Vintage 2016
Wine Type White
Varietal Chardonnay
Region California
Winemaker Harry Hansen
Sterling Vineyards wines express true varietal character—that set of aromas and flavors a grape variety develops when grown in the terroir that suits it best. Carefully selected winemaking methods highlight each wine’s unique personality and guarantee the high-quality that distinguishes our reputation. Sterling Vintner’s Collection offers hand-crafted, approachable selections sourced from diverse terroirs and priced to be enjoyed every day.

Tasting Notes

Irresistibly charming, our 2016 Chardonnay has gracious California style with vibrant fruit and supple texture. Crisp Gala apple, Bartlett pear and hints of pineapple are layered by lovely pie spices and toasty vanilla notes. The palate is long and round with rich viscosity that comes from partial malolactic fermentation and barrel aging. Clean, ripe citrus flavors extend the finish and add a refreshing lift to the rich fruit. A go-to Chardonnay, this wine has the perfect poise for any occasion. Pair it with grilled chicken, seafood or light pastas.

Vineyards

We sourced our Chardonnay from several vineyards along California’s Central Coast. Influenced by the nearby Pacific Ocean, these coastal sites have a cool marine influence that allows the fruit to mature slowly for bright, balanced flavors. Our Paris Valley Ranch Vineyard, which is nestled against the foothills of southern Monterey County, produces rich tropical and bright citrus flavors. Warmer daytime temperatures and nighttime cooldowns at our Red Hills Vineyard in Paso Robles result in riper flavors of apricot and melon. The remainder comes from Edna Valley, a unique region with one of the longest and coolest seasons in the state, which brings levity and balance with peach and orange blossom.

Vintage

The 2016 vintage was arid and temperatures were mild with no significant hot or cold weather. The moderate conditions allowed grapes to hang on the vine for optimal ripeness and quality. Overall, grape size was slightly smaller and crop loads were lighter due to extended dry weather. The result was excellent fruit with concentrated flavors.

Winemaking

The grapes for our Chardonnay were harvested in the cool morning hours. To preserve the fruit character, we maintained these low temperatures for a majority of the fruit through fermentation. We placed 75 percent of the grapes in stainless-steel tanks with premium yeasts at temperatures around 58º Fahrenheit. The remaining 25 percent was fermented in barrel to give richness, depth and balance. Additional weightiness was achieved with malolactic fermentation and regular lees stirring. We added subtle accents of baking spice with seven months oak aging.
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