EVENTS ARE BACK IN 2022!
Spring has sprung! Two weeks ago we had our first “bud break” in the vineyard, which signals the rebirth of the vines as they come out of winter hibernation and start their annual growth cycle. As we watch the vines get greener and fuller throughout the year in preparation for harvest in the Fall, there will be a lot going on simultaneously at the Tasting Room, Villa and beyond.
In the next couple weeks we will be publishing a full 2022 event calendar! If you haven’t been to the Estate recently, there will be plenty of occasions for you to come visit us again soon as this year’s event schedule will include something for everyone. In addition to continuing our popular “Sunsets at Sunstone” Friday night extended hours program this summer, we will be announcing dates for the following events very soon:
- Rapsodie Jazz Festival
- Member Appreciation Party
- Outdoor Movie Nights
- Opera Nights
- Winemaker Dinners
- Fiesta Weekend
- Masquerade Ball
- Holiday Festival
- Winter Solstice White Party
- New Year’s Eve Gala
Sunstone members will receive discounted, and in some cases free, admission to most events, as well as advance/priority booking before the general public. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for the most up to date happenings at Sunstone!
In the meantime, let’s talk about your next wine shipment! For Reserve Club members, the May release is a favorite. In addition to Rapsodie, our signature Rhône-style “GSM” blend with the “jazzy” label, this shipment includes our only white varietal grown on the Estate (Linda’s Viognier), our revered Estate Syrah, and the cellar-worthy Fred’s Red (formerly Founder’s Reserve). Read below for more details on all of the wines in your upcoming release!
WINES INCLUDED IN THIS SHIPMENT:
2021 LINDA’S ESTATE VIOGNIER (MIXED CLUBS ONLY)
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||100% Viognier|
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.36|
6 months in 35% new/65% neutral American oak
|TASTING NOTES||Warm notes of toasted almonds and fresh popped kernels on the nose with subtle hints of lemongrass, pear, and dried pineapple in the background. Initially soft on the palate with lime zest and white raspberry character, white pepper in the middle, and an elegant floral finish.|
|WINEMAKING||Named for Sunstone's late founder, Linda Rice, our Linda's Viognier is the only white varietal grown at the Sunstone Estate. The 2021 Linda's Viognier fruit was hand-harvested at 3:00am on September 17, 2021 and October 2021. The Viognier was then whole cluster pressed and cold soaked for three days to settle solids (lees) and inoculate the juice for the fermentation process for 10 days before racking to American oak barrels for aging and to complete secondary ("malolactic") fermentation. Our winemaker’s yeast of choice was Rhone4600, which enhances additional sensory notes of pear, apricot, pineapple, grapefruit, and floral characters, as well as tropical fruit. The wine was sent through malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity. The 2021 Viognier was then aged in 35% new/65% neutral American oak for six months before being bottled to 211 cases in March 2022.|
|FOOD PAIRING||Roasted Chioggia and Golden Beets, white wine spiced poached pear with three Italian grated cheeses over arugula drizzled with Sunstone Balsamic Tuscan Olive Oil Blend and cracked black pepper.|
|CELLARING||The 2021 Linda’s Viognier can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 3 years if stored in proper conditions.|
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||68% Grenache, 27% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre|
Sunstone Estate vineyard, and six additional vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.75|
19 months in 8% new American oak, 7% new French oak and 85% neutral oak
|TASTING NOTES||Rich and indulgent nose full of blackberry, black cherry, fresh blueberries, and plum, mixed with purple floral aromas. Dry tannins with berry and spice character across the entirety of the palate, with coffee and tobacco meeting cherry and black pepper notes to accentuate the long, warm finish.|
|WINEMAKING||The fruit for Sunstone’s 2020 Rapsodie “GSM” blend was hand-harvested from seven different vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley. In addition to the Sunstone estate, the fruit came from Spear, La Presa, Rancho Del Prado, Refugio Ranch, El Camino and Coquelicot vineyards. Between September and October 2020, our team crushed, cold soaked, fermented, and pressed each of the three varietals separately as they were harvested. Each lot of wine was aged for seven months before our trial blending to finalize the complexity of these characters, textures, and aromas prior to the actual blending in May 2021. Our winemaker’s yeasts of choice were D80 and BM45, which enhances sensory and tannin notes and characters of bright berry, spice, cedar, licorice and earth tones. |
The wine was sent through malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity. This wine shows many layers from the elevation and terroirs from each vineyard’s soils and minerals. The tannin texture is soft and dry as it broadcasts its lavender floral, berry and spice characters as it remains complex from start to finish. The Rapsodie finishes beautifully with the oak tannin characters of spice, earth, and smoked coffee beans. Our Rapsodie blend was aged in 15% French and American Oak for 19 months before bottling March 2022.
