2005 Sterling, Wildlake Ranch, Napa Valley, Merlot
Tasting Notes:

Rich, dark ruby color. Very aromatic with strong notes of briary
black cherry predominating. Fruit flavors continue on the plush
entry, reminiscent of black cherries and raspberries accompanied
by notes of toasty oak. This elegant wine finishes strong wit.
Mike Westrick, Winemaker

Mike Westrick has been making world-class Bordeaux- and Burgundy-style wines
for 15 years. At Sterling Vineyards, Mike uses his expertise to create wines from
some of the region’s—and the world’s—finest vineyards. He believes that Sterling
Vineyards wines should continually delight the consumer with their boldness,
innovation, and challenge to the status quo. Prior to joining Sterling Vineyards in
2004, Mike served as winemaker for Stonestreet, where he crafted highly-acclaimed
wines and helped develop the brand. Before Stonestreet, Mike enjoyed a
distinguished academic career. He turned his love of science and his interest in
food microbiology into a ten-year post teaching microbiology at the University of
Wisconsin at Madison. Soon, however, vacations took him to California wine
country, and he realized winemaking was his passion. In August of 1989, Mike
packed his bags, moved to California, and became an intern that fall with Hanna
Winery. Though his first vintage was challenging, the work convinced Mike he had
made the right decision. He soon enrolled in the Enology and Viticulture programs
at UC Davis, joined Hacienda Winery for a harvest, and then moved on to
Stonestreet, where he worked as an enologist in 1992, became assistant
winemaker in 1994, and served as head winemaker from 1996 to 2004. Mike and
his wife, Debbie, live in Windsor, California. They enjoy hiking the Pacific Coast,
kayaking in Kauai, cooking, gardening, yelling at the Sharks, Giants, and Forty-
Niners, and enjoying great wine in the California sunshine. And you may be able to
take the man out of Wisconsin, but you’ll never take Wisconsin out of the man. Mike
still roots for the fighting Badgers.
Appellation:       Napa Valley
Alcohol %:         14.2
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