2016 Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay



Sterling Vineyards wouldn’t want me to say this, but here it is – there once was a time when Napa Chardonnay was really good – RICH and BALANCED. Meaning it delivered the loads of smooth texture that made it famous, but it didn’t get all sweet and gooey. Sterling, with their Napa Chardonnay, seems frozen in that time period’s style – in other words, to this palate that loves himself some Chardonnay – it’s really delicious.

And to the point, this email is about putting good wine into a lot of glasses, cheaply. So while I could wax poetic on the longstanding Napa winery that is Sterling, here is the real story:

Sterling is now owned by an international conglomerate. The people who make these wines, and I have met them, are highly skilled. And they are highly skilled to make a particular style of wine – one  that is gonna sell to fans of Sterling Napa Chardonnay. Hence, the timeless style.

But sometimes, they make too much. Is this their fault? No; wine, no matter who’s making it, still comes from vines that in “good” vintages can produce excess fruit. And this is why Waterford has come to find itself sitting on a small ocean of Sterling Vineyards Napa Chardonnay. That, and because it’s darn delicious:

The wine opens with notes of spiced apples, poached pears and touches of orange peel backed up by toasted hazelnut and cream. The palate delves deeper into baking spice notes, with lovely and luscious textural dimensions that are utterly smooth. As such, this goes down amazing as a cocktail and at these prices, I’m personally not going to hesitate to reach for the second bottle. But don’t rule it out for the table, either. Full-bodied fish braised in crème fraiche with herbs or chicken breast with a Marcona almond crust would be entirely appropriate matches. And no need to cellar it –it’s drinking right in the pocket now and will continue for the next three years.

I love to drink richly, but my wallet prefers I drink cheaply. Here, I can do both – any time I please!

Critical Acclaim:

“91 points.

“Aromas of fresh cloves, apricot pie, cooked apples, clementine and orange blossom. Medium to full body, loads of fleshy stone fruit and a textured finish.” – James Suckling

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