This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Frank Sterns of Aurielle Vineyards in the Napa Valley

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Today’s Podcast Frank Sterns of Aurielle Vineyards

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Sleep City Missoula

Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Featuring guests such as Frank Sterns is why I love doing what I do, all things wine media.  Frank is a modern day example of what this country is founded on, hard work, dreams, and tenacity, an entrepreneurial success story.

A native Californian who now resides in Florida Sterns career focus was the Audio/Video Industry.  He built a very successful sound business that not only required hard work but entertaining his clients also.  As Sterns recalled during our conversation good wine while dining with clients had a true impact on the success of his business.

Sterns passion for wine grew throughout his career and in 2005 when he sold his sound company.   His exit strategy involved a new dream and a new plan, to build a winery in the Napa Valley.  It was while dining at the renowned French Laundry restaurant that Sterns focused in on the wines that he loved and the type of wine he was determined he was going to make at his winery.

Sterns business acumen and wisdom led him to UC Davis where he studied various wine courses he knew would be crucial in building and running a successful winery operation.  This also provided Sterns the background he would need to partner with a likeminded winemaker.

Aurielle Vineyards grapes are grown in three premium vineyards in the mountain appellations of Mt. Veeder and Howell Mountain.  The Mt. Veeder vineyards are located at the northern edge of the appellation providing lush, dark, earthy fruit.  The soils of Mt. Veeder consist of pushed up sea bed that lend to that style of fruit.

The Howell Mountain vineyard is located at high altitude producing big concentrated red fruits.  Howell Mountain was formed from volcanic eruptions producing very different fruit from Mt. Veeder.  These contrasting styles of fruit brought together in the hands of a great winemaker can become amazing wine.

Enter Chad Alexander who grew up in this area and really has a sixth sense of the land, the fruits it produces, and what to do with it from vintage to vintage.  Chad is a former head winemaker for Robert Craig and produces a style of wine, Napa Valley mountain cabernets, that Frank Sterns sought to produce.

Aurielle Vineyards produces distinctive world-class wines utilizing the science of grape growing and winemaking combined with skillful winemaking that is unencumbered by constraints of production costs or quotas.

Sterns has formed relationships with premium grape growers that only work with the finest of winemakers and winery’s committed to producing the very best wine.  That is exactly what Sterns and Alexander have produced in their 2008 vintage of Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon.  Not only is the 2008 Aurielle Cabernet a world-class wine of distinct character and typicity, it is also very unique.  The winemaking blend of Howell Mountain and Mt. Veeder fruit is rare but Alexander has done an artful job in making this wine.

The Aurielle 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon has depth of color, elegant in the glass, nearly purple, beautifully vicious.

A floral, spicy nose, red fruit, black fruit, and enticing aroma that is big yet complex, smooth and silky.  A few descriptions usually reserved for the palate yet were appropriate comments for the aroma of this sophisticated wine.

Pumice like tannin great the palate coating the sides of the mouth with velvet silk. Plum, spice, earthen leather, and a hint of vanilla from the judicious use of oak, and then a lingering nuance of berry is memorable, a treat for anyone’s palate, even the most sophisticated of wine drinkers.

I enjoyed this wine so much I shared it with Missoula proprietor Ed Wells of The Depot restaurant last night as I enjoyed this superb wine with my dinner.  My main course was beef, I had to pair this wine with a medium-rare New York cut that was peppered and dressed with Maytag Blue cheese.  I want more of each right now as I think about this very memorable pairing.

Frank Sterns and Chad Alexander have made an exceptional wine in their Aurielle 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon and I thank them both for sharing it with me.  This impeccable wine receives the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™.

You can listen to the show live on the Trail 103.3FM or U 104.5FM.  These shows are podcast for your convenience and available on my blog at;

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"


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