A Tasting of the Wines in the December/January 2014 Club Shipment

December 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

December 15th, 2014

We always try to save a special shipment for the holiday season, something full of nice high-end reds that our Club members can pour over holiday dinners or get-togethers.

Sunset Hills Vineyard 2012 Reserve Cabernet Franc – Once more, in the 2012 vintage, some of our most vibrant, spice-filled, and lush Cabernet Franc came from Estate Vineyard #1, from which we have been bottling our Reserve Cabernet Franc since it’s inception in 2007.  With the 2012, we chose barrels based not only on expressiveness and ripeness, but also on depth of texture and structure.  I consider this to be a step in the right direction with this wine, producing a Reserve Cab Franc that should show more finess than in previous years.

Generally, Vineyard #1 needs very little blending – maybe a bit of Merlot or Petit Verdot – but the wine does require time both in barrel and in bottle to allow the tannins to mellow out a bit.  With 12 months in oak and another 12 months in bottle, we’ve done the diligence on our end so that the 2012 Reserve Cabernet Franc is fully drinkable now (although another 2-5 years is recommended for those who have the patience).  Just released, we will be pouring this in the tasting room over the next two or three months.

Sunset Hills Vineyard 2012 Dusk – Our second bottling of our port-style dessert wine.  Produced using 100% Chambourcin from Catesby Vineyard.  While we are fermenting on the skins, aged grape brandy is added incrementally during fermentation until the fermentation is arrested at 18% alcohol.  We then age the resulting wine in a 60/40 blend of neutral oak and used whiskey barrels, imparting subtle and smooth coconut, vanilla, and charred toast aromatics.  Closest in style to a ruby port,  but with darker fruits and a bit more tannin.

Our Dusk wines thus far have been bottled in very limited quantities, meaning that after this shipment we will not have much left, and our inventory will dwindle down over the winter months. This wine is only ever available to the club, and while we don’t know for certain how long the aging will be, our anticipation is 3-7 years.

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