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Sterling Platinum 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WS91
  • WW90
  • WE90
14.6% ABV
  • JS93
  • JS91
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • WE92
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14.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Sterling's first step in making Platinum is to select the best fruit. The second step is to respect that fruit, using a restrained hand in winemaking. They hand-harvested the fruit at the peak of maturity, then put it through a multi-level sorting process, keeping the berries fully in tact. In this way, they started their wine with perfectly ripe berries, balanced acids and mature tannins.

The use of small lot fermentation in a majority of stainless steel captures the inherent flavors in the fruit and maintain freshness, and color. The wine was aged for 21 months in French oak barrels, 60 percent new, to impart a gentle dusting of spice and depth of flavor.

Blend: 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Smooth, complex and layered, offering mocha-scented oak, ripe, snappy blueberry and blackberry fruit, with anise, cedar and espresso notes, all sailing along on the finish. The balance of acidity, tannins and fruit is evident. Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Drink now through 2024.
WW 90
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
The 2012 Sterling Vineyards Platinum Red Blend offers a sturdy and multi-layered example of a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Showing beautiful black fruit, with a hint of dust and tar, this wine is well suited for braised meats. Drinking quite well now.(Tasted: May 9, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Thick like a chocolaty malt, this full-bodied, robust wine is big and rich, concentrated and layered in tobacco and jam. Despite its size, it is drinkable now, with well-integrated tannins and a complete finish.
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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!

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

GZT10075889_2012 Item# 147006