2014 was a wonderful vintage for the Napa Valley along the lines of the recent outstanding vintages of 2012 and 2013. Although California’s drought brought another dry winter, the growing season started with a warm, dry spring and relatively early bud break. Summer temperatures remained mild and consistent with even, warm temperatures throughout. The overall outstanding quality and fruit characteristics in this vintage will make Bordeaux varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, the highlight of the season. Grapes for the 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested between September 12th and October 16th.
Cabernet Sauvignon reigns king in the Napa Valley and the appellation excels in producing outstanding expressions of this admired varietal. Napa Valley offers an ideal combination of topography, geology and climate that enables this varietal to reach optimum ripeness, balance and finesse. For the 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes come primarily from the warmer valley region of Calistoga including the Diamond Mountain Ranch, Bear Flats and Tamagni vineyards. The Calistoga appellation is one of the warmest areas in the valley but has extreme diurnal shifts, allowing the grapes to enjoy very cool nights which help maintain excellent acidity.
Each lot is kept separate until the final blending, allowing the winemaker to select the most expressive and unique barrels to bring together in the final blend. Each of these lots was aged for 18 months in combination of American (56%), French (30%) and European (14%) oak barrels. Once ready, the barrels are tasted and only those reflecting the true hallmarks of the Napa Valley are selected for the final blend.
The Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a brooding, dark garnet-red color in the glass with big fruit aromas of blackberry jam, ripe plum and notes of cassis. The nose leads to a full-bodied, concentrated, richly textured palate with flavors of dried black cherry, warm caramel and a pleasing umami character. The wine is dense and offers striking fruit intensity balanced with good acidity and fine, well-integrated tannins. The wine is seamless and offers a lengthy finish that hints at its ability to age for at least the next 10 to 15 years.
VINIFICATION: 18 MONTHS AMERICAN OAK, FRENCH OAK AND EUROPEAN OAK
TA: 5.6 g/L