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.
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.
Morlet Family Vineyards Ma Douce Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The cool maritime breeze and mild and sunny mountain climate create ideal conditions for this hillside vineyard located on the second ridge from the Paciﬁc Ocean. Handcrafted using classical Burgundian winemaking techniques, this wine is dedicated to Jodie Morlet. It is ‘My Sweet’ or ‘Ma Douce.’
Full yellow color. Aromas of lemon drop, Crème Brulée and orange zest intermixed with strong notes of minerality (wet stones) and fresh hazelnut. Full-bodied, mineral driven, this wine displays a creamy texture and very long mineral finish. Built to age gracefully for a decade, this wine is already very approachable.
Propietary Name Ma Douce
Name Meaning My Sweet “Douce brize” from the Ocean
Varietal composition Chardonnay
Type of wine Vineyard designated
Appellation Fort Ross-Seaview
Vineyard singularity On the second ridge off Ocean High elevation Goldridge soil
Typical harvest date End of October
Picking Manual, small lugs, refer truck
Sorting Cluster by cluster
Fermentation In barrel through native yeast 100% Malolactic
Upbringing Sur lies with bâtonnage
French oak from selected coopers
Cellaring time 5-10 years
Serving Slightly below room temperature Decanted when served young
"Lots of white peach, quince, white flower, and green almond notes emerge from the 2020 Chardonnay Ma Douce, a full-bodied barrel sample with beautiful depth as well as freshness."96 Points Jeb Dunnuck:
Argot Le Rayon Vert Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
"Le Rayon Vert", the phenomenon which occurs as the sun dips below the horizon, and a brilliant green flash occurs when sunlight prisms through Earth's atmosphere. Jules Verne wrote "a green which no artist could ever obtain on his palette”, akin to the ethereal, green halo all truly pedigreed Chardonnays radiate from the glass.
Wafting from the glass like a freshly opened stick of Wrigley's gum. Both intense and vibrant, the full-bodied palate delivers Granny Smith apple and stone fruits; confections of custard and sticky vanilla bean; animated by bursts of spearmint and pine forest.
The 2020 Le Rayon-Vert comes bounding out of the glass with bold notions of lemon meringue pie, fresh apricots, and sea spray, giving way to nuances of struck flint, wet pebbles, and Marcona almonds, plus wafts of lime leaves and mandarin peel. The medium to full-bodied is simply electric, delivering super-intense citrus and mineral layers with a crisp backbone and a very long, chalky finish.
-The Wine Independent 96 Points
Chappellet Grower Collection Calesa Vineyard Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The Calesa Vineyard Chardonnay draws you in with alluring aromas of tropical flowers, summer melon, nectarine, lemon zest and guava, as well as French oak-inspired hints of melted butter and baking spices. On the palate, finely tuned acidity and a creamy, mouth-filling texture add depth and nuance to lush layers of stone fruit, lemon custard, pineapple and passionfruit, all of which culminate in a lingering fruit and spice finish.
The 2020 Chardonnay Grower Collection Calesa Vineyard is floral, with delicate tropical fruit of melon, orange blossom, and sweet baking spice. The palate is medium-bodied, with a silky texture and notes of toasted vanilla bean, ripe pear, and almond. A well-made wine, it cleans up with lingering floral perfume. Drink 2022-2030.
-Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points
Hoopes Chardonnay Napa Valley is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Serendipity was in the morning air when Maya and Sophie took Lindsay for a walk down a Yountville country lane. Maya, the feisty one, spied a jackrabbit and bounded off in hot pursuit. When Lindsay caught up with her, she found herself surrounded by some fine looking Chardonnay vines. Always on the look-out for the best fruit for Hoopla, with some neighborhood super-sleuthing, Lindsay tracked down the vineyard owner and kept talking until she got his handshake. That chance discovery gave us really great Chardonnay that we offer at a really great price. In fact, chasing rabbits is exactly what we’re talking about. This cheeky Chardonnay will make you want to get into some mischief too.
Our goal with the Hoopla Chardonnay is a fresh juicy wine showcasing flavors and aromas of the grape. A long cool fermentation and aging in stainless steel shines helps preserve the luscious aromas and fruit characters in the wine. Classic notes of fresh pineapple, ripe pear and Fuji apple greet the nose with a lovely warmth and creaminess in the mouth from aging sur-lie in tank without the introduction of oak. This mid-palate breadth yields to an open, clean and refreshing finish. We find ourselves reaching for this crowd-pleasing wine time and time again without fail.
This wine is delicious with roast chicken and buttery mashed potatoes, fish tacos, Chinese chicken salad, lobster mac and cheese, triple crème Brie slathered on French baguette and salt & pepper flavored kettle-cooked potato chips.
"I was blown away by the 2020 Chardonnay, a clean, crisp, vibrant expression of Chardonnay that has medium to full-bodied richness, wonderfully integrated acidity, and a distinct sense of minerality in its citrus, stone fruit, and white flower-driven aromatics. It's shockingly good and tastes like it cost 3-4 times its price."
- Jeb Dunnuck (February 2023), 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 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
Thomas Sancerre Rose is made from 100% Pinot Noir.
Vines are 20-55 years old.
Terroir (soil type) is a blend of "Caillottes" and "Terre Blanche".
Everything is machine harvested (which means it is 100% destemmed).
50% Direct press + 50% Saignée (bled) with 12-24 hours of skin contact maceration.
The alcoholic fermentation is done in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.
Right before bottling, the wine is fined with Bentonite (very light filtration with oenologic clay).
Light, bright pink. Redcurrant, strawberry and chalk on the nose, with a touch of singed orange gaining strength with air. Dusty red fruit and citrus flavors are braced by tangy minerality, which adds lift and cut. Uncompromising in the best way, finishing with excellent clarity and echoes of lemon and orange zest.
This is a very versatile wine. You can have it on its own in the summer time as an apéritif. But it is also excellent with Hors d'Oeuvres and terrines. It will compliment any white meat dish and poultry. You can also enjoy it with salmon or exotic food (slightly spicy sushi).