A SUMMER OF GROWTH, IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
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 winegrapes’ annual journey of growth. Summer is perhaps the most exciting part of the grapes’ lifecycle because it provides the most tangible evidence of growth to the untrained eye: veraison. Veraison is the period of pigment development right before Harvest when the red wine grapes begin turning purple. While we’re still a few weeks out from veraison and a month and a half from starting Harvest, the signs of change and growth in the vines are evident.
In addition to the growth of the vines, Sunstone is also experiencing other kinds of growth:
- Our wine club membership has continued to grow and has now surpassed its pre-pandemic all-time high number of members.
- After harvesting a record 249 tons of grapes in 2020, we will be growing that number even higher in 2021.
- If you’ve been to the Estate recently, you know that we have substantially grown our guest seating capacity by about 50% in the past year, including being fully re-opened indoors.
- Even our hours have “grown”! We are now open until 8pm every Friday this Summer for Sunsets at Sunstone.
- We are also growing our physical footprint with plans to open an additional location in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone next Spring. This first-of-its-kind venue will include an exclusive members’ rooftop lounge overlooking the city, the beach and the mountains.
In more great news, we are happy to announce the return of our annual STOMP member event after having to cancel it for the first time ever in 2020. We’ll be sending out more details soon, but in the meantime Mark Your Calendars for Saturday, September 25th. Tickets will go on sale Monday, August 16th.
On to the details of your next wine shipment! In addition to the return of the popular Life & Sun and Five Eras, we are introducing a unique new blend called “Teddy’s”. This Reserve wine combines Carignan, Syrah and Grenache. The initial reviews internally by our staff give it phenomenal marks! 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:
2020 CHARDONNAY (MIXED CLUBS ONLY)
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||100% Chardonnay|
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.54|
Acidity: 5.4 g/L
9 months in 30% new/70% neutral French oak
|TASTING NOTES||The floral nose of white lily and honeysuckle is accented by citrus and tropical aromas and notes of white peach, vanilla, and oak bark. Brisk acidity on the palate meshes with notes of lemon rind, green apple, and pear, with underlying spice and candy character.|
|WINEMAKING||Our 2020 Chardonnay comes from the Wente clone planted in Lucas & Lewellen’s Goodchild Vineyard, known for its cool climate and clay and river gravel soils, which pass on the richness of the musty notes in the winemaking from soil to wine. The grapes were hand-harvested during the first week of September 2020. They were then whole-cluster pressed separately and the juice was transferred to a chilled tank for two days to settle, then racked to a stainless-steel tank for a 10-day fermentation using a French Burgundy-style yeast. The wine was racked off lees with 30% new French oak barrels including neutral and stainless to barrel age. Our two clones of Chardonnay were blended after four months and bottled after 9 months of aging. 437 cases produced.|
|FOOD PAIRING||Spicy habanero cilantro lime jackfruit carnitas tacos filled with grilled peaches and feta cheese.|
|CELLARING||The 2020 Chardonnay, SBC can be enjoyed now and for the next 12-18 months. It is not a candidate for long term aging.|
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||47% Carignan, 30% Syrah, 23% Grenache|
Santa Ynez Vineyard in Happy Canyon; Rancho Sisquoc Vineyard; Spear Vineyard
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.63|
Acidity: 7.6 g/L
20 months in 30% new/70% neutral French oak
|TASTING NOTES||Distinctive nose of lavender and hibiscus with a tart edge of rhubarb, red currant, and anise notes. Abundant red fruit on the palate, including raspberry leather, English Morello cherries, and red berries, with fresh acidity, subtle earthiness, and a lingering finish.|
|WINEMAKING||Named for one of our owners, Teddy Cabugos, the 2019 Teddy’s was hand-harvested from three coveted vineyards in Santa Barbara County, covering three different AVA regions. The grapes were crushed separately and were fermented using Rhone-style yeasts which enhance the cherry, raspberry leather, anise, and rhubarb notes. These varietals were blended and barrel-aged in French m+ 30% new oak barrels for 20 months. 535 cases produced.|
|FOOD PAIRING||Hawaiian barbeque, mesquite slow cooked pork shoulder topped with diced mango, pineapple, ginger reduction glaze served with potato salad and coleslaw.|
|CELLARING||The 2019 Teddy’s can be enjoyed now and for an additional 3-5 years if stored in proper conditions.|
2019 Life & Sun
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 8% Syrah, 4%|
Grenache Five different vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.69|
Acidity: 6.0 g/L
20 months in 20% new/80% neutral French oak
|TASTING NOTES||A plush medley of dark fruit on the nose, including notes of blackberry cobbler, wild blueberries, and dried raspberries, accented by black pepper and purple floral notes. Smooth and round in mouthfeel with flavors of cocoa, espresso, cedar, Earl Grey tea and blackberry fruit leather.|
|WINEMAKING||The four varietals for our Life & Sun blend were harvested from five vineyards in Santa Barbara County, from Los Alamos to Santa Ynez Valley. These vineyards have a combination of gravel, clay, loam, and sandy loam soil characters that play a role in the terroir influence of the minerality, earthiness, and chalkiness of this Bordeaux-Rhone-style blend. The dark heavy tannins of the Cabernet Sauvignon are balanced with the floral notes of the Grenache and Syrah. The wine was barrel-aged for 20 months, blended in April 2021, and bottled in June 2021. 535 cases produced.|
|FOOD PAIRING||Slow Cooked Barbeque Pulled Pork Finely Chopped Cabbage Dressed w/ Cilantro Garlic Aioli on Fresh Toasted Ciabatta Bread.|
|CELLARING||The 2019 Life & Sun can be enjoyed now and for an additional 4-8 years if stored in proper conditions.|
2019 Five ERas
|GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE||35% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot|
Sunstone Estate Vineyard; Area 51 Vineyard; Lucas & Lewellen Vineyard
|TECHNICAL SPECS||pH: 3.67|
Acidity: 5.9 g/L
20 months in 20% new/80% neutral French oak
|TASTING NOTES||Dark fruit aromas of ripe boysenberries, fresh figs, and blackberry reduction give way to spicy notes of clove, black peppercorns, and baking spices. On the palate, fine-grained tannins and juicy acidity come together nicely with notes of tobacco, black cherries and dark plums.|
|WINEMAKING||Five Eras is a Bordeaux-style blend that has a lot of Merlot to smooth out the heavier tannins in the Cabernet Sauvignon. The Bordeaux varietals from Santa Ynez Valley have more fruit-forward flavors and the Los Alamos fruit tends to have more tannin structure and less ripe fruit. The grapes were all harvested at different times of the month in October/November of 2019 and fermented with Bordeaux-style yeast to encompass the true combination of the Left and Right Bank style blends. These wines were blended in April 2021 and barrel-aged for 20 months, then bottled in June 2021. 338 cases produced.|
|FOOD PAIRING||New Zealand-style Lamb Chops seasoned with sizzled garlic, and Garlic Herbed Mashed Potatoes and Oven Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Parsnips.|
|CELLARING||The 2019 Five Eras can be enjoyed now and for an additional 4-6 years if stored in proper conditions.|