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Sterling Napa Merlot 2008

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    14.6% ABV
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    14.6% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    With its classic texture and refined profile, our Napa Merlot references old-world style, balancing fresh, vibrant fruit and earthy tobacco cues. The rich aromas have a dominant spice overlay, with sweet musky notes, gingerbread spices and red stone fruits. The palate is fresh and clean, with bright cherries flanked by cedar and tobacco. A fine layer of tannins extends through the finish. Well-balanced with lean acids, this wine is ideal with food; pair it with a wide range of dishes ranging from pork and game to roasted lamb.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Sterling

    Sterling Vineyards

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    Sterling Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
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    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!

    California

    Red Wine

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    A major force on the global playing field, California is the world’s fourth largest wine-producing region on the planet and the majority of land under vine here is devoted to red varieties—they cover nearly double the vineyard acreage compared to whites.

    While the state’s incredibly diverse terrain and microclimates allow for countless red wine styles, the one factor unifying all California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season, which leads to well-developed and fully ripened fruit.

    The most famous region today, of course, is the acclaimed Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Bordeaux Blends garner global attention and in some cases, cult status.

    Sonoma County, nestled between Napa Valley and the Pacific Ocean, claims great variability in geography and microclimates with vineyards climbing up mountains, reaching far into valleys and stretching along some the state’s most dramatic coastlines. Here world-class Pinot Noir is possible from Sonoma’s cooler sites while Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon do well in its warmer locations.

    The Central Coast, Lodi and the Sierra Foothills also excel in the production of Zinfandel, and remain active new frontiers for Rhône and Spanish varieties.

    Mendocino in California’s cool North Coast region is a fantastic source of Pinot noir.

    Winemaking in California dates back to the 18th century when Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes. But the industry experienced its first boom with the Gold Rush in the last half of the 19th century when miners brought vines to the Sierra Foothills.

    EMP5225_2008 Item# 107588