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Reserve Club Newsletter- Summer 2022

SO MANY REASONS TO VISIT

After two years of restrictions, travel is back for the Summer of 2022!  As you map out your excursions for the rest of the year, there are plenty of reasons to add Sunstone to your itinerary.  From movie nights, to festivals, to the return of our annual STOMP member event, our calendar features something for everyone.  We are thrilled to have a full slate of activities to add value to your membership.

If you walk through our vineyards today, you’ll see clusters of small, green grapes hanging from the vines.  We are in the “fruit set” phase of our wine grapes’ annual journey of growth.  Veraison, the period of pigment development right before Harvest when the red wine grapes begin turning purple, is still a few weeks out, but Harvest comes quickly right after that. In the meantime, here is what else we have in store for you!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

If you didn’t attend our Eros celebration in February, or our first Wine & Movie Night last month, hopefully you made it to our Rapsodie Wine & Jazz Festival this past weekend.  If you missed any of these great experiences, we have many more in store.  We are happy to announce that after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, our annual STOMP member event is returning! We’ll be sending out more details soon, but in the meantime Save the Date of Saturday, September 17th.  Tickets will go on sale Friday, August 5th.  In addition to STOMP, here are just a few of the other dates to save (more being announced soon!):

  • Sunsets at Sunstone– We are now open until 8pm every Friday this Summer with a Food Truck and Live Music (closed August 19th).
  • July 23rd- Wine & Movie Night: “Encanto” (Complimentary for Member + 1 More Info and Tickets)
  • July 24th- Iris Rideau Book Signing and Meet & Greet
  • August 5th-7th: Fiesta Weekend & Summer Club Wine Release
  • August 13th: Wine & Movie Night: “High Noon” (Complimentary for Member + 1 More Info and Tickets)
  • September 17th: STOMP
  • October 29th: Masquerade Ball
  • November 4th-6th: Fall Club Release Weekend
  • December 9th-11th: Annual Holiday Festival
  • December 17th: Winter Solstice White Party
  • December 31st: New Year’s Eve Gala

On to the details of your next wine shipment!  In addition to our sought-after Estate Cabernet Franc and the iconic Villa Soleil blend, we are bringing back the Malbec Reserve that became so popular amongst members last year.  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 ChaRdonnay Reserve (MIXED CLUBS ONLY)

Retail: $45

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE100% Chardonnay
Spear Vineyard
TECHNICAL SPECSpH: 3.74
Acidity: 5.0 g/L
Alcohol: 14.4%
9 Months in 25% new French oak, 15% new American oak, and 60% Neutral oak
TASTING NOTESWarm aromas of toasted almonds, salted vanilla ice cream, cloves and Allspice play well with the lemon rind and pineapple notes on the nose. Light-bodied with a round mouthfeel, and bruised apple, cinnamon, lemongrass, honey, and smoke character on the palate.
WINEMAKINGThe grapes for our 2021 Chardonnay Reserve (Eden and Wente clones) were hand-harvested on September 22nd, 2021, from Spear Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. Our team whole cluster pressed the juice into a stainless tank to settle for two days before the inoculation for fermentation of both lees and juice. On the 6th day, bacteria culture was added for the secondary fermentation as the fermentation ended on the 10th day. Our winemaker’s yeast of choice was CY3079, which enhances sensory notes of Citrus, Pineapple, Vanilla, Cedarwood, Honey, and Floral characters. After spending nine months in a mix of new and neutral oak, the Chardonnay Reserve was bottled to 269 cases in June 2022.
FOOD PAIRINGPan-seared salmon with lemon garlic butter sauce
CELLARINGThe 2021 Chardonnay Reserve can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 3 years if stored in proper conditions.

 

2020 MALBEC RESERVE

Retail: $65

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE100% Malbec
Valley View, Lucas & Lewellen Los Alamos, Coqulicot, and Pear Valley vineyards
TECHNICAL SPECSpH: 3.87
Acidity: 5.1 g/L
Alcohol: 13.4%
20 months in 10% new American, 20% new French, and 70% neutral oak
TASTING NOTESLuscious aromas of raspberry preserves, blackberry jam, Earl Grey tea, figs, and vanilla extract on the nose. Round on the palate well-integrated tannins and character of blackberry, raspberry, pepper and currants with sea salt minerality on the finish.
WINEMAKINGThe grapes for our 2020 Malbec Reserve were hand-harvested from four different vineyards, three in Santa Barbara County and one in Paso Robles between the end of September 2020 and the end of October 2020. When the fruit from each vineyard arrived, it was crushed into bins and fermented separately, then pressed 12-14 days later to tank for settling before being racked to 30% new and 70% neutral oak barrels. The wine was blended and then aged for 20 months before being bottled to 582 cases in June 2022.
FOOD PAIRINGMoroccan Lamb Meatballs
CELLARINGThe 2020 Malbec Reserve can be enjoyed now and for an additional 5-8 years if stored in proper conditions.

 

2020 Villa SOleil

Retail: $70

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE44% Merlot, 34% Syrah, 22% Cabernet Franc
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
TECHNICAL SPECSpH: 3.68
Acidity: 5.2 g/L
Alcohol: 14.4%
19 months in 18% new and 82% neutral oak
TASTING NOTESDelightful aromas of lavender, figs, blackberry, and pomegranate complemented by notes of clove and raw cocoa. Soft tannins on the palate with cherry, white peppercorn and espresso character through to the finish.
WINEMAKINGThe Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah grapes for our Villa Soleil are hand-harvested each year from vines centered in front the Sunstone Villa. For the 2020 Villa Soleil, the grapes were hand-harvested by varietal and block on October 20th, 2020. The fruit were then crushed and destemmed together and cold soaked for two days before making the starter for the co-fermentation. Our winemaker’s yeast of choice was RC212 which enhances additional sensory notes Bing Cherry, Blackberry, Anise, Clove, and Cocoa. Our fermentation was 14 days, with the primary fermentation ending and the secondary fermentation beginning on the seventh day. We barrel aged this wine in a combination of 21% new French oak and 82% neutral oak for 19 months prior to hand bottling to 194 cases in July 2022.
FOOD PAIRINGMemphis-style BBQ Spareribs with Baked Mac & Cheese
CELLARINGThe 2020 Villa Soleil can be enjoyed now and for an additional 5-8 years if stored in proper conditions.

 

2020 Cabernet Franc, Estate

Retail: $70

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE100% Cabernet Franc
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
TECHNICAL SPECSpH: 3.81
Acidity: 5.1 g/L
Alcohol: 14%
20 months in 30% new/70% neutral French oak
TASTING NOTESRich aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, cherry pie, and jasmine coupled with notes of clove and dates. Well-structured on the palate with a soft berry front and notes of cocoa nibs, figs, and brown olives before settling in to the lingering finish.
WINEMAKINGOur 2020 Estate Cabernet Franc grapes were hand-picked from the Sunstone Estate Vineyard Block H on October 16th, 2020. Our team crushed the fruit, then cold soaked the grapes for 4 days before fermenting. Our winemaker’s yeast of choice was D80, which enhances sensory notes of Black Pepper, Blackberries, Olives, Anise, Floral, Cocoa Nib, and Espresso essence to the characters of the Cabernet Franc varietal for a more aromatic balance. Our fermentation took place in a stainless-steel tank where we had ultimate control for a longer fermentation of 18 days. Our secondary fermentation was added on the 10th day prior to finishing the primary fermentation. The wine was pressed to tank, settled, and racked to 30% new French oak barrels and aged for 20 months. The wine was bottled to 212 cases in June 2022.
FOOD PAIRINGGround Beef-Stuffed Bell Peppers with Cheddar or Mozzarella
CELLARINGThe 2020 Cabernet Franc, Estate can be enjoyed now and for the next 4-8 years if stored in optimal conditions.