Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/24/2014
Sterling Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2004
Sterling Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2004
(search item no. 95485)

PRICE ON 12/24/2014: $52.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1997 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"This world-class expression of Merlot offers dar fruit, clove, vanilla and toasted coconut scents. Layers of blueberry, plum, caramel and cocoa framed in a structural core open like a flower. Oak, acid, fruit, tannins and alcohol are in perfect balance. The finish lasts for nearly a minute."
-Wine News

Three Palms Vineyard lies one-half mile southeast of the winery, on the outwash of Selby Creek where it spills out of Dutch Henry Canyon and across the Silverado Trail. For millennia, when Selby Creek flooded, rocks and small boulders were carried on to the vineyard, creating an alluvial fan soil type. The rocky soil stresses the vines, creating intense and concentrated fruit more typical of a mountain vineyard. In addition, the rocks tend to retain heat longer and more efficiently, insulating the fruit at night. These elements work together to create a unique microclimate and an incredible vineyard from which to source grapes.

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!