Sunset Hills Red is made from 77% Cabernet Franc, 9% Tannat, 8% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
Notes of brambled blackberry, raspberry, plum, and forest floor. Light in body, leaning on acidity rather than tannins. Youthful and vibrant!
The lighter style that Sunset Red offers widens the scope of the wines here at Sunset Hills Vineyard. Delicate and youthful, the structure of the Sunset Red is carried by its acidity and bright fruit notes, rather than heavy oak or tannins. We want this wine to be enjoyed young—with the fruit notes still bright and vibrant.
Sunset Hills Shenandoah Springs Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
This is our first release of a clone-specific wine for Sunset Hills. The goal is to show you a specific terroir, one that year after year delivers excellent fruit quality. I chose clone 96 for its complexity both in ripening and barrel aging. During ripening, the fruit has notes of pineapple and pear with great acidity. I saw this wine as a chance to highlight not only the vineyard, but how detailed we can get in growing and making wine.
75% Clone 96
20% Clone 76
5% Clone 17
Notes of light honeysuckle, Asian pear, raw almond, and lemon custard. Medium body and medium acid.
Sunset Hills Dusk is made from 100% Chambourcin.
Showing youthful bright fruit aromatics of baked apple pie, vanilla, and cigarbox spice. Medium-bodied with a nice balance of sweetness and weight, spice and caramel filled finish.
Chambourcin has proven to be a great varietal for this port-style wine. Offering great black fruit notes such as plum and blueberry, this varietal carries the weight of this bold style quite well. The wine was aged partially in whiskey barrels to give an edgier approach to such a concentrated wine.
Deep red in color, this wine is silky on the palate, with ripe, jammy fruit and a powerfully long finish that is pleasant and slightly smokey. A rich, age-worthy wine.
Handling: Hand-picked, chilled, destemmed, lightly crushed into bins and tanks Pre-ferment: 0 – 4 day cold soak. Yeast: Inoculated: – various strains. Fermentation: average of 10 days. 15 years old vines.
Avennia Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard is made from 100% Cabernet Franc.
This very limited bottling shows the compelling potential of Cabernet Franc from a top vineyard. Though it’s often used as a spice in Avennia's Bordeaux blends, this wine, from the legendary Champoux Vineyard, has its own unique character and complexity that convinced them to feature it alone.
“Featuring a dark garnet color, this year’s Cabernet Franc opens with dark red cherry, boysenberry, damp earth, winter mint, and hints of rose petal on the nose. The palate is weighty, full-bodied, and complex, with mulberry, tobacco leaf, earthy notes, and savory herbs, kept lively with bright acidity. One of the standouts of the vintage, this beauty can stay in the cellar another year or two, and be enjoyed over the following decade plus." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
"From a cooler site in the Horse Heaven Hills and all varietal, the 2017 Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard has brilliant notes of crème de cassis, red plums, chocolate, spice, flowery incense, and cedarwood. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and balanced on the palate, it shows the elegance and purity of the vintage yet still packs plenty of opulence and texture. It’s one of the finest expressions of this variety I’ve tasted from Washington State. Drink this beauty any time over the coming 10-15 years.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 96 pts
Notes of meyer lemon and white flower petals carry over to prange blossom and ripe melon.
The late heat in August and September really pushed the Chardonnay to develop into a fruit forward wine. Hand picked, chilled and pressed whole cluster. 10 -20 years old vines.
Sunset Hills Cabernet Franc is made from Cabernet Franc 80%, Petit Verdot 18%, Merlot 2%
Ripe red cherry, black plum, and hazelnut bring this medium bodied wine to the table. Elegant tannins and subtle toasty notes round out the finish.
The base for the Cabernet Franc is from the Shenandoah Vineyard site, which is typically cooler than the other sites offering bright acidity and red fruit characteristics. Hand picked, chilled, destemmed to bins and tanks for fermentation. Fermentation 6-12 days. 15 years old vines.
