The Sterling Vineyards Platinum Merlot is brilliant with black cherry, fresh plum and sweet vanilla spice pronounced on the nose. The seductive aromas lead to a juicy, plush mouthfeel where the core fruit flavors of wild berries and red fruit are underpinned by silky, milk chocolate notes. The wine is incredibly approachable with its soft yet plentiful tannins and is well-balanced with bright fruit, firm structure and good acidity.
Napa Valley Merlot is of the highest quality, and the region is famous for not only outstanding expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon but also Merlot. Napa Valley offers an ideal combination of topography, geology and climate that enables Merlot fruit to reach optimum ripeness, balance, power and finesse. For the 2014 Platinum Merlot, grapes were selected from Yountville, Oak Knoll and Diamond Mountain.
2014 was a beautiful, near ‘textbook’ vintage for the Napa Valley along the lines of the recent outstanding vintages of 2012 and 2013. Although California’s drought brought another dry winter, the growing season started with a warm, dry spring and relatively early bud break. Summer temperatures remained mild and consistent, and grapes for the 2014 Platinum Merlot were harvested on September 16, 19 and 30.
After being hand harvested and hand sorted upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were fermented on the skins for 14 days. The wine was then gently pressed, racked and aged for 19 months in 100% French oak. Each lot was kept separate until final blending, allowing Winemaker Harry Hansen the flexibility to select the most expressive individual barrels for the final Platinum Merlot blend.