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Sunstone Signature Club Newsletter – Spring 2024

Signature Club

Spring 2024

Signature Club – Spring 2024 Release

As winter’s chill gives way to the warmth of sunny days, the Sunstone Estate vineyard is alive with the promise of a new season. After a rainier-than-expected past few months, vibrant Spring colors have returned to the vineyard and our resident “forest friends” are scampering about the Estate.  With a backdrop of lush, green mountains, the vineyards have fully awakened from their dormancy, bringing the arrival of “bud break” about three weeks ago.

Spring is arguably the most beautiful time of the year in Santa Ynez Valley, so it’s the perfect time to visit us at the Estate. In addition to our recent renovations and the addition of our new Cavetop Terrace, we will be offering a full slate of special events all year long to celebrate our 30th Anniversary in 2024.

We would love for you to join us from May 10th through 12th for our next Club Release weekend, including a Pizza Pickup Party.  Visit our Event Calendar for more information on this and future happenings at the Estate.

Your May Shipment

On to the details of your next wine shipment!  As part of our 30th Anniversary celebration, all of our wine club shipments this year will include special Reserve, Library, and highly rated wines for the same flat rate. That means some of your shipments could offer a savings of up to 35% off Retail price!

For this shipment, Signature Club members will receive the new 2022 Rapsodie, our signature “GSM” red blend with the jazz-themed art label, as well as the 2020 Soleil Rouge, which was rated 91 points by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Members that have chosen the Mixed option will receive the 2022 Viognier, SBC, which was also recently rated 91 points by Wine Enthusiast.  If you’ve chosen the Reds Only option, you’ll receive the 2020 Cabernet Franc Reserve, Paso Robles.

DON’T FORGET: With our new enhanced membership benefits, you now have the “Bottle Swap” option that lets you customize your shipment while still earning Rewards points that can be redeemed for discounts on future wine purchases.

Thank you again for your continued support.  Read below for more details on all the wines in your upcoming release. Cheers!

2022

Viognier, SBC

Retail: $35.00

Grape Blend and Source100% Viognier
Santa Ynez: La Presa Vineyard, Valley View Vineyard
Los Alamos: Los Alamos Vineyard (Lucas & Lewellen)
Technical SpecsPH: 3.41
Acidity: 5.6 g/L
Alcohol: 13.3%
Case Production638
Tasting NotesRefreshing aromas of white peach, pineapple and guava areaccented by spicy notes of cinnamon stickand star anise with vanilla bean in thebackground. Crisp on the palate withsubdued acidity and notes of ripe pear,honey, cedar and candied ginger rootculminating in a lingering finish.
Winemaking NotesThe grapes for our 2022 Viognier were hand-harvested from three different vineyards- one in Los Alamos, Santa Barbara County, and two in Santa Ynez Valley within two miles of the Sunstone Estate. Our team whole-cluster pressed each of the three lots separately as each vineyard was harvested and then fermented for 8-12 days before racking to two-year-old French oak barrels. Our winemaker’s yeasts of choice were BA11 & Rhone 4600, which enhance the sensory notes of tropical fruit, pineapple, guava, apricot, grapefruit, and floral characters of the Viognier varietal for a more aromatic balance. The Viognier was then aged in 90% French and 10% American oak barrels before being bottled to 638 cases in August 2023.
Food PairingRoasted black pepper white cheddar date wrapped bacon with smoked orange clove honey drizzle topped with freeze dried fennel.
CellaringThe 2022 Viognier should be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 18 months. It is not a candidate for long term aging.
Wine Bottle
2022

