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2020 Sterling Vineyards Unoaked Carneros Chardonnay

2020 Sterling Vineyards Unoaked Carneros Chardonnay

Sterling Vineyards

2020 Sterling Vineyards Unoaked Carneros Chardonnay

Tasting Notes

The 2020 Unoaked Chardonnay presents all the tropical hallmarks of the style, starting with a light, floral aroma of bright citrus and pineapple on the nose. The palate is generous in acidity and flavor, showing ripe passion fruit, green apple, lemon curd, and lychee, welcomed with a wet stone minerality. This light-bodied yet vibrant wine lingers on the palate, dry and clean, giving a refreshing, bright mouthfeel.

Technical Information

Varietal Chardonnay
Vintage 2020
Appellation Carneros
Blend 100% Chardonnay
Alcohol % 12.5%


The fruit was picked in late August and was whole-cluster pressed to stainless steel for a cool fermentation. The wine remained in stainless for 6 months, with no malolactic or oak aging to maintain a crisp freshness. 


The 2020 season will be remembered for factors beyond the typical harvest season. It was a warm, dry winter, and the rain and cooler weather didn’t arrive until the end of March. While the mild spring season was a great early start, our winery working conditions had extensive safety protocols due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Summer brought very cool mornings and very warm days, but then harvest was interrupted by wildfires across California, which came as grapes started to be picked, and we were very fortunate that none of our vineyards were in the areas of the active fires.


Fruit for this crisply styled Chardonnay comes from Stanly Ranch, a well-established Los Carneros ranch in the cool, southernmost growing region in Napa Valley. Shallow clay loam soils join with marine influences from San Pablo and San Francisco Bays to keep temperatures moderate, allowing the fruit to evolve with balanced acidity and flavors.