Happy New Year!
We hope you and your families are safe and healthy! This Winter season has brought us many gifts, along with an exceptional amount of rain. As our vines slept through their mid-Winter dormancy, the gray clouds opened and brought a torrential downpour with them. Even so, the vines are largely at rest above ground with most of the growth cycle taking place below the soil. The grapevine’s valuable carbohydrate reserves are being amassed by the trunk and roots, serving as a vital energy source for spring when they awake from their sleep. Like the vines, the wine barrels are also at rest, and we are off to a good start to 2023. January is usually a quiet time at the winery, but with the stormy weather along with some new features being installed, it is anything but.
On to the wine! In our last member newsletter, we mentioned that our initial pick took place several weeks earlier than expected and we anticipated the remaining Harvest would be ahead of time, but then the temperatures began to cool and threw us for a loop. The remaining fruit came in on schedule, and we are thrilled to introduce a bottling of our 2022 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve with this club release, right on time! In addition to the Sauvignon Blanc Reserve and our coveted flagship Bordeaux blend, Eros, we’ve also included the Bordeaux/Rhone blend, Carmelo, and a single varietal Petit Verdot Reserve.
Read below for more details on all the wines in your club release
If you have been able to visit us recently, you may have noticed a few changes around the Sunstone Estate. Our teams have been working hard to provide newly refreshed spaces for you and your groups to enjoy. Along with the addition of our new Stage area, the remodel also features a newly revamped Rose Court (formerly Lavender Court) highlighted by a surrounding white rose garden, and our large Olive Courtyard directly inside of the main entrance archway is also undergoing a big redesign as well, with the addition of a large fountain installation in the center of the courtyard. We appreciate your patience as our team continues to work hard to make our spaces as beautiful and welcoming as possible for our wonderful wine club members!
Looking ahead to 2023, we will be offering exciting new events, and continuing your favorites, including the highly anticipated Eros Weekend from February 11th to 13th as well as a special segment of our “Voices & Vines” Opera in the Cave series on Valentine’s Day! Stay tuned for announcements about upcoming member events, benefits, and special projects. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for the most up to date happenings at Sunstone.
Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you at the Estate soon. Cheers!
WINES INCLUDED IN THIS SHIPMENT:
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||Varietal: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon |
AVA(s): Santa Ynez Valley
|TECHNICAL SPECS||PH: 3.74 Acidity: 5.3 g/L Alcohol: 13.8%|
|TASTING NOTES||Both powerful and graceful, our flagship wine is delicious on its own or a great companion to a fine meal. The lush aromas consist of blackberry, lavender, figs, black pepper, shale, clay, Earth tones, cherry, anise, and cloves. The character consists of blackberry, black licorice, black tea, peppercorn, cloves, figs, lavender, dark coffee bean, and cocoa nibs.|
|WINEMAKING||Sunstone’s 2020 Eros varietals were hand harvested from the Estate vineyard and its designated blocks during the month of October 2020. Our team crushed the fruit and fermented each lot individually and blended later in the aging process. The wine was fermented by using an assortment of yeast such as BM45, RC212 and D80 and nutrients to balance the complexity of layers. We then added the secondary bacteria prior to completing primary fermentation, which allows for a round mouth feel and softens tannin structure. The Eros was blended, racked to barrel, and aged until April 2021 and bottled in December 2022.|
|FOOD PAIRING||Slow Cooked Lamb, Red Curry Kale Stir Fry, with Creamy Three Cheese Polenta|
2021 Carmelo Reserve
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||Varietal: 68% Cabernet Franc, 22% Syrah, 10% Grenache|
Vineyard: 41% Great Oaks, 22% Leiff, 20% Coquelicot, 11% Rancho del Prado 3% Camp 4, 3% Pear Valley
AVA(s): 96% Santa Ynez, 4% Paso Robles
|TECHNICAL SPECS||PH: 3.76 Acidity: 5.2 g/L Alcohol: 14.3%|
|TASTING NOTES||A robust blend that is drinkable when young, with good long term aging potential. The aromas consist of blackberry, espresso, black currant, dark plum, dark chocolate, rose petal, cherry, crushed peppercorn. The characters consist of tobacco, black cherry, acai berry, cocoa, lavender, lilac, dates, dark chocolate, espresso on the finish.|
|WINEMAKING||Sunstone’s 2021 Carmelo blend is three varietals; one Bordeaux varietal and two Rhone style varietals. All varietals were hand harvested between September and October 2021. Our team crushed the fruit individually and blended February 2022. For each of the fermentations, we usedan assortment of yeast and nutrients to balance the layers from D80, BM45 and Rhone 4600. Each of these yeasts provide unique texture and character to enhance the wine’s full-bodiedpotential. |
Our team aged this wine in 25% New French Oak Barrels, 20% New American Oak and 55% Neutral Oak. Our winemaker’s yeast(s) of choice were D80, BM45 and Rhone 4600 which enhances sensory notes of dark berry, star anise, black pepper, 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 2021 Carmelo was bottled December 2022.
