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.
Racy acidity and a crisp, bright mouthfeel are the hallmarks of this “naked” Chardonnay with no oak influence. Floral aromas of white hibiscus and light touches of orange blossom lead to flavors of pear, green apple, chamomile and citrus notes of Meyer lemon and lemon zest with demonstrable mineral highlights. There is a welcomed textural element that reminds of Chablis, finishing with passion fruit. For those who prefer a lighter touch with oak, this will become a favorite.
Early season rains brought yields back to normal levels this year, mitigating the extended drought that afflicted most of California. A cool spring resulted in normal timing for bud break, in late March. Temperatures remained fairly cool in May and June, but high temperatures in July triggered an early start to harvest. Quality was solid for the vintage overall.
Fruit for this crisply styled Chardonnay comes from well-established Carneros ranches in the cool southernmost growing region in Napa Valley. The vines have been grafted over to Dijon Clones 95 and 76, yielding small, intensely flavored berries. Shallow clay loam soils join with marine-influences from San Pablo and San Francisco Bays to keep temperatures moderate, allowing fruit to evolve with balanced acidity and flavors.
Fruit was whole-cluster pressed to stainless steel for a cool fermentation and no malolactic fermentation or oak aging.
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.”
|Oak Treatment||Stainless Steel|
|Case Production||518 cases|