Dense and dark, our 2012 Platinum Reserve delivers signature elegance with serious poise and sophisticated grace. Blackberry, cassis and graphite merge with layers of caramel, roasted hazelnuts and black pepper. The nose has a soft, toasty openness that is followed by a burst of ripe fruit on the palate. Round, voluminous texture and mature tannins define this wine. Because our tannins come from optimally ripe fruit rather than oak barrels, the wine shows amazing accessibility up front, but will also age well for several years.
Warm and dry, 2012 had ideal weather conditions that allowed the grapes to develop slowly over a long season. With no heat spikes and no rain, we were able to pick the fruit as each cluster reached perfect maturity. This gave the fruit a well-balanced freshness that translates to the glass.
The power and grace of Platinum comes from multiple vineyard sourcing. “Sterling has great vineyards all over the Napa Valley,” says Director of Winemaking, Harry Hansen. “Each year, we are able to flex the different areas depending on the vintage. This allows us to achieve a deep, layered and intriguing profile every year.” We selected our grapes from five sub-appellations: Diamond Mountain, St. Helena, Rutherford, Yountville and Wooden Valley.
“Our first step in making Platinum is to select the best fruit,” says Hansen. “Our second step is to respect that fruit, using a restrained hand in winemaking.” We hand-harvested the fruit at the peak of maturity, then put it through a multi-level sorting process, keeping the berries fully in tact. In this way, we started our wine with perfectly ripe berries, balanced acids and mature tannins. We used small lot fermentation in a majority of stainless steel to capture the inherent flavors in the fruit and maintain freshness, and color. We aged the wine for 21 months in French oak barrels, 60 percent new, to impart a gentle dusting of spice and depth of flavor.