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Reserve Club Newsletter- Summer 2020

CHANGING SEASONS:

FROM QUARANTINE TO RE-OPENING TO HARVEST

“As seasons change, life changes!” – Author Lily Amis

No quote could more accurately sum up 2020 to date.  As Winter turned to Spring, we were all forced to adapt to a new way of life away from each other and to sacrifice many of the activities we love, all for the greater good. Then as Spring turned to Summer, the days started to brighten, both literally and figuratively.  In our case, that meant being able to safely re-open our doors to you for wine tasting, although different from the past. Thank you for sticking through the tough times with us.  We cannot express how much gratitude we have for your continued support.

In the month-plus since we’ve re-opened, we’ve enjoyed seeing those of you that have been able to join us at the Estate.  And we understand some of you aren’t ready to do that yet. For those in the latter situation, we hope your quarterly wine club shipments will keep you connected to us from afar until you are able to join us here again.

In addition to the exciting new releases in this shipment (detailed below), we are looking forward to opening our new Member Tasting Lounge sometime in the next month (more details to come).  And before you know it, Harvest will be here! While the grapes aren’t quite ready to be picked yet, it won’t be long before our winemakers and cellar team are busy 24/7 bringing in a record 200+ tons of fruit to make more outstanding wines you’ll love.

Until then, read below for more details on all of the wines in your upcoming release. Cheers!

WINES INCLUDED IN THIS SHIPMENT:

2018 CHARDONNAY RESERVE (MIXED CLUBS ONLY)

Retail: $45

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE100% Chardonnay
La Presa Vineyard
TECHNICAL SPECSPH: 3.27
Acidity: 6.42 g/L
Alcohol: 14%
18 months in neutral French oak
TASTING NOTESAroma: This chardonnay two clone blend has a bouquet of lychee nut. lemon zest, vanilla, marzipan, toasted hazelnut, and honeycomb.
Palate: Jasmine, citrus, lychee fruit, tart apple, vanilla, apricot white tea, and hickory smoke.
WINEMAKINGOur Santa Ynez Valley Chardonnay clones were hand harvested from a local family vineyard within 2 miles of Sunstone Winery. The Hyde Clone was fermented in a hyper-oxidation method, as the clone 4 was traditionally whole cluster pressed and the juice was fermented. After fermentations the two clones were blended together to merge the winemaking styles, textures of the tannins, and characters from grape to wine layers it provides to us in every sip. Our winemaking team aged the wine in neutral French Oak for 18 months before it was filtered and bottled in May 2020.
FOOD PAIRINGArugula Salad with Lychee fruit, strawberry, blueberries, goat cheese, sliced almonds, dried dates, cracked pepper drizzled with thyme- cilantro avocado dressing. If you are serving this entrée as a main course the winemaker recommends topping the salad off with a Cajun style chicken.
CELLARINGThe 2018 Chardonnay Reserve can be enjoyed now and for the next 3-4 years if stored in optimal conditions.

 

2018 CABERNET FRANC, ESTATE

Retail: $65

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE100% Cabernet Franc
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
TECHNICAL SPECSPH: 3.68
Acidity: 5.45g/L
Alcohol: 14.6%
17 months in 30% new/70% neutral French oak
TASTING NOTESAroma: Fresh ground pepper, ground almond butter, dried figs, blackberry fruit leather, red currants, elderberry, green clay minerals and hints of thyme and sage. Palate: Our medium bodied Cabernet Franc has pounced characters in the front pallet similar to dry tobacco leaves, black pepper, and boysenberries. In the mid pallet; sage, red current, tart plum which evolves into a lingering warm dry tannin finish of brown olives, and blackberries.
WINEMAKINGOur Estate Cabernet Franc was hand harvested in harvest 2018, crushed into an open top fermenter and fermented up to 14 days before being pressed and racked to barrel to begin the secondary malolactic fermentation. Our Cabernet Franc is best to age in oak for 16-20 months, the 2018 was aged in 30% new French Oak for 17 months. 196 cases produced.
FOOD PAIRINGPork loin stuffed with goat cheese, applewood bacon, dates, sundried tomatoes, brushed with Meyer lemon-herbed avocado oil topped with spicy blackberry & crushed pepper chutney.
CELLARINGThe 2018 Cabernet Franc, Estate can be enjoyed now and for the next 4-6 years if stored in optimal conditions.

 

2018 VILLA SOLEIL

Retail: $65

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE54% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, 22% Syrah
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
TECHNICAL SPECSPH: 3.62
Acidity: 5.82g/L
Alcohol: 14%
17 months in 25% new/75% neutral French oak
TASTING NOTESAroma: dark berries espresso, cocoa nibs, floral tea leaf, pepper, and chalky limestone. Palate: blackberries, cloves, cocoa nibs, cedar, tart cherries, chamomile, light bodied finish.
WINEMAKINGOur Villa Soleil is hand harvested each year from vines centered in front the Sunstone Villa which is exclusively made for our Estate/Reserve Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah Blend made into a small craft wine which is offered in our wine clubs and served in our tasting room.
Each vintage we notice the espresso, anise, cocoa nibs, chamomile, black pepper, limestone minerals, tart cherry, ripe blackberry characters and aromas as the wine opens up it has a nice elegant pallet and light bodied finish.
Each year Sunstone’s winemaking team uses a specialty Bordeaux yeast to help enhance and restore these amazing layers and to add to the balance of the oak tannins which this blend is aged in up to 25% new French oak barrels for 17 months. 176 cases produced.
FOOD PAIRINGSkirt Steak topped with spicy grilled peach tamarind tree fruit chutney served with garlic- lemon pepper goat cheese mashed potatoes and broccolini.
CELLARINGThe 2018 Villa Soleil can be enjoyed now and for the next 6-8 years if stored in optimal conditions.

 

2018 SYRAH RESERVE

Retail: $65

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE100% Syrah
Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley
TECHNICAL SPECSPH: 3.51
Acidity: 6.28 g/L
Alcohol: 14.5%
18 months in 40% new/60% neutral French oak
TASTING NOTESAroma: espresso, white cherries, raspberry, red currants, pink peppercorns, vanilla bean. Palate: cherries, golden raspberries, anise, cloves, red spiced curry.
WINEMAKINGOur reserve Syrah was hand harvested from Santa Ynez Valley, and aged in 40% New American oak barrels for 18 months. 331 cases produced.
FOOD PAIRINGRed Curry Stew with slow cooked bison, fennel, potatoes, parsnip, carrots, herbs and spices over garlic parmesan quinoa and black beans.
CELLARINGThe 2018 Syrah Reserve can be enjoyed now and for the next 4-5 years if stored in optimal conditions.