The Sterling Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir offers aromas of black cherry, plum, Jasmine tea and an exotic violet floral note. The wine is lush on the palate with layers of complex flavors including a savory soy edge and warm vanilla caramel from the toasted barrel influence. This intriguing wine shows the complex nature of Russian River Valley fruit with excellent concentration, depth of flavor, fine, powdery tannins and balanced acidity.
The Russian River Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) is located in the heart of Sonoma County, California. The seasonal fog and the tempering effects of the ocean to the west of the appellation give the area an uncommonly long growing season, and creates ideal conditions for cool-climate-loving grape varieties, particularly Pinot Noir. Growers included Retrospect, Gallaher, Lancel Creek and 7 Mules vineyards.
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 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir were harvested between August 26 and September 8.
The Pinot Noir grapes were harvested at optimum ripeness in the cool morning hours. At the winery, the fruit was cold soaked for 2 days followed by fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tank to preserve the delicate nature of the fruit and to retain freshness. 100% French oak barrels (40% new) were used for aging the wine 14 months imparting added complexity and structure to the final wine.