A Tasting of the December 2013 Shipment

November 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

November 15th, 2013

We’re very excited to be releasing two new wines for our Estate Club December 2013 shipment.  Both wines have been sitting patiently in our warehouse for some time now, and as they’ve just begun to open up in expression, we’re fortunate to have appropriate weather (and holidays) as well.  The below 2012 Merlot is just being release in our tasting room for the holiday season, while the 2011 Dusk is only available to Estate and Reserve Club members.

Sunset Hills Vineyard 2012 Merlot – The reds coming from the 2012 vintage are very exciting for us – full-bodied, broad, but with a nice delicate finesse that we last saw from the somewhat comparable 2009 season (and have missed ever since!).  The 2012 Merlot is no exception, very open, very juicy and ripe, with a brambled-fruit and black currant density of aromatics.  The bulk of this blend comes from “X Block,” which gave lift and fruit that is improbably both bright and dark, although we’re still not quite sure how that’s possible.  Added in are a touch of both 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Cab Sauv, adding firmness and textural elegance, respectively.  This wine is just being released in our tasting room for the upcoming Virginia winter.

Sunset Hills Vineyard 2011 Dusk – This is a new release for Sunset Hills.  “Dusk” is a port-style wine made entirely from Chambourcin and grape brandy.  Produced by arresting the fermentation with additions of brandy (all prior to pressing), the aging is entirely in 50% French oak barrels and 50% whiskey barrels which are then blended back together after 16 months.  Although we’ve only yet poured this wine at a few private events, I can’t think of a new wine release anytime in the recent past that has had our staff quite so excited.  Our staff will surely purchase the bulk of this wine if the hype continues.  Also: be warned!  Dusk clocks in at 17.9% alcohol and 29 g/l residual sugar, which is to say that this is not so much a “picnic wine” as it is a “sitting fireside with existential dilemmas” wine.

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