Rapsodie

Retail: $70.00

Grape Blend and Source65% Grenache, 26% Syrah, 9% Mourvèdre
Sunstone Estate vineyard and four partner vineyards in Santa Barbara County
Technical SpecsPH: 3.65
Acidity: 5.5 g/L
Alcohol: 14.0%
19 months in 45% new/55% neutral French oak
Case Production768
Tasting NotesThe 2022 Rapsodie’s enticing aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, and espresso give way to floral notes of jasmine and lavender with hints of spice and peppercorn in the background. Soft tannins and medium acidity on the palate meld with characters of dark plum, orange zest, cloves, and vanilla bean to provide complexity leading to a rich, elegant finish.
Winemaking NotesThe grapes for our 2022 Rapsodie were hand-harvested from five vineyards in Santa Barbara County, including the Sunstone Estate, between September 13th and October 19th, 2022. The grapes from each of the five vineyards were crushed, cold-soaked, and fermented separately. We then pressed the finished wine into tanks to settle before racking to French oak barrels. Each lot of wine was aged 18 months before our trial blending to finalize the complexity of these characters, textures, and aromas before the actual blending in March 2024.
Our winemaker’s yeasts of choice were RA17, D80, and BM45, which enhance sensory and tannin notes and illuminate the characteristics of bright berry, espresso, spice, cedar, licorice, and fresh floral bouquets. Each of Rapsodie’s varietals were sent through malolactic fermentation to reduce the sharp acidity of the malic acid. The Rapsodie blend was aged in 45% new and 55% neutral French Oak for 19 months before being bottled to 768 cases on April 5th, 2024.
Food PairingSlow-cooked lamb with pumpkin, eggplant, garlic, and kale
CellaringThe 2022 Rapsodie can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 4-8 years if stored in proper conditions.
Wine Bottle
2020

Soleil Rouge

Retail: $45.00

Grape Blend and Source83% Sangiovese, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot
Valley View, Coquelicot, and Lucas & Lewellen vineyards
Technical SpecsPH: 3.53
Acidity: 6.5 g/L
Alcohol: 13.3%
Case Production584
Tasting NotesOn the nose, you'll find delicious red fruit notes, including cherry liqueur, red currant, rhubarb and red plum. The palate is smooth and approachable with flavors of blackberry, cherry and spice, as well as hints of coffee and cocoa on the finish.
Winemaking NotesSoleil 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 PairingSpinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato-Butter Sauce.
CellaringThe 2020 Soleil Rouge can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 3-4 years if stored in proper conditions.
Wine Bottle
2020

Cabernet Franc, Reserve

Retail: $65.00

Grape Blend and Source100% Cabernet Franc
Pear Valley Vineyard, Paso Robles
Technical SpecsPH: 3.85
Acidity: 5.3 g/L
Alcohol: 13.9%
Case Production482
Tasting NotesSatisfying aromas of candied almonds, blackberries, and cherry liqueur, with abundant floral, herbal and spice notes. Balanced from start to finish, with black cherry, coffee bean, fig balsamic, and spice character interspersed throughout the palate.
Winemaking NotesThe grapes for our 2020 Cabernet Franc Reserve were hand harvested from Pear Valley Vineyard in Paso Robles on September 24th, 2020. Our team crushed the fruit into an open top tank for fermentation. Ten days later it was a dry wine, then pressed, settled, and sent through secondary fermentation in barrel. The wine was aged in 30% new French oak and 70% neutral oak barrels. Our winemaker’s yeast of choice was BM45 which is preferred because it influences the soft palate and roundness of the fruit, sweet spice, and rose - cherry liquor, licorice, cedar, and earthy elements of the wines characters. The wine was sent through malolactic fermentation to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity. Our 2020 Cabernet Franc was bottled to 482 cases on August 12th. 2022, after aging 23 months.
Food PairingCosta Rican Picadillo De Papa Style Tortilla Wrap, including, Potatoes, Slow Shredded Cooked Beef w/added plantains. Serve with Shredded Multicolored Cabbage, Carrots and Pineapple.
CellaringThe 2020 Cabernet Franc Reserve can be enjoyed now and for the next 4-8 years if stored in optimal conditions.
Wine Bottle

Important Dates

Last Day for Credit Card & Address Changes, and Bottle Swaps

April 29

Credit Cards are Charged

April 30

Club Orders Available for Pickup

May 10

Non-pickup orders Shipped out

May 13