Friday, March 15, 2013

Updated Review & Rating: **** $$$ Sterling Vineyards SVR Reserve Red Wine, Napa, CA, 2007 - Wine Review

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Initial review, by way of background: This is Sterling Vineyards SVR Reserve Red Wine, Napa, CA, 2007, a blend of 66% cabernet sauvignon, 27% merlot and 7% cabernet franc, finished at 14.9% alcohol.  Tasting in January, 2011.

In the glass: Sterling SVR Red is deep burgundy, almost opaque starting about an inch in from the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this Bordeaux-style blend from Napa offers spicy, rich and dark fruit with oak overtones. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are balanced, full, mid-red fruit right in the center of your palate, with just gentle supporting layers of acids and tannins.  Flavors are of fully ripe red cherries.  The mid-palate is full and sweet, and it tapers to a gentle close, with nice drying tannins coming in at the very end.  Should show productive, gentle aging in cellar or decanter. 

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a definite plus for concentration and promise.

Following two-hour decant, the palate knitted together further, leaving silty, chalky cherry tannins nicely wrapping the experience, and bringing this to a full four stars.  Following longer decant, one day kept cool in a partially filled bottle:  The nose has become brighter and redder, with a touch of spice.  The palate remains sleek and smooth with sweet red fruit and flecks of charcoal, nicely balanced still. 

Updated review, over two years later, March, 2013:  Consistent color and nose.  The aromas now include some eucalyptus and chocolate.  Absolutely consistent on the palate, too, now resembled the fully-decanted, four-star version.  Has held up splendidly to the six years since vintage date!  Great rating at this price point, even though not formally a "best value".

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