Sunset Hills Vineyard, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, produces award winning, 100% Virginia wines from our Amish restored, historic winery. From the planting of the first vines in 1999, Mike and Diane Canney, owners of Sunset Hills Vineyard, had a vision of making fine wine of the highest quality in a manner which was gentle on the land. That vision is reflected in the sustainable farming practices employed today.
The original Sunset Hills was a very large and beautiful farm that later became Reston Virginia. Diane and I used to work very long hours in office buildings in Reston, looking out over the scenic landscape, dreaming that one day we would have a beautiful farm like that. Years later, after searching to find the perfect place for our vineyards and winery, Diane and I bought our first farm. Each evening, we would watch the sun set over the Blue Ridge mountains, talking about what grapes to plant, where to plant them and how we would do whatever it took to maximize quality. In 1999, the first vineyard was planted and we needed a name. We knew it could only have the name of the farm we had admired years before. Today, many of our customers and friends enjoy our wines on the 150 yr old farm, and enjoy watching the sun set over mountains. Sunset Hills Vineyard has been the perfect name!
After graduating from UVA in 2011, it was Corry’s love of travel that first led her to the wine industry. She soon found herself working the harvest in far off places like New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and France, with a few closer to home in Oregon and Virginia. She called both King Family and Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville home for a while, working harvests and spending time in the lab learning the ins and outs on winemaking, but it was her stretch in Oregon that showed her this wasn’t just a job, but a way of life. Although she’s been tempted by opportunities in Sonoma, CA, her desire to start her career as a winemaker in her home state of Virginia has kept her planted close to home. It excites her that Virginia is still in the early experimental phase of winemaking, and she really believes in the quality of wine that can be crafted here. She’s already experimenting in the cellar, and we can’t wait to see the fruits of her labor as they unfold in the future. If she’s not drinking a Virginia Chardonnay, you’ll most likely find her with a glass of Pinot Noir in her hand. When she’s not in the cellar, she’s likely out hiking, playing her cello or gone for a run.
Sunset Hills (18 acres), 50 West (7 acres), Shenandoah Springs (23 acres), Sherman Ridge (13 acres), Catesby (17 acres).
Age of the vines: 1 - 20 years
Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
Pike Road Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Rich and complex, black cherry, confectionary strawberry and dusty rose waft up from the glass. An expressive palate follows with juicy black cherry and pomegranate alongside notes of tropical mango and coconut in a slightly gamey, smoky finish.
About Shea Vineyard
Shea Vineyard sits in the heart of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and is farmed by our friends Dick & Deirdre Shea. This is arguably the most famous vineyard for Oregon Pinot Noir because of the many well-known wineries that make a Single Vineyard Shea wine, including our sister brand Elk Cove Vineyards and neighbors Ken Wright, Bergstrom, Penner-Ash and others. It's worth checking out the Shea Vineyard website to learn more about this unique vineyard. Wines from Shea vineyard are earthy with a black cherry kick
The 2017 Vintage
2017 brought us back to what we consider a classic, cool-climate Oregon vintage, a year when our decades of experience paid off. Wet spring weather led to a more typical growing season compared with the past three vintages, all unusually hot. The summer of 2017 was warm and dry, leading to excellent flavor development in the fruit, but we thinned the crop considerably to ensure concentration and ripeness. Harvest was staggered because of the October rains, which meant long days for our crew during the windows of sun. 2017 wasn’t an easy year to farm, but the fresh, fully developed flavors of the vintage make it worth the hard work.
"This wine is loaded with raspberries, blackberries, cherries and preserved lemons, dotted with baking spice and finished with a touch of chocolate-covered orange peel. It may sound like dessert, but it's a thoroughly delicious dry-red wine that will add to the enjoyment of any pork, lamb or poultry entrée." - Editor, Paul Gregutt -
Wine Enthusiast 93 Points