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 with this club release, right on time! In addition to the Sauvignon Blanc and our coveted flagship Bordeaux blend, Eros, we’ve also selected a couple of our club favorite single varietal wines, including the Grenache SYV, and Petite Sirah from La Presa & Nolan Vineyard.
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 Grenache SYV
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||Varietal: 100% Grenache Noir |
Vineyard: 73% Rancho Del Prado, 12% La Presa, 12% Leiff, 3% Black Oak
AVA(s): 96% Santa Ynez Valley, 4% Alisos Cyn
|TECHNICAL SPECS||PH: 3.70 Acidity: 4.9 g/L Alcohol: 14%|
|TASTING NOTES||This wine shows an amazing velvety soft front, broadcasting racy fruits of raspberry, red currants, and orange zest. The characters consist of juniper, cranberries, white pepper, anise, cedar, tangerine zest, cinnamon, mace, roasted coffee beans, lavender, cloves, hibiscus, and almond marzipan.|
|WINEMAKING||Sunstone’s 2021 Grenache grapes were hand harvested at different times in October 2021 from four different vineyards. 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 and nutrients to balance the complexity of layers. Beginning October 10th through October 20th we inoculated each vineyard Grenache tonnage with one of these yeasts: Rhone 4600 and BM45. We then added the secondary bacteria prior to completing primary fermentation, to allow for a round mouth feel and soften tannin structure. The Grenache was racked to barrel and aged until blended in February 2022 and bottled in December 2022.|
|FOOD PAIRING||Smoked Turkey with Bourbon Orange Glaze with Smoked Paprika Sweet Potatoes Au Gratin and Pear Pomegranate Arugula Grilled Goat Cheese Salad|
2021 Petite Sirah
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||Varietal: 100% Petite Sirah |
Vineyard: La Presa & Nolan Vineyard
AVA(s): Santa Barbara County, Santa Ynez Valley
|TECHNICAL SPECS||PH: 3.46 Acidity: 6.1 g/L Alcohol: 13.2%|
|TASTING NOTES||The interplay of deep, dark fruits and savory aromas give this bottling a ripe and intriguing personality. The aromatics consist of blackberry, sage, cherry, minerality, sea salt, toasted almonds, and boysenberry. The characters consist of blackberry, cherry, elderberry, espresso, dark chocolate, peppercorn, smoke, and cedar, that lead into a lingering finish.|
|WINEMAKING||Sunstone’s 2021 Petite Sirah grapes were hand harvested from two 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 Rhone 4600 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||Chicken Pot Pie with Garden Vegetables, Shoot Peas and Roasted Potatoes|
2022 Sauvignon Blanc
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc |
Vineyard: Valley View, La Presa, Nolan
AVA(s): Alisos Cyn AVA, Santa Ynez Valley
|TECHNICAL SPECS||PH: 3.56 Acidity: 4.2 g/L Alcohol: 14.5%|
|TASTING NOTES||The voluminous aromatics of this wine resemble starfruit, grapefruit, pineapple, green apple, iris flower, and squash blossoms. From the front, mid-palate, to the finish, this wine exhibits zesty characters of jasmine, lemongrass, Meyer lemon, green apple, pine nuts, pineapple, apricot, grapefruit, and minerals, with a soft and smooth viscosity and finish.|
|WINEMAKING||Our 2022 Sauvignon Blanc grapes were sourced from Valley View Vineyard, La Presa Vineyard, and Nolan Ranch Vineyard. All three vineyards were hand harvested from our designated blocks. Our wine production team whole cluster pressed the juice into a stainless-steel tank, and then inoculated the juice to ferment for 14 days. |
Our winemaker’s yeast of choice was 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 MSB New Zealand yeast promotes and enhances the viscosity of the wine. The wine was sent through partial malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity.
|FOOD PAIRING||Seared Scallops with Basil Risotto|