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Sterling Vineyards

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Vintage 2014
Wine Type White
Varietal Chardonnay
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker Harry Hansen

Made from a musqué clone, our Unoaked Chardonnay has a distinctive profile that effuses heavy floral aromatics and musky tropical fruit over ripe varietal character. Fragrant lavender aromas are followed by a fat and slightly creamy palate, layered with Golden Delicious apple, guava, and passion fruit flavors. The tree fruits echo through the broad and lasting finish. This wine offers a unique and interesting spin on the popular varietal, perfect for people seeking a Chardonnay that is out of the ordinary.

Vineyard Notes

Our Winery Lake Vineyard is located in the Los Carneros American Viticultural Area, at the southern tip of Napa Valley. We selected the grapes from two vineyard blocks that sit just over the ridge, facing northeast toward the morning sun. Relatively protected from the cool wind and fog that moves in off the San Pablo Bay, these blocks experience idyllic positioning that allows the grapes to ripen slowly, a benefit for the unique musqué character, which appears early in maturation.

Winemaking Notes

The grapes are selected from specific blocks in the vineyard that are planted to the Z clone, a musqué variety of Chardonnay. This clone arises from a natural mutation, more commonly recognized in varietals such as Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc, and contains terpenes that are responsible for the highly aromatic qualities often described as floral, tropical, spicy or honey-like. To highlight the musqué qualities of the fruit, we paid careful attention throughout winemaking, from the hand picking of small half-ton bins to the small-lot fermentation. Minimal stirring of the lees, fermentation and no malolactic fermentation further preserved the bright fruit and distinctive character of this wine.

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