March 16, 2015 § Leave a comment
March 16th, 2015
Sunset Hills Vineyard 2014 Chardonnay – Our first release of the 2014 whites, this wine will be a great introduction to the vibrant, zippy whites produced from what became a wonderfully cool, slow end-of-the-season ripening period for our white wines, and especially our different blocks of Chardonnay. Alcohols are refreshingly low (averaging ~12-13.5%), while acids are as low and refreshing as we can reasonably expect in Loudoun, and flavors are ripe, ripe ripe – think acacia, lychee, passion fruit, orange blossom.
Veering a bit off our standard course in the cellar, about 25% of this “stainless” Chardonnay was fermented in oak, mostly neutral, in hopes of lengthening the palate and adding aromatic dimension. Additionally, while the large majority of the Chardonnay comes from Shenandoah Springs, we utilized a bit of Estate Vineyard #1 in order to flesh the wine out and add body. A pre-release for our Club, this wine will be released to the public in May.
Sunset Hills Vineyard 2013 Merlot – The 2013 season gave us wonderful levels of ripeness in all blocks Merlot, producing concentrated fruit with a darker, denser, more intense and more structured Merlots than we’ve ever produced. Unfortunately, however, the quantities are quite small, due to a frost that took many sections of the Merlot blocks. Some of the Merlot was used here, for the varietal bottling, while the rest remained in barrel for use the Mosaic. Alas, it’s all really good and really delicious, and we don’t have much of it.
Blending here was done with a larger portion of Petit Verdot than standard, as much of the free run PV from Shenandoah Springs showcased gorgeous brambled fruit without the harsh tannic back end that Petit Verdot sometimes gives, making it a nice wine to utilize for lifting both the aromatics and tannins of the Merlot. Aged for 8 months in barrel and another 8 in bottle, this wine will essentially be sold out after the Club release.