Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: Very dark color; diffident nose; black cherry, blackberry, blackcurrant,

plum on the palate; medium-heavy body, medium tannin and acidity, blackcurrant tang on somewhat disjointed finish with sweet notes thrown in. This is lower-end version of classic Napa cabs; it lacks concentration and boldness of its cousins, but to be fair, those cousins cost multiples of this widely available and affordable effort. There is nothing to dislike, but it also lacks a compelling element. Sterling buys grapes from locations all over Napa, from mountains to valley floor and takes advantage of fact only 85% of grapes need to be from Napa to claim Napa. The juice likely is press wine, the product of a second squeeze of grapes that go into the higher end bottles; that helps explain the almost-there result. Sterling makes 60,000-plus bottles of this entry-level Napa cab, another encumbrance to top quality, but it also is why you can get this for 20 and change. That counts for something; make this a second bottle pour and you have a solid winner. $22Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon