Sunstone Club Newsletter- Spring 2021



Spring has sprung!  Last week 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.  This year in particular, we view this natural phenomenon as a metaphor for our greater world.  The “rebirth” in this case is the light we can see at the end of the pandemic tunnel.  With our governor announcing that our state should return to something resembling normalcy by June 15th, we are looking forward to picking up where we left off before our world changed a little over a year ago.

Specifically, we plan on re-opening indoors as soon as we are permitted, and we are excited about debuting some new tasting spaces for you to enjoy.  We have also begun planning a full schedule of events for the second half of the year, including the possible return of our annual STOMP member event after a hiatus in 2020.

In the meantime, let’s talk about your next wine shipment!  The May release is a member favorite.  In addition to Rapsodie, our signature Rhône-style “GSM” blend, 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!

Thank you again for your continued support.  We look forward to seeing you at the Estate soon.  Cheers!



Retail: $35

Four vineyards in Santa Barbara County (Valley View, Roblar, La Presa and Carrari)
Acidity: 5.3g/L
Alcohol: 14.4%
2 months in stainless steel, then 3 months in neutral French oak
TASTING NOTESBeautiful nose of lemongrass, fresh-cut pear, agave nectar and orange blossom, accented by floral notes of lilac and white flowers. Light on the palate with bright acidity. Green apple and white peach character is delicately meshed with undertones of vanilla, cloves and cedar, leading to a long, enjoyable finish.
WINEMAKINGThe 2020 Viognier fruit was hand harvested separately from four Vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley and Los Alamos. The Viognier was whole cluster pressed, and the juice was transferred to a chilled tank for three days each during different dates, then inoculated/fermented with a French Rhone style yeast for an average of 10 days. The wine remained in stainless tanks two months before being transferred to (2%) New American oak barrels and (20%) neutral French Oak, and then each designated Viognier was carefully blended into the final Santa Barbara County Viognier, which was then racked to neutral French oak barrels for two additional months. Our 2020 Viognier was bottled to 927 cases in March 2021.
FOOD PAIRINGSkewered Garden Roasted Vegetables w/ Thai Basil, Orange Oil Balsamic Drizzle
CELLARINGThe 2020 Viognier should be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 18 months. It is not a candidate for long term aging.



Retail: $65

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE59% Grenache, 29% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre
Sunstone Estate vineyard, and Roblar and Coquelicot vineyards
Acidity: 5.3g/L
Alcohol: 14.3%
17 months in neutral French oak
TASTING NOTESAn abundance of dark fruit on the nose, including notes of blackberries, black plums, boysenberries and fresh figs, with underlying hints of chocolate and espresso. On the palate, fruit character is supplanted by notes of cherry cola, tobacco, and almonds before culminating in a smooth finish.
WINEMAKINGThe Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre fruit for the 2019 Rapsodie was hand harvested from three vineyards within a five mile radius of Sunstone, all of which practice organic farming. The fruit was harvested in the morning and then crushed/de-stemmed into a chilled tank as separate lots. We blended the components of this wine in June 2020. The blend and its lots were in barrel for 17 months before being bottled to 586 cases in March 2021.
FOOD PAIRINGItalian Beef Braciola (rolled stuffed meat, in sauce), a Southern Italian dish slow rich simmered tomato sauce with beef, prosciutto, garlic, herbs.
CELLARINGThe 2019 Rapsodie can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 4-8 years if stored in proper conditions.



Retail: $45

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE71% Sangiovese, 16% Cabernet Franc, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vineyard in Los Alamos, Santa Barbara County
Acidity: 5.64g/L
Alcohol: 14.8%
18 months in 30% new/70% neutral French oak
TASTING NOTESIntriguing aroma of blackberries, plums, fresh black peppercorns and coffee beans with notes of coriander and lavender flower buds. Tart cranberry and dried figs on the palate with woody and clay notes surrounded by buoyant acidity.
WINEMAKINGThe Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon fruit for the 2019 Soleil Rouge was hand harvested from a vineyard in Los Alamos in northern Santa Barbara County at 25.5 brix/sugar, between September and October 2019, in the evening and then crushed/de-stemmed into a chilled tank, in the morning. We allowed for these varieties to age as separate lots until blending them in February 2021 and bottling to 795 cases in March 2021.
FOOD PAIRINGBratwurst grilled vegetable (mushroom, bell peppers, onions) and melted pepper jack sandwich
CELLARINGThe 2019 Soleil Rouge can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 3-4 years if stored in proper conditions.



Retail: $45

Roblar and Coquelicot vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley
Acidity: 5.12 g/L
Alcohol: 14.4%
17 months in 18% new/82% neutral French oak
TASTING NOTESEarthy aroma with notes of black cherries, figs, and capers, complemented by the spicy character of cloves and cumin. On the palate, there is noticeable oak character and hints of bitter cocoa that frame the notes of various dark fruits, coffee bean, and black licorice.
WINEMAKINGThe Syrah fruit was hand harvested from two vineyards at 24 brix/sugar, in October 2019, in the morning and then crushed/de-stemmed into a chilled tank. As we hand-picked these vineyards, they were crushed de-stemmed, cold soaked for up to three days as we then inoculated with yeasts & nutrients to take over the natural fermentation from the grapes' yeasts as they initiated the starting point of the fermentations. After 15 days of fermentation, we sent each wine to barrel, and each lot by June 2020. Our Syrah was aged in 18% New/82% Neutral oak barrels for 17 months before being bottled to 460 cases in March 2021.
FOOD PAIRINGCuban Style Roasted Suckling Pig with creamy garlic Cole slaw, rice and black beans.
CELLARINGThe 2019 Syrah, SYV can be enjoyed now and for the next 4-5 years if stored in optimal conditions.