Iridium is one of the rarest elements on earth. A very constrained and expensive resource, Iridium’s
uniqueness makes it incredibly valuable. Like the element, the Sterling Vineyards Iridium Cabernet
Sauvignon is treasured. Made in only the very best vintages with the fi nest and most intense expression
of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Iridium is the pinnacle of winemaking perfection.
The inaugural vintage of Sterling Vineyards Iridium Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep garnet color with an indigo hue rimming the glass. Intense aromas of extracted dark blackberry fruit, bramble and melted chocolate waft from the glass upon the first swirl. Secondary aromas of pencil lead, graphite and spicy oak add intrigue. The wine is layered with wild berry, cassis, mocha and spiced flavors. Rich and seamless, it offers mouthcoating texture on the palate, showing power, depth and muscle. The Iridium is concentrated yet balanced by firm, well-integrated tannins and good acidity with a persistence on the finish which only hints at the prospect of aging gracefully.
Cabernet Sauvignon reigns king in the Napa Valley and the appellation excels in producing
outstanding expressions of this admired varietal. Napa Valley offers an ideal combination of
topography, geology and climate that enables this varietal to reach optimum ripeness, balance
and finesse. And within the valley, there are exceptional vineyards and sub-appellations that
produce some of the finest expressions of this noble grape. For this inaugural 2014 vintage of
Iridium, Winemaker Harry Hansen selected individual barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon from the
Hewitt Vineyard (Rutherford AVA), Sleeping Lady Vineyard (Yountville AVA) and the Meigs
Vineyard in rugged Wooden Valley.
Very specific blocks within these vineyards were tapped for this bottling of Iridium. The vineyards
were hand-picked with several passes through the blocks to ensure that each berry was picked
at optimum ripeness. After hand-harvesting, the grapes were hand-sorted at the winery to
ensure only the very best fruit made it into fermentation. Each lot was kept separate until the
final blending, allowing the winemaker to select the most expressive and unique barrels to bring
together in the final blend. The 2014 Iridium was aged for 19 months in 100 percent French oak
then meticulously blended for the final wine, using seven “all-star” barrels of superb quality.
“ This extraordinary wine has been a labor of love. I ’ve enjoyed working with it from the very
beginning and watching it evolve. Its beauty and intensity is remarkable and will surely be
revered as one of the very best from Sterling Vineyards.” – Winemaker Harry Hansen
2014 was a near-perfect 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 w arm, dry spring and relatively early bud break. Summer temperatures remained mild and consistent with even, warm temperatures throughout. The overall outstanding quality and concentrated fruit characteristics make Bordeaux varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, the highlight of the season. Grapes for the 2014 Iridium Cabernet Sauvignon were hand-harvested between September 17 and September 24.
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