Our 2007 Sterling SVR Reserve is a compelling combination of intense, dark character and gracious, inviting approachability. Heady, complex aromas reveal layers of cherry-almond, black plum and licorice, with subtle oak spices. The intricate blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc lends breadth to the palate, with fleshy fruit up front developing into bittersweet chocolate, espresso and toast notes toward the back. Dense, chewy tannins melt across the finish, followed by persistent fruit that lingers well after the wine has departed. A fine balance of rich flavors and bright acidity, this wine is a perfect fit for an elegant meal of roast lamb or braised short ribs.
About the Vineyards
Our SVR is an expression of our winemaking style. We evaluate the characteristics of several varietals from different vineyards to create our ultimate reserve red wine. For 2007, we found the ideal balance of mountain, bench and valley fruit in grapes primarily from Diamond Mountain (33 percent), Yountville (33 percent) and Rutherford (16 percent). Each of these distinct regions contributes a unique profile, building intricate layers and complex character in this special reserve wine.
Each year, we evaluate grapes from our finest vineyards to craft a reserve blend that has a dense, dark fruit core and supple, chocolaty tannins. We want a wine that is complex and ageworthy, but accessible enough to enjoy right away. In 2007, our Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up 66 percent of the blend, showed fleshy, well-balanced fruit, which was perfectly complemented by the excellent structure and well-built tannins of our Merlot from up the valley. The remainder is Cabernet Franc, which so impressed us with its effusive aromas, rich texture and lovely chocolate-cherry and violet notes that we used it for 7 percent of the blend.
The 2007 vintage was textbook perfect, with a long, even growing season and good warmth for small, concentrated grapes with vibrant flavors. Lower-than-average winter rainfall and a warm spring resulted in early budbreak, which was followed by moderate temperatures throughout the growing season. The cool conditions and long hangtime encouraged full phenolic ripeness and intense flavors in our grapes.