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.
G.D. Vajra Bricco Delle Viole Barolo is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
The Barolo Bricco delle Viole shows the signature verticality of its vineyard. The wine is beautifully layered and - while restrained as it’s always the case in the youth of Bricco delle Viole - it also shows a complexity of layers with purple flowers, sweet spices and mineral tones. The palate is noble, with a refined acid spine and profound tannins that promise a long aging potential.
Among the historical vineyards of Barolo, Bricco delle Viole is the highest and the closest to the Alps. It rises from 400 to 480 meters above sea level, on the Western ridge of the village. Its name, “Hill of Violets”, originates from the flowers that blossom early here due to the perfect south exposure. Up above the fogs, Bricco delle Viole enjoys the earliest sunrise and the last sunset every day. Thanks to its vines dating back to 1949 and -now- 1931, a dramatic diuturnal temperature range and this pure light, Bricco delle Viole generates a sophisticated and profound Barolo DOCG of bright aromatics, chiseled tannins and subtle minerality. 2018 is a vintage that shows many nuances of Bricco delle Viole: beyond the signature verticality of this site, the wine offers high tones laced with mineral nuances and plenty of energy and youth.
A juicy Barolo, with vibrant acidity and a fluid profile that exudes cherry, raspberry, mown hay, mineral and eucalyptus aromas and flavors. Tight yet long, with excellent potential.
#26 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2023
The last wine poured at my tasting at the winery is the G.D. Vajra 2019 Barolo Bricco delle Viole. With its high vantage point in the hills west of Barolo, Bricco delle Viole is a world apart in terms of soils (with Sant'Agata marl and fossils) and even harvest times. Slow and careful ripening like the kind that characterizes fruit in 2019 renders a very delicate and ethereal expression with floral tones, wild mint and licorice. This organic wine is solid in build and structure. Indeed, Isidoro Vaira remarks that Nebbiolo tannins have changed since the 1970s and 1980s.
-Wine Advocate 97+ Points
Jeweled in appearance, the 2019 Barolo Bricco Delle Viole may be the best wine I have tried yet from Vajra. Its gorgeous and alluring perfume of fresh roses is followed by a Burgundian, elegant red with incredible length and no harsh edges, fine and present tannins, and beautiful, graceful concentration. It is drinking well now, and I will be trying to get my hands on as much of this as possible. Drink 2025-2045.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Red Phoenix Red Blend is made from 57% Zinfandel; 14% Petit Verdot; 12% Petite Sirah; 7% Syrah; 5% Merlot; 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
With European origins dating back centuries ago, blended red wine is once again having its day in the sun. Red Phoenix Red Wine Blend represents the essence of this well-deserved resurgence. Unbound by a single varietal or appellation, and given more flexibility with vintages, winemaker Joseph Smith skillfully showcases six distinct varietals in this luscious and layered wine. Unlike traditional red blends, Red Phoenix is both barrel aged and barrel fermented, adding structure, balance, and a new dimension to a wine that is rooted in tradition and soars on the palate.
75% of the fruit is coming from Lodi AVA, while the remaining 25% are Napa Valley AVA's fruits.
Coastal aromas of fresh fruit and lush florals coupled with a deep ruby color intrigue the senses. Bright, bold flavors of cherry and blackberry ascend on the palate while showcasing subtle, smooth tannins. The wine crescendos with anise, chocolate and toasted oak, offering depth and complexity, as velvety flavors continue to linger and evolve throughout the long, rich finish.
"This rich, velvety, mature and full-bodied wine was made from 93°/o Cabernet Sauvignon. Concentrated blackberry and blueberry flavors are generously accented by milk chocolate. While rather tannic, the mouthfeel is full but not tight. -J.G. "
- Wine Enthusiast (November 2022), 90 pts
Booker Vineyard Oublie Red is made from 33% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 28% Mourvèdre, 5% Tannat, 4% Petite Sirah
Oublié's blend is always Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre – the California version of a Châteauneuf du Pape. The namesake is a play on the French term for "forgotten." Rhône varietals grow beautifully on the estate and Booker believes that they are far-too-often forgotten when you think of a California wine. Deep ruby/purple in color, this hearty expression of a Paso GSM boasts confident notes of boysenberry, licorice and cedar on the nose. On the palate, the taster is rewarded with lively flavors of raspberry coulis mingled with blonde roast coffee and chocolate ganache. For lovers of Mourvèdre, this vintage of Oublié will show off. It drinks bolder than prior vintages, mostly because the Mourvèdre was so special in '19.
Oublié is traditionally one of Booker's most food-friendly wines and should pair well with most dishes.
The 2019 Oublié is a blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre, Tannat and Petite Sirah with a medium ruby-purple color. The nose offers gregarious mixed berry preserves and accents of potpourri, mint and fragrant earth. The palate offers juicy appeal and powerful fruit with loads of spice and floral perfume, bursts of freshness and firm, pleasantly rustic tannins, finishing very long.
-Wine Advocate 97 Points
Home to some of Washington State’s most celebrated vineyards, Red Mountain is renowned for Cabernet Sauvignon. With ideal southwest-facing slopes and significant day and nighttime temperature swings, this small but highly prized area in Eastern Washington produces exceptional wines. Named for the Canvasback duck, which is native to the Pacific Flyway, this wine was crafted from grapes cultivated by some of Red Mountain’s finest growers. With Canvasback, our aim is to express and develop the depth, structure and sophistication that define wines from this young and exciting appellation.
Precisely structured, rich yet elegantly firm, this red is generous, with blackberry, dried sage and olive flavors that finish with broad-shouldered tannins. Drink now through 2030.
-Wine Spectator 92 Points
I loved the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain, which is loaded with sweet red and black currant fruit as well as some classic Cabernet spice, tobacco, leather, and loamy earth notes. This medium-bodied, nicely balanced, concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon has enough concentration and structure to evolve for a solid decade.
-Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
Aromas of grated nutmeg, black and red currants and wild herbs. Full-bodied with firm tannins. Fresh acidity and ripe fruit create a pleasant dynamic on the palate. Well balanced.
-James Suckling 92 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
Dark plum in color with abundant aromas of dark chocolate, black cherry, and sun-ripened blackberry with a hint of cedar. Layered flavors of blackberry and raspberry pie filling, accompanied by notes of cinnamon, chocolate, and nutmeg play on the palate. Smooth and focused with refined tannins and a medium finish.
Boeira Douro White 40% Malvasia Fina, 30% Rabigato, 20% Gouveio and 10% Fernão Pires.
Good volume in mouth revealing its fruity character, now enhanced with a citrus component. Slight mineral touch that gives it personality. It is a complex and deep wine with a persistent finish.
Good accompaniment to fish dishes, salads, and can also be drunk as appetizers. Should be consumed at a temperature between 8º and 10ºC.