March 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
Below are the descriptions for “Nate’s Picks” for the April 2013 Estate Club shipment.
Sunset Hills Vineyard 2012 Viongier
Vineyards: Estate Vineyard #1, Estate Vineyard #3, Catesby Vineyard, Eagle Tree Vineyard, Bethany Ridge Vineyard
Blend: 100% Viognier!
Winemaking: Whole cluster pressed. Sixty percent sur lee French oak fermentation, with weekly stirring; forty percent stainless steel fermentation. Fermented to 0.4% residual sugar. Blend compiled in March 2012. No fining.
The Vintage: A strong year for our Viongier vineyards. We saw relatively uniform ripening come at an “average” pace for Virginia, with high sugars and good acids. Especially interesting blocks were Estate Vineyard #3, which saw its first real maturity, and Eagle Tree, in Lucketts, a new vineyard for us to work with, which had some standout fruit for the season.
Sunset Hills Vineyard 2011 Sunset Red
Blend: 39% Petit Verdot, 36% Cabernet Franc, 21% Cab Sauv, 4% Merlot
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 2011, due to the heavy rains during harvest, we were required to lean more on Petit Verdot than we normally would, and less on the lighter-bodied Merlot, in order to blend a wine with the weight we like to see in our Sunset Red bottlings. Petit Verdot was in many ways the star of the vintage, ripening properly through the weather and providing many blends with the color and tannic structure otherwise lacking.
The resulting wine shows nice youthful fruit with warm red tones. Medium-bodied, smooth, with supple and delicate tannins. This wine will age well over the next two years.