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Sterling Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WW94
  • WE92
  • CG91
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Winemaker Notes

A blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Syrah, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Gros Verdot.

Rich and powerful, our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon unleashes ripe cassis, blackberry and dark fruit character. "This wine is built for the cellar," says Winemaker Mike Westrick. "Its classic varietal expression is intensely focused and concentrated, with muscular tannins that carry the fruit effortlessly right through the long finish."

Asian spices (especially Chinese five-spice), olive and warm oak tones heighten the aromas and permeate the full, expansive flavors. This wine's firm—but not aggressive—tannins and deep fruit flavors stand up to the richest entrées.

Critical Acclaim

WW 94
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com

WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

CG 91
Connoisseurs' Guide

If slow to start, somewhat backward and bound up in lots of tough tannin, this very deep, well-extracted Cabernet is a very serious wine of considerable content and one that is meant for the cellar. Almost brooding just now and only beginning to find the first signs of complexity, it displays tenacious black currant fruit from front to back, and its fruit emerges unscathed from its head-on collision with crunching, back-palate tannins. Find a cool, quiet place in the cellar and set this one aside for a good eight to ten years.

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Sterling

Sterling Vineyards

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Sterling Vineyards, , California
Sterling
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!

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties...

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, The Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river which flows through the region. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, further from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes...

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

GZT1090317_2005 Item# 96677

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