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.
Continuum Red Blend 2017 MAGNUM is made from 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, 9% Merlot
2017 was a vintage of extremes, with abundant rain in the winter months and record-breaking heat waves during the growing season. A testament in resiliency, the wine bears the hallmarks of the elevation and terroir at Sage Mountain Vineyard, showcasing exquisite vibrancy, many layers of flavor, ferrous minerality and fragrant wild herb notes. 2017 Continuum shows freshness, hinting at rose petal on the nose with cacao, black cherry and plum giving way to a plush, silky mid palate. Fine tannins of crushed stone and subtle undertones of tapenade are present through a beautifully persistent finish.
Wonderful blackberry and blackcurrant aromas here with hints of mint and fresh sage. Some cassis. Wrought iron, too. Full-bodied, tight and elegant with lovely tension. Beautiful. Ends fine and focused. Drinkable now, but better after 2022. -James Suckling 98 Points
A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot and 9% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple 2017 Proprietary Red soars out of the glass with notions of baked blueberries, plum preserves and blackcurrant cordial, backed up by nuances of chocolate mint, wild sage, violets and pencil shavings, plus an earthy hint of Chinese five spice. The rich, seductive, full-bodied palate is jam-packed with spicy black fruit preserves, framed by wonderfully plush tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long and opulent. -Wine Advocate 97+ Points
Figgins Estate Red Wine 2017 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot & Merlot
Dark to the rim, with signature aromatic notes of ripe red and blue fruits, tanned leather, black olive, and lilac. The nose simply brings a smile. On the palate, if I had to describe the wine in one word it would be precision. The way the sweet fruit and dramatic length are braced by lively acidity and tannins aligns so perfectly that the wine is, quite simply, delicious.
This is a plush, pretty red with plum, chocolate and cedar character. It’s full-bodied, yet tight and balanced. Highly strung and nervous, yet reserved. Give this time. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot and merlot.
-James Suckling 97 Points
Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is made from 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 8% Syrah.
The 2017 vintage started out with a cool, wet winter, with significantly above average snowfall in eastern Washington. Red Mountain had a 24% increase in rainfall in 2017 over the 10 year average. Going into spring, the cool trend continued. As a result, bud break at Klipsun was behind the historical average and significantly behind the most recent warm vintages of 2013 2016. Bloom was also slightly delayed. Because of the cool weather, set was lighter than usual which translated into significantly less fruit in 2017.
The early part of the summer saw average temperatures followed by above average temperatures in July and August. As a result, he at accumulation was a bit above average for the season, despite the cool start. And because of the smaller than normal yield, harvest began right on schedule, perhaps even a bit early for some of the whites. In the second half of September, when Klipsun traditionally harvests all the reds, the temperatures cooled considerably, which delayed ripening. This allowed for luxurious amounts of hang time without the threat of increased sugar accumulation, stretching harvest into the first week of October. A s a result, all fruit going into the 2017 Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon could be picked at perfect sugars levels with great fruit maturity and flavors. Overall, the quality of t he 2017 harvest is as high as the 2016. However, the style is slightly different. The 2017 wine has a firmer structure, more spice & mocha in the nose and will take a few mo re years than the 2016 to reach a perfect balance between fruit and tannin.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 8% Syrah, which immediately emanates with aromas of dark roasted espresso bean, toasted oak, dried tobacco and dusty black fruit tones of cassis, currant and blackberries covered in dark cocoa powder. Full-bodied, generous in complexity and still tight in the mouth, the wine unpacks layers of cedar and vanilla tones with dusty purple flowers and bitter dark chocolate across the mid-palate, giving way to fine-grained tannins that will loosen with time. As the wine sits on the palate, the 100% French oak regimen is on full display for all to see. The wine lingering long and continues to evolve in the mouth, ending with a drying finish that highlights the oak and terroir. It’s still a baby, and I would keep it in the cellar for another few years before popping the cork—this will effortlessly coast for more than a decade. The 2017 vintage marks the second release of this wine, with 6,300 bottles produced. It comes from its namesake vineyard, first planted in 1984 on Red Mountain. I’m keeping my eye on this producer. I’m impressed, and even though the oak may be a bit much at the moment, it's still delicious. - Wine Advocate 94+ Points
Scattered Peaks Small Lot Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
The wine displays amazingly deep dark color. Aromas include dark, ripe cherries with a touch of cassis, licorice and brambly sage. The new French oak adds a bit of mocha toastiness. On the palate the wine is very powerful with firm but approachable tannins, great complexity and a long finish.
Celebrated winemaker Joel Aiken is at his best with this masterfully crafted red sourced from both Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford and Ridge Vineyard on Howell Mountain. Concentrated notes of cedar, slate, and a slathering of grainy-textured dark chocolate meld with black cherry and plum. Sophisticated and regally structured.
- Tasting Panel 96 Points
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 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
Hickinbotham Revivalist Merlot is made from 100 percent Merlot.
The Merlot for this red wine was sourced from vines planted in 1989 and 1976 at 220-245m altitude on a western facing aspect on the estate. During harvest, we hand-picked, de-stemmed, whole berry sorted, then 100% gently crushed. We then cold soaked, with native fermentation, and pumped over daily with a minimum of 21 days on skins. Basket pressed with light pressing included in free run, heavier pressings kept separate and not included, drained directly to barrel. The wine was racked and returned three times during maturation for 15 months, aged in fine-grain Bordeaux coopered barrels of which are approximately 25% new.
Deep ruby. Lush cherry-cola, blackberry and mocha qualities on the deeply perfumed nose, which is complemented by suggestions of candied rose and vanilla. In a round, generous style, offering sweet dark berry and fruitcake flavors that are supported by an undercurrent of juicy acidity. Pliant tannins frame an impressively long, sappy finish that strongly repeats the cherry and floral notes. 50% new French oak.
- Vinous 94 Points