Extended Barrel Aging

The Sunstone Estate has a tendency to make very concentrated and, at times, extremely tannic wines. To help mitigate this tendency we occasionally employ the technique in the winery of extended barrel aging. What is normal for most red wines is anywhere from 10 to 24 months in barrel—lighter wines requiring less time to soften, and fuller bodied wines begging for more time in barrel to tame aggressive tannins and age gracefully into round, voluptuous beauties.

Therefore, we goal to age our reserve red wines for as long as 24 months in barrel—with phenomenal results. Bottled just this month, our 2013 Grand Reserve is such a wine. Awkward in its youth, this wine, selected from the most concentrated lots in the winery, has slowly evolved in barrel to reveal a smooth, satiny texture.

We intend to continue this method for our most concentrated lots — wines such as the Merlot Reserve and the Grand Reserve—and hope to achieve even more elegant results as we perfect our technique.

~ Bion Rice, Winemaker – November 29, 2014

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