|FOOD PAIRING||Braised Beef Stew with Carrots, Leeks, Onions, Collard Greens, Potatoes and Tomatoes|
2021 Petit Verdot Reserve
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||Varietal: 100% Petit Verdot|
Vineyard: Nolan Vineyard, Lucas & Lewellen & Pear Valley (2%)
AVA(s): Santa Barbara County Santa Ynez Valley
|TECHNICAL SPECS||PH: 3.74 Acidity: 6.4 g/L Alcohol: 14.6%|
|TASTING NOTES||The voluminous and zesty aromas give this bottling a distinctive personality consisting of blackberry, boysenberry, figs, black pepper, Earl Grey tea, limestone, and Kefir lime. The character consists of blackberry, black licorice, plum, figs, black pepper, tart cherry, cedar, coffee, and cocoa nibs.|
|WINEMAKING||Sunstone’s 2021 Petit Verdot grapes were hand harvested from four vineyards in Santa Barbara County during the month of October 2021. Our team crushed the fruit and fermented each lot individually and blended later in the aging process. The wine was fermented by using an assortment of yeast such as RC212 and D80 and nutrients to balance the complexity of layers. We then added the secondary bacteria prior to completing primary fermentation, which allows for a round mouth feel and softens tannin structure. The Petite Sirah was racked to barrel and aged until blended March 2022 and bottled in December 2022.|
|FOOD PAIRING||Turkey Meat Balls with Garden Veggies and Homemade Spicey Habanero Tomato Sauce|
2022 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc|
Vineyard: 100% Nolan
AVA(s): Alisos Cyn AVA, Santa Barbara County
|TECHNICAL SPECS||PH: 3.69 Acidity: 4.4 g/L Alcohol: 14.2%|
|TASTING NOTES||The youthful aromas of this wine display a mélange of tropical fruits and melon, including honeydew, lychee, guava, starfruit, and jackfruit, complemented by bright notes of grapefruit and lemongrass. From the front, mid-palate to the finish, this wine exhibits characters of green apple, white peach, pear, lychee, plantain, and golden raisins, and a light red berry note.|
|WINEMAKING||Our 2022 Sauvignon Blanc grapes clone were sourced from Nolan Ranch Vineyard, and hand harvested from our designated block. Our wine production teamwhole cluster pressed the juice into a stainless-steel tank and then inoculated the juice to ferment for 10 days. |
Our winemaker’s yeast(s) of choice was an assortment of Ba11yeast, and MSB which each enhances sensory notes and brightens aromas of floral, lemongrass, tropical, stone fruit, pear, apricot, orange rind, green apple, grapefruit, and Meyer lemon. The Ba11 promotes tropical floral aromas and enhances the viscosity of the wine. The MSB is a traditional New Zealand yeast that enhances minerality, lemongrass and green apple notes of this crisp and dry Sauvignon Blanc. The wine was sent through partial malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity.
|FOOD PAIRING||Puerto Rican Beef & Plantains (Beef Mofongo)|