|FOOD PAIRING||Mediterranean Beef and Bean Stew with Roasted Rhubarb Salad|
|CELLARING||The 2020 Rapsodie can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 4-8 years if stored in proper conditions.|
2020 SYRAH, ESTATE
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||100% Syrah|
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.87|
18 months in 20% new French oak, 20% new American oak; and 60% neutral oak
|TASTING NOTES||Earthy aromas on the nose with notes of fig, espresso, and black olives taking center stage and Rainier cherries, boysenberry and blueberries serving as a backdrop. Well-structured on the palate with medium-high acidity balancing the flavors of black pepper, cedar, dark plum and coffee bean.|
|WINEMAKING||The fruit for our 2020 Estate Syrah was hand harvested from the E and F blocks of the Sunstone Estate vineyard during the first week of October 2020. We crushed the fruit from each block separately, then cold soaked the grapes for 4 days before fermenting them individually. We then pressed the wine as we racked the wines to new and neutral American oak for aging. Our winemaker’s yeasts of choice were Rhone4600 & D80, which enhances sensory notes of Bing cherry, black pepper, anise, espresso, and floral essence. |
The wine was sent through malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity. The wine from each of the Estate blocks were aged separately, and blended three months after fermentation by percentage to taste. The wine was aged in 20% new American, 20% new French oak and 60% neutral oak for 18 months before bottling to 222 cases in March 2022.
|FOOD PAIRING||Grilled Plum Barbeque Burgers with Pepper Bacon|
|CELLARING||The 2020 Estate Syrah can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 6-8 years if stored in proper conditions.|
2020 FRED’S RED reservE
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||61% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc|
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.75|
19 months in 22% new/78% neutral French oak
|TASTING NOTES||Refined aromas of boysenberry preserves and blackberry cobbler are framed by black pepper, spice and tobacco notes. Beautifully balanced and complex on the palate, with powdery tannins complementing cherry, raspberry, cocoa and black truffle character. A bevy of spices and tobacco smoke on the enjoyable finish.|
|WINEMAKING||Named for Sunstone's founder, Fred Rice, the Fred's Red Reserve has gone by other names in the past, including Founder's Reserve. This estate blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc is made in the style of the Pomerol region of the Right Bank of Bordeaux in France. The fruit for Sunstone’s 2020 Fred’s Red Reserve was hand-harvested from five blocks of Sunstone’s Estate vineyard and made grape to wine in separate lots. During harvest October 2020, our team crushed, cold soaked, fermented, and pressed each of the two varietals by block separately as they were harvested. Each lot of wine was aged for four months before our trial blending to finalize the complexity of these characters, textures, and aromas prior to the actual blending in February 2021. Our winemaker’s yeasts of choice were RC212, D80 and BM45, which enhance sensory and tannin notes and the character of black pepper, bright berry, tobacco, licorice, earthy tones. |
The wine was sent through malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity. This wine shows many layers from the elevation and terroir of our vineyard soils and minerals. The tannin texture is soft and dry as it’s broadcasting its dominance of black pepper, dark berry, smoke and spice characters as it remains complex from start to finish. The Fred’s Red finishes beautifully with the oak tannin characters of spice, earth, and smoked coffee beans. Our blend was aged in 22% New French Oak for 19 months before bottling to 212 cases in March 2022.
|FOOD PAIRING||Blackberry-Ancho Balsamic Glazed Lamb Chops With organic arugula and Brulée fresh fig|
|CELLARING||The 2020 Fred's Red Reserve can be enjoyed now and for the next 8-15 years if stored in optimal conditions.|