Iridium is one of the rarest elements on earth. A very constrained and expensive resource, Iridium's uniqueness makes it incredibly valuable. Like the element, the Sterling Vineyards Iridium Cabernet Sauvignon is treasured. Made in only the very best vintages with the fi nest and most intense expression of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Iridium is the pinnacle of winemaking perfection.
Iridium 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. In 2015, Iridium exhibits the purity of fruit expression, polished tannins and rich texture that are quickly becoming the signature of this bold and opulent wine. Classic Napa Cabernet notes of mocha, cassis and dark fruits are accented with oak spice, caramel toffee and layered flavors that linger, leaving a lasting impression. Built to last, the wine will reveal its inner personality over many years to come.
The 2015 growing season was marked by pleasant weather with little pressure from heat spikes or unseasonable rain. A dry winter, common recently, was quickly followed by an equally dry spring, leading to an early bud break and fast start to the growing season. Warm weather continued throughout late spring and summer, allowing for the steady and sure development of flavors. The overall quality, complexity and balance in the vines produced exceptional fruit. The impact of the continuing drought was evident in slightly lighter crop loads, but the reduction in size was offset by an increase in quality as vineyard crews carefully selected fruit at harvest, allowing for only the finest fruit to be selected for Iridium.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the signature variety of the Napa Valley and the appellation excels in producing outstanding expressions of this admired varietal. Napa Valley offers an ideal combination of topography, geology and climate that enables Cabernet Sauvignon to reach optimum ripeness, balance and finesse. And within the valley, there are exceptional vineyards and sub-appellations that produce some of the finest expressions of this noble grape. In Vintage 2015, winemaker Harry Hansen has selected notable lots from vineyards spanning key Napa Valley growing regions, including the Meigs Vineyard in Wooden Valley, Peterson Vineyard on Diamond Mountain, Sleeping Lady Vineyard in Yountville and the famed Hewitt Vineyard in Rutherford. The vineyards offer soils ranging from clay loam to tufa, with a variety of clones, exposures and ages.
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.”