The fruit for our Cabernet Sauvignon comes from several of our estate vineyards located along the coast. Each of these vineyards imparts its unique set of characteristics. Our Paris Valley Ranch Vineyard in southern Monterey County has sunny days and cool nights, producing bright fruit with good acidity and lots of tannins. The warmer climate of our Red Hills Vineyard in southern Paso Robles and our estate vineyard in San Benito yield riper, darker characteristics and round tannins that give an excellent balance and richness to the wine.
To craft an expressive and complex Cabernet Sauvignon, we began with fermentation in stainless steel tanks, using frequent pump-over to achieve maximum extraction of tannins and flavors. Following primary fermentation, the grapes from our San Benito vineyards went through extended maceration, which accentuated the rich, spicy fruits and plump, integrated tannins. To lend sweet, toasty vanilla tones and build structure, we aged the wine for 12 months in American oak barrels. We blended small amounts of Merlot and Syrah to fill out the midpalate and add complexity and depth.
This classic Cabernet Sauvignon flaunts everything we love about the varietal with an approachability that pairs well with a variety of foods, including pasta Bolognese or herb-roasted pork loin.
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!