90 Points - JamesSuckling.com
"A Sauvignon with lots of grapefruit and lime undertone. Medium- to full-bodied and round with tension. A delicious finish. Aftertaste of pears and light tropical fruits. Drink now.” - James Suckling, May 2018
The Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is a brilliant, light gold color in the glass and offers bright aromas of stone fruit, pear, fresh grapefruit and lemon citrus. The inviting nose leads to a quenching palate with flavors of citrus and white peach. There is good tension in the wine balanced between a core of acidity and the creamy roundness on the palate, leading to a persistent and flavorful finish. This is a classic expression of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
The Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc fruit comes from a selection of prestigious vineyards throughout the region including Calistoga Ranch, Bear Flats, Larsen Ranch and Tamagni vineyards. These vineyards are located mostly in the northern and warmer end of the valley, allowing the grapes plenty of sunshine days and warmth to fully ripen and develop intense fruit character. The summer evenings are cool in the Napa Valley and the grapes maintain a high level of acidity which shines in the final bottling.
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come.After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Fruit was harvested between August 15 and September 12, 2016.
The Sauvignon Blanc fruit was harvested in the cool morning hours and sent directly to press at the winery. The grapes were fermented in 85 percent stainless-steel tanks to retain the bright fruit character and fresh acidity. The remaining 15 percent of the blend was barrel fermented in neutral French oak to impart weight and texture to the overall mouthfeel.