The Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot is a vivid ruby-red color in the glass with aromas of blackberry fruit, plum and ripe black cherry. The appealing bouquet leads to a mouthcoating, rich palate where additional red and black fruit flavors mingle with notes of graphite and dried spice. The viscous mouthfeel of the wine is plush and the ripe tannins are refined and polished. The Napa Valley Merlot is well-balanced and elegant, offering true varietal characteristics and a sleek, flavorful finish.
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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.