Our Winery Exclusive wines allow us to create small lot offerings each vintage from unique vineyards where we can highlight both the varietal and the terroir of the region. These limited release wines are available only to guests of the winery and our wine club members, and often result in just a few barrels each vintage.
In the glass this wine shows dark, inky purple depths that bloom with black fruit, blueberry pie and layers of toasted oak, nutmeg and clove. The signature Rutherford fruit shines on the mid-palate as the smooth entry develops a brooding rich, dark, juicy fruit. Dried cherries, dark cocoa and sweet hazelnut coffee melt through the middle, joined by barrel nuances of tannins and structure without overpowering the fruit. This well-balanced, well-structured wine will hold up to hardy roasted or braised meats and rich sauce dishes.
Maintaining a voluptuous, dark, brambly character in our Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon is essential. To ensure that, we hand-harvested at optimal maturity. During fermentation we used frequent pump-overs, keeping the flavorful skins in contact with the juice for maximum extraction of aromas and flavors. The wine aged 18 months in a combination of French, American and European oak barrels, almost half new, to further integrate the layers of flavors. Before bottling, we blended a small amount of two classic Bordeaux varietals: Merlot, which added a supple mid-palate round, juicy fruits, and Petit Verdot, which bolstered the color and added a nice smoky-spice element.
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.”