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.
Torbreck The Descendant Shiraz - Viognier is made from 91% Shiraz, 9% Viognier.
Wonderfully lifted aromatics, perfumed fresh black and red fruits complemented by spice and florals wafting from the glass. Blackcurrants, mulberry, cassis, and satsuma plum intertwine with pot-pourri, dried apricots, cloves and star anise. The palate shows the integration of dark Barossa fruits and second use RunRig French oak barriques balanced by trademark viscosity. A firm mouthfeel of fine grained tannins balanced by dense yet creamy like texture extolling the vineyard pedigree.
Pair with forest game, mushrooms or truffles.
The Descendant is a Shiraz Viognier blend, co-fermented. This year, the 2020 Descendant comprises 91% Shiraz and 9% Viognier; the vineyard is in Marananga and was planted in 1994, from cuttings form the RunRig vineyard. It matured for 20 months in second fill French oak barriques, previously used for the RunRig. In every way (price, vineyard source, cepage, maturation), this wine is a baby RunRig, although there remain some stylistic differences in the mouth. For one thing, this 2020 Descendant has been matured (as mentioned) in older oak, so the imprint of oak flavors is more subtle. While there is no denying that the texture has an extreme slick and polish (it is almost thick in the mouth, truly plush) from the high percentage of Viognier, the wine is pure and glossy and exuberantly fruit driven. The tannins, which exist very much within the wine, are savory and exotically spiced: star anise, clove, hints of cardamom, licorice, red dirt and iodine. This is very good, luxurious, enveloping, sybaritic, with lots going on.
-Wine Advocate 96 Points
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.
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.
Flaunt Pinot Noir Peake Ranch Vineyard Santa Rita Hills is made from 100% Pinot Noir.
"A light shade of ruby in the glass, this single-vineyard expression pops on the nose with fresh Bing cherry, strawberry, curry leaf and carnation aromas. The palate is very zesty as well, with a taut texture that presents flavors of smashed currant, melon rind, crunchy sage and wild thyme. - MATT KETTMANN"
- Wine Enthusiast (April 2022), 94 pts
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.
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
MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay always delivers something special and unique, and this vintage is no exception. Both intricate and exotic, this wine begins with alluring fruit aromas of Meyer lemon and fresh pineapple. On the palate, a round, rich mouthfeel accentuates Wildcat’s signature high-tone notes of honey and spice. At the same time, thanks to Wildcat’s windy growing conditions, which thicken the grape skins, it has engaging structure and body.
The 2019 Chardonnay Wildcat Mountain showed nicely, with a reductive, mineral-laced, medium-bodied style as well as pretty citrus and stone fruits, lots of white flowers, and subtle spice and nuttiness, integrated acidity, and light background oak. It's well worth following over the coming 4-6 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points
Rich and well-structured, with honeyed accents to the apple and pear tart flavors. Toasty and light buttery accents linger on the spicy finish. Drink now through 2024. 809 cases made.
-Wine Spectator 91 Points
Bertani Valpantena Amarone is made from 80% Corvina Veronese, 20% Rondinella.
The best grapes are selected so that only the healthiest and ripest bunches are sent to the drying rooms in the historic winery at Grezzana, where they are laid out in single-layer crates. In mid- January, the grapes are destemmed and crushed, then fermentation starts, at first at a temperature of 39°F- 41°F, which then reaches 72°F in the final stages.
The vines are vertical-trellised and Guyot-trained, with a planting density of 2024 plants per acre. Hand harvest is carried out in the middle of September.
This amarone is produced in the Valpantena hills, north of Verona. The soils are calcareous-marl in the east and calcareous-clay in the west, rich in iron.
TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES
Bertani’s impact on Veneto wine making, particularly in Amarone production, is so considerable that ‘Bertani’ and ‘Amarone’ are nearly synonymous. Their 150+ year history is dotted with groundbreaking initiatives and royal accreditation. While respectful of their past, Bertani strives towards innovation, using progressive techniques and equipment allied with extensive experience and a deeply felt respect for tradition to provide wines of uncompromising quality.
On the nose, marked and intense aromas of very ripe cherries, sour cherries, spicy and nutty notes typical of the Valpantena. Good follow-through of red fruits on the palate, with supple tannins to give depth. This full bodied wine pairs well with rich dishes, mature cheeses and strong-flavored meats.