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Sterling SVR Reserve 2007

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WE91
14.9% ABV
  • WE94
  • WW92
  • W&S91
  • WS91
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3.7 25 Ratings
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3.7 25 Ratings
14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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
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.

Winemaking
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.

Vintage
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.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Just lovely to drink now, it's so softly lush and decadently delicious. Beguiles the palate with jammy, pastry flavors of raspberries, cherries and sweet oak. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
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Sterling

Sterling Vineyards

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Sterling Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
2007 SVR Reserve
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 and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

EMP112665_2007 Item# 107518

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