The Sterling Vineyards Sonoma County Zinfandel is round and robust with vivid aromas of black cherry, wild briar patch and plum. The juicy, jammy fruit flavored palate offers raspberry and brown spice characteristics. The wine’s texture is smooth yet with a powerful structure that leads to an incredibly lengthy finish.
There are nearly 5,200 acres of Zinfandel planted in Sonoma County, or approximately 12 percent of the county’s total red wine grape acreage. Zinfandel vines can produce for more than 100 years, decades longer than typical for other varieties, and Sonoma County has some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in the US.
2014 was a beautiful vintage along the lines of the recent outstanding vintages of 2012 and 2013. Although California’s continued drought brought another dry winter, the growing season started with a warm, dry spring and relatively early bud break. Summer temperatures remained mild and consistent with even, warm temperatures throughout. The overall quality and expressive fruit characteristics make this an outstanding vintage.
The Zinfandel grapes were hand harvested in the cool of early morning and transported to the winery. The fruit was gently destemmed and lightly crushed. Fermentation in stainless steel with two weeks of skin contact imparted deep, beautiful color concentration and fruit character. The wine was barrel for 14 months in a mix of American and French oak (9% new). The final wine was blended with 3% Rockpile Petite Sirah giving additional structure and deep color. 1,200 cases were made and the wine was bottled in March 2017.