warm weather continued throughout late spring and summer, allowing for the steady development of flavors. The overall quality, complexity and balance in the vines produced exceptional fruit. The impact of the continuing drought was evident in slightly lighter crop loads, but the reduction in size was offset by an increase in quality as vineyard crews carefully selected fruit at harvest, allowing for only the finest to be chosen for this special bottling.
This vintage is principally sourced from Diamond Mountain District and the Peterson Vineyard, both in the Mayacamas Mountain range west of Napa Valley near the winery home in Calistoga. Steep volcanic hillsides notably produce deeply concentrated fruit in small bunches, with even smaller berries. Relatively steep as Diamond Mountain slopes from 800 to 1,700 feet above sea level, the vineyards are often above the fog line, receiving ample sunshine at cooler temperatures than the valley floor.
Fruit was hand-harvested and hand-sorted, selecting only the highest quality fruit for fermentation in a combination of concrete and stainless vessels. The concrete tanks, relatively new to the winery, offered a significant purity of expression. Fruit was allowed to ferment for up to 15 days with regular pump-overs to extract deep color and rich flavors. The wine was then gently pressed, racked and aged for 19 months in 100% French oak (66% new).
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||aged for 30 months in once-used French oak|
|Blend||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Case Production||250 cases|