HARVEST IS IN FULL SWING!
“Hurry Up and Wait.” This well-known phrase perfectly describes the 2022 winegrape Harvest so far. While our region enjoys one of the most consistent and predictable grape growing climates in the world, sometimes Mother Nature can be fickle.
The first grapes from this year’s Harvest were picked on August 31st, which is several weeks earlier than expected. The pace of harvest sped up early due to extreme heat in the high 90s and low 100s for an extended period, which caused the fruit to ripen more quickly and in some cases forced us to harvest some fruit early to avoid sun damage. This had us anticipating that the rest of Harvest would be completed far ahead of schedule. And then…nothing.
In mid-September temperatures began to cool back down to normal and most of the fruit resumed its normal ripening schedule. Fruit has been coming in slowly but surely and as of this writing Harvest is about 60% complete. When all is said and done, our winemaker and cellar team anticipate bringing in over 200 tons of premium quality fruit not only from our own Estate vineyard but from 14 other esteemed vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County and Paso Robles. You can look forward to enjoying the whites and rosés from this harvest early next year and the reds in 2024 and 2025.
In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at the Estate for the Haunted Ball at the Sunstone Villa on October 29th, and then for Fall Club Release Weekend on November 4th to 6th.
Speaking of Club Release, let’s get into the details of your next shipment! In addition to our highly regarded Estate Merlot and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, our popular Rhone-style white blend Symphonie du Soleil is back, and we are introducing a new Cabernet Franc Reserve from Pear Valley Vineyard in Paso Robles. Read below for more details on all of the wines in your upcoming release.
Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you at the Estate soon. Cheers!
WINES INCLUDED IN THIS SHIPMENT:
2021 SYMPHONIe DU SOLEIL (MIXED CLUBS ONLY)
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||39% Viognier, 31% Picpoul Blanc, 15% Grenache Blanc, and 15% Roussanne|
La Presa, Nolan, Valley View, and Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.57|
9 months in 50% new/50% neutral oak
|TASTING NOTES||Delicate aromas of ripe apricots, white peach, and fresh pears with hints of vanilla and cloves, and a floral undercurrent. Minerality on the palate with character of ripe pears, lemongrass, Pink Lady apples, and key lime pie leading to a silky finish with a touch of acidity.|
|WINEMAKING||The four varietals for the 2021 Symphonie Du Soleil Rhone-style blend were hand harvested from four different vineyards on different dates in two AVAs in Santa Barbara County (Santa Ynez Valley, and Alisos Canyon). Our team whole cluster pressed the juice into stainless steel tanks each date the fruit arrived. The juice was inoculated 1-3 days after pressing. The wines were blended together on January 19, 2022 and aged in 50% new/50% neutral oak barrels.|
Our winemaker’s yeasts of choice were an assortment of Ba11, Rhone 4600, and Laffort Xymaflore VL2, which each enhance sensory notes and brighten aromas of floral, tropical, stone fruit, pear, apricot, orange rind, apple, citrus fruit. The wine was sent through malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity.
The 2021 Symphonie du Soleil was bottled to 165 cases in August 2022.
|FOOD PAIRING||Poached Sable Fish with lemon, garlic, white truffle, yellow curry spices served with grilled root veggies, carrots, and a side of garlic salt, pesto drizzled smashed rainbow-colored potatoes.|
|CELLARING||The 2021 Symphonie du Soleil can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 2 years if stored in proper conditions.|
2020 MERLOT RESERVE, ESTATE
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||100% Merlot|
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.76|
Acidity: 5.2 g/L
22 months in 20% new/80% neutral French oak
|TASTING NOTES||Intriguing nose of fresh black plums, lilac, and espresso, with spicy notes of cumin, cloves, and turmeric in the background. Soft front palate with dark chocolate, peppercorn, and espresso giving way to subtle fruit notes of warm berry cobbler and blackberries, ending with a warm, lingering finish.|
|WINEMAKING||Our Merlot blocks A, B, C, and D were hand harvested between September 1st and 6th, 2020. Our team crushed the fruit from each of the four blocks individually and fermented using an assortment of yeast and nutrients to balance the layers as we blended the wine later in the process.|
After each wine was dry, they were settled and racked. Then we blended specific percentages of the four Merlot Blocks into one final blend before aging. Our final blend consisted of Merlot A Block (21%), Merlot B Block (26%), Merlot C Block (17%), Merlot D Block (34%) and to balance the characters (2%) Estate Cabernet Franc was added to bring out more black pepper notes.
