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” UnOaked Chardonnay. 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.
A near perfect season, welcomed after several tense vintages, 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.
Fruit for this crisply styled Chardonnay comes from a well-established Carneros ranch in the cool southernmost growing region in Napa Valley. Clone 4 is featured in this vineyard, yielding heavy, big-berried clusters with exceptional acidity. 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||500 cases|