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!
On to the details of your next wine shipment! The May release is a member favorite. In addition to Rapsodie, our signature Rhône-style “GSM” blend with the “jazzy” label, this shipment includes our popular “Super Tuscan” style blend, Soleil Rouge. Read below for more details on all of the wines in your upcoming release! Cheers!
WINES INCLUDED IN THIS SHIPMENT:
2021 VIOGNIER, SBC (MIXED CLUBS ONLY)
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||100% Viognier|
Valley View, La Presa and Lucas & Lewellen vineyards
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.36|
5 months in 18% new/82% neutral American oak
|TASTING NOTES||Pretty aromas of Asian apple-pear, honeysuckle, and tropical fruit, with underlying floral notes of lilac and jasmine. Refreshing minerality and citrus character on the initial taste transforms into brisk acidity and warm notes of vanilla and cinnamon on the mid-palate, leading to an extended finish.|
|WINEMAKING||The 2021 Viognier fruit was hand-harvested in September and October 2021 from three vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley and Los Alamos. The three separate lots of Viognier were each whole cluster pressed, then cold soaked for up to two days to settle solids (lees) and inoculate the juice for the fermentation process. The three resulting wines were then blended to percentage by the results of trial blending, to taste. Our winemaker’s yeasts of choice were Rhone4600 and BA11, which enhance additional sensory notes of pear, apricot, pineapple, grapefruit, peach, honey 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 24% new/76% neutral American oak for five months before being bottled to 820 cases in March 2022.|
|FOOD PAIRING||Roasted black pepper white cheddar date wrapped bacon with smoked orange clove honey drizzle topped with freeze dried fennel.|
|CELLARING||The 2021 Viognier should be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 18 months. It is not a candidate for long term aging.|
|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 SOLEIL ROUGE
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||83% Sangiovese, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot|
Valley View, Coquelicot, and Lucas & Lewellen vineyards
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.53|
19 months in 10% new French oak, 8% new American oak, and 82% neutral oak
|TASTING NOTES||An abundance of red fruit notes on the nose, including cherry liqueur, red currant, rhubarb, and red plum. Easy-drinking and approachable on the palate with blackberry, cherry and spice attributes and plenty of coffee and cocoa character on the finish.|
|WINEMAKING||Soleil Rouge is Sunstone's popular Super Tuscan-style blend. The grapes for Sunstone’s 2020 Soleil Rouge were hand-harvested from three vineyards in two different styles of terroirs in Santa Barbara County (Santa Ynez Valley). Between the first to third week of October 2020, our team crushed, cold soaked, fermented, and pressed each of the four varietals 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. |
Our winemaker’s yeasts of choice were RC212, BM45, and D80, which enhance sensory and tannin notes and character of bright rich berry, spice, cedar, licorice, earthy tones and essence of the four varietals that are aged together in this unique blend.
The wine was sent through malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity. This wine shows an amazing velvety soft front broadcasting its fruit, floral and spice attributes as it remains complex from start to finish the wine finished with the oak tannin characters of cocoa and coffee. Our Soleil Rouge Blend was aged in 10% New French Oak + 8% New American Oak for 19 months before bottling to 584 cases in March 2022.
|FOOD PAIRING||Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato-Butter Sauce|
|CELLARING||The 2020 Soleil Rouge can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 3-4 years if stored in proper conditions.|
2020 SYRAH, SBC
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||100% Syrah|
Coquelicot, Black Oak and Spear vineyards
|TECHNICAL SPECS||PH: 3.70|
Acidity: 5.50 g/L
19 months in 18% new/82% neutral French oak
|TASTING NOTES||Fruit-forward nose of Bing cherry and strawberry rhubarb pie aromas, with dark chocolate and black pepper notes underneath. Lean and jammy on the palate with cherry cola and black licorice character and a medley of spices leading to rich finish.|
|WINEMAKING||The fruit for our 2020 Syrah was hand harvested from three vineyards in three AVAs (Alisos Canyon, Sta. Rita Hills, and Santa Ynez Valley). The second week of October 2020, our team crushed the fruit from two vineyards, then cold soaked the grapes for 5 days before fermenting. At the completion and pressing of the co-fermented Syrah we then harvested from a vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills in late October 2020, then fermented and processed independently before blending. The wines were aged separately in American Oak for two months then the winemaker fine-tuned the wine by blending 8% Syrah from the Sta. Rita Syrah Vineyard. |
Our winemaker’s yeasts of choice were RA17 and Rhone4600, which enhances sensory notes of Bing cherry, licorice, black pepper, anise, and espresso to the characters of the Syrah varietal for a more aromatic balance. Our Syrah was aged in 18% new/82% neutral oak barrels for 19 months before being bottled to 580 cases in March 2022.
|FOOD PAIRING||Berry Cherry Chipotle BBQ Chicken Sandwich|
|CELLARING||The 2020 Syrah, SBC can be enjoyed now and for the next 4-5 years if stored in optimal conditions.|