The August 2012 Estate Wine Club Shipment – Our Best Petit Manseng Yet!

July 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Below is a description of the wines chosen for the Estate Club August 2012 shipment:

Sunset Hills Vineyard 2011 Petit Manseng (Estate Club Select)

Vineyards: Sunset Hills Vineyard #3, Purcellville, VA; Berry Hill Vineyard, Orange, VA

Blend: 100% Petit Manseng

Harvest: 9.20.11 & 9.25.11

The Wine: This was an exciting Petit Manseng harvest for us, as it was the first crop from our 2 acre block in Vineyard #3, allowing us to make two separate lots of Petit Manseng and follow the differences through ageing.  Our first vintage of this wine was 2010.  We barely made enough to satisfy the Estate Club, and it came entirely from Berry Hill, in Orange.  Two-thousand and eleven was different: we had plenty of wine, more winemaking options, and more blending options when moving toward the final product.

Many of the 2011 whites continue to impress me with their finess and character, despite the difficult vintage.  The 2011 Petit Manseng sits at the top of that list: brightly aromatic, nutty, with slight vanilla and toast qualities.  This wine is deeply acidic, almost on the tart end of the spectrum, with a nice barrel-derived texture following through to the finish.

Bottling Date: 4.9.12

Cases Produced: 228


Sunset Hills Vineyard 2010 Sunset Red

Blend: 62% Cabernet Franc (Berry Hill Vineyard & Benevino Vineyard)

17% Nebbiolo (Berry Hill Vineyard)

12% Merlot (Sunset Hills Vineyard)

9% Petit Verdot (Waterford Vineyard)

The Wine: As usual, the Sunset Red is a blend pulling a number of different varietals from a number of different vineyards, giving us the opportunity to really stretch ourselves in terms of the possibilities of blending.  In 2010 the decision was made to focus on the overall balance of the wine and for this reason we found ourselves utilizing fruit from so many vineyard which from year to year showcase different styles of fruit.  For instance, the Berry Hill Cabernet Franc is pretty and delicate, while the Benevino is bright with great texture, while the Waterford Petit Verdot is brambly and tannic, and so on.

The wine itself is a nice showpiece for the 2010 reds: very ripe red fruit, open aromatics, broad expressiveness.  The 2010 Sunset Red is lush in body, full of very open, round bright red fruit.  While still moderately tannic, it’s drinking well now and promises to continue to round out and mellow over the next 3-5 years.





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