Sterling Vineyards Sparkling Rosé 2016

Sterling Vineyards Sparkling Rosé 2016
Napa, California, USA

Remarkably the fourth sparkling rosé I’ve tasted this month from as many countries. By far, the Sterling Vineyards Sparkling Rosé came in the nicest bottle of that quartet, and was the only one served on a night that included freshly ground Istrian truffles. Those came much later though.

A mixed county blend, 70 percent Chardonnay from Napa County and 30 percent Pinot Noir from Monterey. The latter is cool, ideal for Pinot Noir; the former is from a single vineyard in Yountville known for concentrated chards. That’s from the winemaking notes; what they don’t say is how long the Pinot Noir was macerated — that’s to satiate my own curiosity more than anything else to learn how long its elegant salmon pink color took to develop. It’s a sparkly shade nothing short of stunning. Sublime. And I don’t use that term loosely.

“Plenty of upfront fruit –strawberry, cherry, apple blossoms– but balanced nicely by the lively acidity and creamy texture. Crisp, mildly outrageous – Cher in the 1990s.” That’s where my hastily scribbled notes ended, before I got lost again in the persistent pool of rosé beads.

$35 in Ohio
Tasted Dec 2017

Sterling Vineyards
Calistoga, CA, USA
Sterlingvineyards.com

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