Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot Reserve 1999

Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot Reserve 1999

I remember Sterling with its gondola cable car up to its mountain top winery and art gallery was one of the wineries we visited during our first Napa Valley visits back in the eighties. I seem to recall a turbulent era when its ownership passed from Coca-Cola to the Seagram Liquor company and then at one point I think also Heublein liquor company before being sold to private investors. I also recall Sterling Merlot as one of my earliest memorable wines from back then. Recently, I cited recent vintages of Sterling Merlot in this blogsite as having reasonable QPR - Quality Price Ratio.

This Reserve bottling of Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot has been down in our cellar for a while and is one of a few bottles where I have no record or recollection of where I acquired it. Adjacent to a 1999 Sterling Three Palms Vineyard Merlot of similar unknown background, I always think I'll do a mini-vertical tasting of these two bottles in tandem. Casting that notion aside, I pulled the Reserve tonight to enjoy with grilled sirloin steak dinner at home with Linda.

Dark blackish purple colored with medium body, this aged Merlot is showing its age being past its prime drinking window with the diminished black cherry and black berry fruit giving way to ripe raisin and hints of black licorice on a modest finish.

RM 86 points.