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.
Archery Summit Estate Pinot Noir Dundee Hills is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
A medley of graphite, spice and crushed red strawberries waft from the glass. Further digging reveals even more to the nose of this Pinot Noir, in the flickering form of oak spice and caramelized fruits. On the palate, there’s opulent fruit and signature Dundee Hills spices like allspice, cardamom and sandalwood. The palate is loaded, with fresh strawberry jam and an underlying earthiness taking the lead. Structurally, there are soft oak tannins that give way to an exquisitely long and balanced finish.
Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc
Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.
The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.
Beckstone Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Muscat Canelli and 1% Malbec.
Deep ruby in color with a nose of sweet fruits, the wine opens with notes of ripe strawberries and a delicate dusting of cocoa powder. Earthy spices begin to layer mid-palate, as well as notes of blueberries and a balanced minerality. The finish is soothing with a lingering sensation of dark caramel and toffee.
Over 13,000 years ago sudden ice dam ruptures at Glacial Lake Missoula led to a series of cataclysmic floods that swept across eastern Washington and down through the Columbia River Gorge. These ‘Missoula Floods’ were instrumental in the creation of loamy soils – a gritty mix of sand, silt, and clay deposits that offer a diversity ideal for viticulture. At Beckstone, we source the highest quality fruit from these rich, layered soils at the Wallula Vineyards overlooking the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers. ‘Beck’ is an archaic noun that refers to a mountain river, especially a swiftly running stream with steep banks. Our Cabernet Sauvignon honors these historical floods and the ancient balance of sediments that is evident in the wine.
DAOU Vineyards Bodyguard Red is made from 100 percent Chardonnay 65% Petit Verdot, 35% Petite Sirah.
The 2020 Bodyguard is the newest edition to this exceptional collection from winemaker Daniel Daou. Bold and brooding, it displays a vivid, deep purple hue accompanied by an intense nose of chocolate-covered blueberry, black raspberry, Zante currant, pencil lead and damp forest floor. Secondary layers reveal notes of kirsch, fennel, black olive and a hint of cool wintergreen. A lush palate of black plum, dried cherry and blackberry is supported by a firm structure with polished fine-grained tannins. Highlights of dusty leather, dried sage and truffle add layers of complexity that complement the rich, dark fruit. The finish strikes an impressive balance of power and grace, with lingering notes of currant, dark chocolate and crushed stone minerality that enhance the fullness of the experience.
Sunset Hills Red is made from 40% Merlot 36% Chambourcin 16% Cabernet Franc 8% Tannat
"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. " - Corry Craighill, winemaker
Notes of brambled blackberry, raspberry, plum, and forest floor. Light in body, leaning on acidity rather than tannins. Youthful and vibrant!
Grilled BBQ chicken and corn on the cob, don’t forget the butter BBQ pizza. Chicken sausage with feta & roasted garlic. Warm farro and beet salad.
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
In the far northwest corner of the Sonoma Coast appellation, near the town of Annapolis, the vineyard sits just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, and provides a poignant setting for producing pinot noir with elegance, great precision, and intensity.
-James Suckling 97 Points
- Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points