Thursday, December 6, 2012

An Old Friend Revisited

More years ago than I care to admit, and when I was coming out of my initial French phase in wine and moving into Napa Valley wines Sterling was one of my favorites.  They made good Cabernet Sauvignon, a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc and a reserve Cabernet among other wines.  I bought a number of the reserve wines from 1978 through the mid 80's.  All were good and at that time they were in the upper echelon of Napa red wines. 

Last spring while wondering through a wine store there was an unadvertised sale and the 2008 Sterling SVR Reserve was on sale for $40.  The wine is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot.  I opened it last night with one of the last steaks from the grill before the December weather turns very crappy in this area. 

Nothing shy about this wine and a strip steak was just about the perfect accompaniment.  The wine was muscular but still supple with flavors of berries and medium dark cherries.  Their was a brightness up front to the fruit and a crispness from good acid.  There was a good amount of tannin here so the finish was very dry.  There were also some spices in the finish, hints of both vanilla and cinnamon and just a suggestion of sweetness.  All together it was quite a nice wine.  I'm not so sure that the $60 original price was fair, but it is a very good wine at $40.

It was nice to get reacquainted with Sterling and while they might not have the status they once had this was a good wine.

2008 Sterling Vineyards SVR Reserve.  14.9% alcohol and $40 on sale.

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