January 21, 2015 § Leave a comment
January 21st, 2015
Speaking with some of our staff, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of a few of our favorite wines and wine memories of 2014. Partly this is for my own benefit – I’m always looking for interesting wines, and I love a good wine story – but partly also I wanted to see how wine had fit into peoples’ lives over the previous year. By no means does this include our entire staff, but here’s a good sampler:
Elizabeth Sedlins, Hospitality and Public Relations (and also one of our (if not the) longest-standing employees!): Francois Montand Blanc de Blanc Brut NV
In the end, that was silliness. The day shared with my “little” family of 10 was among the best in my life, and the bottle we eventually had, a 2012 Apothic Red, purchased at a Walgreens, was exactly what we needed.
As for the Mosaic? Well, I have grandbaby #3 coming this summer, so perhaps then. There’s always something to look forward to, and a wine that will go perfectly with the day.
Mike Canney, Owner: Sunset Hills Vineyard 2010 Reserve Cabernet Franc
My most memorable wine of 2014 was the Sunset Hills 2010 Reserve Cab Franc. Partly, it was because Diane and I were cooking out in Florida, with steaks, baked potatoes and corn on the cob on the grill. That is my favorite meal, and with all the health worries about cholesterol, etc, etc, etc, and being aware of my goal to live forever (so far so good!), it is a special meal that I don’t get too often. When I do, I wouldn’t waste the occasion with anyone, or any ingredients – it is only the best.
So, Diane and I picked our 2010 Reserve Cab Franc, shared a glass while the steaks were cooking, and finished the bottle with dinner outside. To me, the best wine for grilled steaks is a rich, powerful cab franc, and I think we do one of the best. It was a great evening, and if I did it again, I would want the exact same experience.
Nate Walsh, Winemaker: Santo Wines Santorini Assyrtiko Grande Reserve 2011
This summer my entire family – parents, siblings, wife, sisters-in-law – traveled to Greece to celebrate my Mom’s retirement. It was a great trip, partly because we got to see so many beautiful areas in Greece, but also because it was an opportunity to spend time with my family, who I don’t always see enough. Both my and my wife’s (and her sister’s) birthdays happened while in Santorini, toward the end of the trip. To celebrate our birthdays, Sarah and I slipped away one evening to have dinner together, just the two of us. We wandered through the streets of Oia until we found a nice-looking place, and had dinner on a balcony, surrounded by candles, staring out at dusk over the ocean. The wine itself – I have to be honest – it was nice, but certainly I’ve had “better” wines a hundred times over the past year. But that’s the one I remember, in that moment.
January 12, 2015 § Leave a comment
January 12th, 2015
Generally both of the wines in this shipment would have already been released – we usually release Petit Verdot around Christmas, and Petit Manseng around Thanksgiving; however, for the February/March 2015 shipment we wanted to do something special, so we delayed these releases until the wines opened up into a pronounced complexity of aromatics, until they were really swingin’. While these can be enjoyed over the next few years, our winemaker thinks the 2013 Petit Manseng and 2012 Petit Verdot are both currently in a great sweet spot, and are pouring wonderfully.
Sunset Hills Vineyard 2013 Petit Manseng – Our fourth bottling of this varietal wine, and also the fourth time (due to limited quantities) that it’s been available only to the club. The 2013 is more akin, in many ways, to the 2010: highly-ripe, exotic fruits blended with coconut, vanilla, and thai spice all kind of focused around a sappy core of deep fruit and invigorating acidity. One of the most exciting white wines that came from the 2013 vintage. Petit Manseng, for me, continues to prove itself as one of the more consistently delicious – emphasis on delicious – and interesting white wines we’re able to produce, although our style has been changing over the years as a reflection of the different vintages. Drink now through, what, 2018?
Blend: 100% Petit Manseng, Berry Hill Vineyard, Orange VA
Sunset Hills Vineyard 2012 Petit Verdot – Petit Verdot can be many things: brambles and chunky tannin, black fruits and bracing acid, cigarspice and oak, and on and on. For us, much of this has to do with the vineyard and vintage, and much also with our decisions of where to lead the wine through blending. The 2012 vintage was exciting because it gave us two new vineyards in which to grow Petit Verdot, and thus really expanded our blending options. As such, I believe we have a fuller, more ultimately self-contained Petit Verdot – one that has more balance than what we’ve achieved in previous years, while still showing those great graphite and bramble spice notes that make the varietal so interesting. Just released. Drink now through 2020.
Blend: 75% Petit Verdot, Shenandoah Springs Vineyard & Catesby Vineyard
22% Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Vineyard #2
3% Merlot, Malick Vineyard