92 Insider Points

REVIEWS

Red berry aromas give way to a woody bouquet. Medium-full bodied with mellowed tannins and tertiary flavors, showing a bit of black cherry, fig and plum. Drinking well in its window until 2021. 92 Points - JZ Oct '18

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    Red Blend
  • APPELLATION
    Alexander Valley, Sonoma
  • ALCOHOL
    13.50%
  • SIZE
    750ml

½ Case Selection (6-bottles)

From a Wine Enthusiast 93-point vintage in Sonoma, this ready-to-drink red is pure Alexander Valley, an appellation known for producing opulent, chewy wines. Few places on the planet are as perfectly suited to red varietals than Alexander Valley. This AVA runs an impressive 22 miles in length and comprises more than a few distinct microclimates and soil types. Esterlina makes the most of Alexander Valley’s natural diversity by blending different plots and varietals to achieve a sum that is greater even than its parts (which in 2014 were pretty darn great).

Esterlina and its sister winery Everett Ridge were owned by four brothers in the Sterling clan, a quartet of dedicated vintners making spectacular wines at two of the country’s only African American-owned estates. The Sterling brothers made history—they also made incredible cult wines. Esterlina and Everett Ridge were sold in June 2016, though a few palates of their small-production releases remained. We were thrilled to uncover a limited supply of this outstanding 2014 red blend.

·    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.

TASTING NOTES 

Flavors of plum, ripe cherry, and boysenberry combined with hints of vanilla and oak make for a delicious red blend

THE STORY TO KNOW

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.

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Pair this with either a grilled tri-tip or a pasta dish with a savory tomato base.