Platinum is a wine designed to bring a singular thought to life: great wines come from great vineyards, and never so much as when the winemaking and winegrowing teams work hand in hand to carefully nurture the finest fruit toward a well-rewarded harvest. In 2015, Platinum Cabernet exhibits the purity of fruit expression, polished tannins and rich texture that are the essential signature of this rich, full-bodied wine. In this vintage the wine is showing more red fruits than previous vintages, with slightly sweeter vanilla tones from the American oak. Tannins are well developed, framing a wine with great structure and balance. Classic Napa Cabernet notes of mocha and cassis join Bing cherry accented with pepper and oak spice, caramel toffee and layered flavors that leave a lasting, subtly sweet impression.
|Blend||88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 6% Malbec|
|Oak Treatment||Aged for 19 months in a combination of 50% French (50% new) and 25% each American and Hungarian oak|
"The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Platinum is blended of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 6% Malbec aged in 50% new French oak, 25% American oak and 25% Hungarian oak for 19 months. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with creme de cassis, blackberry pie and kirsch notes with hints of cigar box, underbrush and black pepper. Full, concentrated and firmly packed with earth-laced black fruits, it has a chewy frame and savory finish."" - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, October 2017
Fruit was hand-harvested and hand-sorted, selecting only the highest quality fruit for fermentation in stainless vessels. Fruit was allowed to ferment for up to 15 days with regular pump-overs to extract deep color and rich flavors. The wine was then gently pressed, racked and aged for 19 months in a combination of 50% French (50% new) and 25% each American and Hungarian oak. Barrels are COF toasted medium/medium plus from a mix of coopers including Gamba, Remond, Taransaud, Allary and Quintessence. Individual barrels are aged separately and are tasted frequently before the final selection of only the most compelling candidates for Platinum. The final varietal composition is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 6% Malbec.
Director of Winemaking Harry Hansen was raised in nearby Sonoma County. “One of my earliest memories of wine was the gallon jug of red wine that we always had at home. I would go with my father to a local winery, maybe in Kenwood or Healdsburg, to refill that jug and chit-chat with the winery proprietors. The aromas of those wines were always something attractive, somehow mysterious, but always memorable.”
Harry joined Sterling Vineyards and relocated to Napa Valley just before the 2011 Harvest. “The opportunity to join such a respected Napa Valley winery is exciting and a fantastic next step in my winemaking career. Sterling Vineyards is making some wonderful wines, and I look forward to taking that next step up in quality and reputation.”
The 2015 growing season was marked by pleasant weather with little pressure from heat spikes or unseasonable rain. A dry winter, common recently, was quickly followed by an equally dry spring, leading to an early bud break and fast start to the growing season. Warm weather continued throughout late spring and summer, allowing for the steady and sure development of flavors. The overall quality, complexity and balance in the vines produced exceptional fruit. The impact of the continuing drought was evident in slightly lighter crop loads, but the reduction in size was offset by an increase in quality as vineyard crews carefully selected fruit at harvest, allowing for only the finest fruit to be selected for Platinum wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the signature variety of the Napa Valley and the appellation excels in producing outstanding examples of this admired varietal. Napa Valley offers an ideal combination of topography, geology and climate that enables Cabernet Sauvignon to reach optimum ripeness, balance and finesse. And within the valley, there are exceptional vineyards and sub-appellations that produce some of the finest expressions of this noble grape, truly Platinum worthy. In Vintage 2015, winemaker Harry Hansen has selected notable lots from vineyards spanning key Napa Valley growing regions, including the Meigs Vineyard in Wooden Valley, Moore Ranch in Napa Valley, Sleeping Lady Vineyard in Yountville and a trio of notable Calistoga vineyards, including Bear Flats, Barlow Ranch and BV Ranch 12. The vineyards offer soils ranging from clay loam to tufa, with a variety of clones, exposures and ages.
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