Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/22/2014
Sterling Napa Merlot 2005
Sterling Napa Merlot 2005
(search item no. 96883)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 9/22/2014: $24.99

Winemaker's Notes:

A Bordeaux blend of 89% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Gros Verdot, 2% Petite Sirah, 1% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot.

Merlot is a benchmark varietal for Sterling and we take great pride in this wine. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks for about 9 days. Keeping the lots separate, we put the wine to barrel, some before malolactic fermentation and some after. After 12 months of aging in a combination of new and used barrels, the various lots were blended and bottled. Small amounts of the other Bordelaise varietals add a note of complexity to the finished wine. Bright ruby in color, this lovely wine offers aromas of ripe black cherries, raspberries and cedar. Luscious fruit flavors of blackberries and cherries accented by a touch of toasty oak lead to a long, silky finish. Enjoy this wine paired with grilled New York steak, roast lamb and aged cheeses. The smooth, silky tannins make it a good match for rich chocolate desserts as well.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Sterling Vineyards:

About Sterling Vineyards:

Sterling Vineyards was born in the 1960s, a time when creativity and entrepreneurial spirit abounded, especially in California. In 1964, Peter Newton, once a paper broker in England, purchased 70 acres of land in Calistoga and became a Napa Valley winemaker. He planted grapes others did not, bottled varietals others did not, and built a dramatic winery with an aerial tramway. His innovations put Sterling Vineyards into the public eye and helped establish the Napa Valley as a premier travel destination.

When Newton began planting his estate, Cabernet Sauvignon was the preferred variety. He planted the esteemed Cabernet, but his decision to also plant Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot was a bold move. His Merlot vines were the first significant planting of that variety in the Napa Valley. Newton saw potential in the soft, velvety Merlot fruit, and in 1969 he took a chance by releasing California's first vintage-dated Merlot. This decision flew in the face of traditional standards, which held that Merlot was merely a blending grape, and forever changed the perception of red wine. People started to enter a restaurant and ask for a glass of Merlot!