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91 Insider Points


They're Back and Ready for Action

We've had the opportunity to work with quite a few Esterlina wines in the past thanks to our awesome relationship with the winery. As always, the wines are showing the value that we desire. This Cab has aged well and is ready to drink. 

Light leather and blackberry on the nose. Dark, earthy tones on the palate, with notes of eucalyptus, cedar, plum skin, dark chocolate, fig and pomegranate on a full body. Grippy tannins through the finish. Pop this open at dinner over a nice juicy steak. 91 Points - JZ Aug '18

    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Alexander Valley, Sonoma
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This Exclusive is one lucky find. The 2012 vintage (96 Wine Advocate points) was one of the greatest Cab vintages in the last 20 years. Highly collectible at the time of their release, Alexander Cabs from 2012 are now a rarity. With a clear nod to the elegance of Bordeaux, the wine's showing great at this moment- with room to grow. Great texture, structure and a medium mouth feel, we had to pinch ourselves when we landed this below wholesale.

Caught in a legal battle that waged on for way too long, the Sterling family was forced to sell their winery and its sister estate, Everett Ridge. For many years, the four Sterling brothers, including winemaker Eric Sterling, fashioned a host of exemplary bottles from 100% estate-grown fruit.

Like many of their neighbors, the Esterlina family made a wonderful estate Cab in 2012, and the wine is just hitting its peak now. Still vibrant black cherry fruit encases a core of now-softened tannins, with a finish that lasts and lasts. Cellared to perfection, this perfectly aged red is a superb example of the Alexander Valley’s distinctive terroir and the magic it can produce in a truly legendary vintage.

·    The 2012 vintage in Sonoma was “excellent across the board,” according to the Wine Spectator, with a long, warm and dry growing season and a harvest that was near perfect.

·    The PinotFile writes: “Eric Sterling, M.D., is both a practicing emergency room physician and the winemaker.” Eric was joined at Esterlina by three brothers, all with distinct roles at the winery.

·    Esterlina made wines from a range of California’s American Viticultural Areas, including the smallest AVA in the country: Cole Ranch. In fact, Esterlina owned the only vineyard in the entire Cole Ranch appellation.

·    Few zones are as perfectly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon than Sonoma’s Alexander Valley. Located at the northern end of the Valley, this AVA runs an impressive 22 miles in length and comprises more than a few distinct microclimates and soil types.


This Cab is deep in color and flavor. It offers good tanin structure and provides flavors of blackcurrant, dark spices, and some hints of cedar. 





The Anderson Valley is a pastoral wooded basin surrounded by mountains, hillside vineyards and a couple dozen wineries. It would be hard to imagine a more perfect hillside location than that of Esterlina Vineyards and Winery.

Off the highway near Philo and up a path past redwood trees, creeks and ranches is the entrance to Esterlina and its unique winery setting. There are two older individual dwellings that serve as tasting room and winery. Each two-story building has a lovely balcony that sits out over their vineyard and has stunning unobstructed views of the Anderson Valley. With wonderful hospitality, visitors are treated to a sit-down wine-tasting experience. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, simple indoor facilities are also available.

“Quietly making wines that are too good to ignore” is their tag line at this
family-owned and operated estate winery. The Sterling family has extensive vineyards in Alexander Valley, the Russian River Valley, in the highlands at Cole Ranch, and their own 15-acre vineyard at the winery. They produce Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and a port.


With this Cab hitting almost Library-Age, we recommend trying it with veal or lamb. This will pair better than if paired with a fatty steak, like most consumers tend to do.