The Sterling Vintner’s Collection Dark Red is a decadent blend of two of the most
alluring and rich red varieties: Merlot and Petit Sirah. The deep garnet-colored
wine opens with vibrant aromas of black plum, blackberry and warm cardamom
spice. The velvety-textured palate is expansive with intense flavors of baked
boysenberry, mocha and layers of mouthwatering juicy fruit. The well-integrated
oak influence gives toasted vanillin notes and adds to the lengthy, flavorful finish.
Outstanding vineyards are the foundation for this wine. Carefully selected fruit
from premier vineyards throughout California allow the winemaker to craft the best
expression of the fine varieties used to make this unique blend. This includes an
ideal mix of cooler, coastal fruit as well as grapes from the warmer, interior region
of California. These growing areas work well together and offer unique growing
conditions including long, warm, sunny days tempered by cool ocean breezes.
2016 was another brilliant growing season for most of California, although
prolonged drought conditions continued resulting in lower yields in the vineyards.
The conditions throughout the growing season were consistent, even and warm
with few unbearable, damaging heat spikes. California did experience a wet
October, but most grapes were already picked and safely in the winery before
the rains began. Overall, the quality and fruit characteristics in this vintage were
very good with well-developed flavor profiles and excellent color development.
The Merlot and Petit Sirah grapes were picked at optimum ripeness and sent
directly to the winery. Once in the winery, the grapes were cold soaked for two
days followed by fermentation. The different varieties and lots were kept separate
through the fermentation process and only came together at the final stage when
the winemaker assembled the final blend before bottling. The wine was aged for
six months in a combination of French and American oak to integrate flavors and