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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.
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
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 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 Viognier is made from 100 percent Viognier.
Tropical notes of pineapple and apricot on the nose. Crisp lemon lime, pear, and white flower wash over the palate.
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.
Dark and chocolate, spiced with pretty notes of allspice and clove, this wine is round and rich, bursting with ripe berries, combined with an earthy complexity and a velvety finish.
Made from 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc
The wine spent 22 months on 75% new French oak with the remaining 25% second vintage French oak. Select barrels from the best forests of Taransaud, Boutes, Quintessance, and Vicard cooperages.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Cabernet Franc (30%) and Merlot, this wine seems a little green out of the gate, with aromas of herbs, cocoa, vanilla, black licorice, woodspice and black fruit. The fruit flavors display the warmth of this region, with the tannins providing some heft, stretching out over time. - Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
Tamarack Cellars’ 2011 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Reserve is an outstanding blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Franc that spent 22 months (each variety is kept separate until 12 months after the harvest) in 50% new and 50% once-used French oak. Classically styled, with lots of smoke tobacco, licorice and blackcurrant aromas and flavors, it has everything in the right place, in the right proportions, and is incredibly enjoyable to drink. Enjoy this medium to full-bodied, moderately tannic, balanced beauty over the coming decade, although it will probably last longer. - Robert Parker Wine Advocate 91 Points
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge is made from 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah.
A clear and very expressive nose with notes of black fruits, spices and licorice. The mouth reveals tanins that are already supple with a great balance.
The finish is long, on black fruits, licorice and a slight salinity.
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge is made from grilled rib of beef, roasted duck with figs, boar stew.
"Mostly Grenache, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Xavier comes from all the terroirs of the region. Its deep ruby color is followed by a complex, elegant red that has medium to full body, good acidity, and classic notes of garrigue, leather, underbrush, and ripe red and black fruits. It's a beautifully textured, elegant, and balanced effort to drink over the coming decade."
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 28th 2018), 92 pts
The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is a full-bodied blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah, aged in a mix of concrete and wood vessels. Ripe stone fruit, raspberries and cherries cascade across the palate, framed by creamy-supple tannins and mouthwatering acids. While approachable now, there's enough structure to warrant cellaring for up to a decade. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. - Wine Advocate 92 points