90 Points - JamesSuckling.com
“Lots of sliced apple, lime and mineral character. A hint of cream. Medium body, bright acidity and a clean and fresh finish. Crisp and balanced. Drink now.” - James Suckling, March 2017
The Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay is a luminous, light gold color in the glass with fragrant aromas of fresh lemon crème, citrus, crisp apple and toasted hazelnut. The inviting nose leads to a richly textured palate with flavors of citrus, stone fruit and a honey almond character. The wine is well-balanced between an elegant, creamy roundness and a line of bright acidity. The pleasing finish is persistent and flavorful.
The Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay comes from a selection of prestigious vineyards throughout the region. This includes vineyards from the warmer, mid-valley area of Rutherford and Oak Knoll Ranch, giving the wine its plush roundness, fruit-forward characteristics. A small amount of Chardonnay fruit also comes from the southern, cooler reaches of the Carneros region adding balanced acidity to the rich fruit flavors.
The 2015 growing season in the Napa Valley was of outstanding quality marked with ideal weather throughout and no issues from frost, heat spikes or rain. The continuation of California’s drought brought a dry winter followed by a dry and early spring with an early bud break. Weather was warm and consistent throughout late spring and summer which allowed for full development in the grapes. Harvest began in August, and although overall crop loads were low due to continued drought conditions, the quality and depth of flavor of the fruit was excellent. Grapes for the 2015 Napa Valley Chardonnay were harvested between August 24th and September 12th, 2015.
The Chardonnay fruit was harvested in the cool morning hours and sent directly to press at the winery. The majority of the fruit was barrel fermented in French (75%) and American (25%) oak to impart rich texture and added spice notes. In the 2015 vintage only a small portion of the blend (10%) was fermented in stainless-steel tanks to capture bright fruit character and retain fresh acidity. The final wine is elegant and shows a core of beautiful fruit character with balanced, bright acidity.