This wine was aged in 20% new French oak and 80% neutral oak for 22 months. Our winemaker’s yeasts of choice were D80, RC212 and BM45, which enhance sensory notes of dark berry, star anise, black pepper, and espresso, while also adding to the floral, spice and fruit aromatic balance. The wine was sent through malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity. Our 2020 Estate Merlot was bottled to 710 cases in August 2022.
|FOOD PAIRING||Tuscan Braised Beef rubbed w/Mediterranean Herbs, Lemon Black Pepper, Garlic, and Dried Spices. Served with Savory Corn Pudding with a side of Crunchy Roasted Kale, Bacon, and Brussel Sprouts.|
|CELLARING||The 2020 Merlot Reserve, Estate can be enjoyed now and for an additional 6-12 years if stored in proper conditions.|
2020 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, ESTATE
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.83|
Acidity: 5.2 g/L
22 months in 30% new/70% neutral French oak
|TASTING NOTES||Distinctive aromas of fresh figs, dusty mushrooms, and black currants, accented by notes of tobacco, Five-spice, cocoa nibs, and oak toast. Well balanced on the palate with dry, integrated tannins, abundant dark berries, and crushed peppercorns, with toasted almonds on the finish.|
|WINEMAKING||Our 2020 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were hand-harvested on October 16th, 2020. Our team crushed the fruit into a small tank for fermentation, then pressed the fruit 10 days later as it was dry and sent through secondary fermentation in barrel and aged in barrels (30% new French oak, and 70% neutral oak).|
Our winemaker’s yeast of choice was D80 which enhances tannin characters of plum, spice, cherry liquor, pepper, and floral aromas as well as stabilizes color from the pigment of the skins and tannins.
Our Cabernet Sauvignon was sent through malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity. It was bottled to 145 cases in August 2022.
|FOOD PAIRING||Braised Lamb Shank w/Au Jus, over, Mushroom Parmesan Risotto|
|CELLARING||The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate can be enjoyed now and for an additional 8-15 years if stored in proper conditions.|
2020 Cabernet FranC RESERVE
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||100% Cabernet Franc|
Pear Valley Vineyard, Paso Robles
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.85|
Acidity: 5.3 g/L
23 months in 30% new/70% neutral French oak
|TASTING NOTES||Satisfying aromas of candied almonds, blackberries, and cherry liqueur, with abundant floral, herbal and spice notes. Balanced from start to finish, with black cherry, coffee bean, fig balsamic, and spice character interspersed throughout the palate.|
|WINEMAKING||The grapes for our 2020 Cabernet Franc Reserve were hand harvested from Pear Valley Vineyard in Paso Robles on September 24th, 2020. Our team crushed the fruit into an open top tank for fermentation. Ten days later it was a dry wine, then pressed, settled, and sent through secondary fermentation in barrel.|
The wine was aged in 30% new French oak and 70% neutral oak barrels. Our winemaker’s yeast of choice was BM45 which is preferred because it influences the soft palate and roundness of the fruit, sweet spice, and rose - cherry liquor, licorice, cedar, and earthy elements of the wines characters. The wine was sent through malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity. Our 2020 Cabernet Franc was bottled to 482 cases on August 12th. 2022, after aging 23 months.
|FOOD PAIRING||Costa Rican Picadillo De Papa Style Tortilla Wrap, including, Potatoes, Slow Shredded Cooked Beef w/added plantains. Serve with Shredded Multicolored Cabbage, Carrots and Pineapple.|
|CELLARING||The 2020 Cabernet Franc Reserve can be enjoyed now and for the next 4-8 years if stored in optimal conditions.|