A royal shade of purple leads to a plush, generous, mouth-filling wine with aromas and flavors of red fruits alongside ripe wild blackberries, cola, a touch of maple syrup and caramel. Velvety tannins with evident oak spice and vanilla lead to a lingering finish. Enjoy today, with the likelihood the wine will grow ever more complex over the next five years.
|100% Cabernet Sauvignon
“Aromas and flavors of blueberries, blackberries and hints of violets follow through to a medium to full body, firm, silky tannins and a caressing finish. Drink or hold.” - James Suckling, February 2020
"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga Reserve is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, it sings of crème de cassis, blackberry pie and chocolate-covered cherries with touches of mocha, dried mint, tilled soil and moss-covered tree bark. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black fruit and earthy layers with a firm, grainy frame, finishing with lovely vibrancy. 1,070 cases were made.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, August 13th, 2020
Fruit is hand-harvested in the cool early dawn hours. Fruit is then hand-sorted, selecting only the highest quality for fermentation in stainless tanks and French oak puncheons. Maceration for two weeks with regular pump-overs to extract deep color and rich flavors. After fermentation, the wine aged 19 months in oak barrels (55% new) from a variety of French, American and Hungarian coopers to add complexity prior to bottling, A lighter toast in the oak balances the fruit’s inherent ripeness, blending seamlessly with the tannins. The wine is allowed to rest for at least six months to gain further complexity. This expression is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga.
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.”
Winter rains helped signal the end of the immediate drought, but vineyards had grown stressed after multiple challenging years, resulting in modest yields for the season. A dry January was followed by a wet February, and temperatures remained mild, encouraging an early bud break to begin the growing season. Showers arrived in April, slowing the rapid advance of flowering and set. Harvest for this Calistoga Cabernet was a quick affair, beginning September 22 and ending just two days later on September 24.
The fruit for Sterling Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced principally from the Frediani and Bear Flats Vineyards in Calistoga. Here, a typically warmer growing season is perfect for the development of flavorful Cabernet Sauvignon. The Bear Flats vineyard, north of St. Helena and sloping towards the Napa River, was replanted eight years ago, so vines are youthful in their expression."
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