James Suckling 91
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.
The Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay is a luminous, light gold color in the glass with fragrant aromas of fresh lemon crme, citrus, crisp apple and toasted hazelnut. The inviting nose leads to a richly textured palate with flavors of citrus, stone fruit and a honey almond character. The wine is well-balanced between an elegant, creamy roundness and a line of bright acidity. The pleasing finish is persistent and flavorful.
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Visitors to the winery take a short cable car ride from the main entrance to the villa and distillery which sits upon a hill looking over the Napa Valley. Sterling Vineyards farms 1,200 acres (486 ha) of vines in various parts of Napa Valley. Production emphasizes Bordeaux and Burgundy-style wines, and is split in several tiers: the entry-level "Napa Valley" wines for which it is most famous, "Reserve" wines (their highest level), "Single Vineyard" wines (specialty wines for enthusiasts), "Vintner's Collection" (value wines for restaurants and mass distribution), and "Cellar Club" (limited production and eclectic wines for their wine club members). Sterling Vineyards is a popular destination for tourists, in part for an aerial tram that shuttles visitors from a parking lot to the winery, which sits on a volcanic hill 300 feet (91 m) above the valley floor. The building is designed to appear like the white villages of the Greek island Mykonos, and incorporates bells from St. Dunstans's in London, England, a church destroyed in World War II.