Sterling Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay

Sterling Vintner's Collection Chardonnay 2014Sterling Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay comes from Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga, California, USA.

According to the tasting notes I was sent, fruit for this wine was sourced from multiple California Central Coast vineyards.

These included southern Monterey County, Paso Robles and Edna Valley.  Each area bringing its own local terroir to the wine.

Final aging for this wine was done for seven months in 90% French and 10% American oak.

For more information about Sterling wines, check out the Sterling Vineyards website.

And, if Cabernet is more your thing, check out my review of Sterling Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sterling Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay Review

From the bottle:

Sip our Chardonnay and savor the lush pineapple and peach flavors layered with notes of spicy vanilla oak.

I tasted the 2015 vintage of this wine and it was lightly chilled upon tasting.

Sample received for review purposes.


In the glass, this wine appears golden pineapple in color.

It’s also very leggy, with thick and quick falling tears.


This wine is quite aromatic.  Even though I slightly chilled the wine, I was able to get a nice whiff of the aroma from a foot or two away from the glass.

I would describe the aroma as notes of fresh pear and pineapple.

There was little to no alcohol burn.

Sterling Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay alcohol content 13.5% per the bottle.


On the palate, the wine is more citrus-like than the aroma may have predicted.

It’s crisp and enjoyable with notes of ripe to over-ripe lemon lime and grapefruit.

Although this wine has some oak aging, it is definitely not an over-oaked Chardonnay.

As the wine airs and warms, more of the aroma notes come through in the flavor.  And, that starts to offset the crisp citrus a little.

I may even go so far as to say there’s a bit of an off-balance there, but you really have to pay attention to notice it.

All in all I found the taste to be enjoyable.


As the tasting notes suggested (and I agree with), this wine is “long and round with rich viscosity.”

Its rich viscosity gives it a thicker mouthfeel then you might expect from a Chardonnay.


This is a long finishing Chardonnay with flavors that settle nicely all over the palate.

Interestingly, the finish is a transition back to the citrus flavors.

So, there’s a bit of an interesting 1-2-3 punch with this wine.  It starts with citrus, mellows a bit with the darker fruits, then resolves back to citrus in the finish.


Overall Opinion

Overall, I really enjoyed this wine.

I started out being concerned with the off-balance I mentioned above.  But then, as I analyzed each part of the tasting experience, I realized this wine takes you on a little journey with each sip.

And it does all that for under ten bucks a bottle!  It’s no wonder the Sterling brand is so popular.

Sterling Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay price $9.99.

One more thing…  as I was editing this review (spell checking and what not) I turned my attention away from the glass.  That let the wine warm up and breathe more.  When I went back to sip it, I noticed a lot more of the darker fruits in the flavor.

So, consider drinking this wine at room temperature if you really want to taste that fresh pear (and perhaps a bit of peach) flavor and less of the citrus.

Suggested Food Pairing

I always go with buttery shellfish with Chardonnay.  But, I’ll yield to the tasting notes which (in addition to seafood) suggest pairing this wine with grilled chicken or light pastas.

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