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2018 Sterling Vineyards Platinum Napa Valley Merlot

2018 Sterling Vineyards Platinum Napa Valley Merlot

Sterling Vineyards

2018 Sterling Vineyards Platinum Napa Valley Merlot

Price $70.00
Case (12)
Price $840.00

Tasting Notes

The 2018 Sterling 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. The initial impression on the nose is a delightful interplay of pepper, leather, and tobacco. Earthy undertones provide a foundation for the aromatic experience, while a subtle hint of graphite contributes a touch of minerality. The dark fruit profile is prominent, with flavors of ripe plum and juicy blackberries taking center stage. They are complemented by a subtle hint of spice, vanilla, and chocolate notes. The richness, combined with smooth, velvety tannins, makes it a truly indulgent and memorable wine.

Technical Information

Varietal Merlot
Vintage 2018
Appellation Napa Valley
Alcohol % 14.9%
Enclosure Type Cork


The grapes for our 2018 Platinum Merlot were picked in the cool mornings, quickly brought to the winery, and placed in concrete tanks for a two-day cold soak designed to extract color and flavor from the grapes. After fermentation, the young wines were aged for 18 months in a combination of French and Hungarian oak barrels. Once ready, the barrels are carefully evaluated and only those reflecting the true hallmarks of the Napa Valley are selected for the final Platinum Merlot.



A near perfect season began with abundant February rains followed by drying sun and weather that allowed for even flowering and bud break. The slightly later start was followed by consistently ideal weather. It turned a bit cool in August, mild in September, allowing fruit to evolve. Patience and careful attention to the vineyard was rewarded with fruit of excellent ripeness, well balanced tannins and complexity. Generally, normal to heavier fruit clusters were evident on the vine with great flavor intensity. On average, pick dates were two weeks later than normal.


Sterling has been making Napa Valley Merlot for more than five decades. This history and winemaking legacy allow the winery access to some of the finest vineyards in Napa. For the 2018 Platinum Merlot the grapes come from Bancroft Ranch. Bancroft Ranch vineyard is located at an elevation of 1,800 feet on Howell Mountain, a growing area with well-drained volcanic soils. In 1984, Howell Mountain became the first area within the Napa Valley appellation to be declared a separate viticultural area (AVA) for the distinct characteristics of its wine grapes and now it is home to several of Napa Valley’s most famous wines. Bancroft Ranch produces clusters with small berries whose high skin-to-fruit ratio results in well-structured wines with concentrated flavors. The flavors are further enhanced by the climate: the vineyard is about 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the valley floor but experiences more hours of sunshine over the course of a day because it is above the fog belt. This allows for both extended hang time and slow, even flavor development.