A Tasting of the October/November 2015 Club Shipment

September 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

September 10th, 2015

Sunset Hills Vineyard 2014 Reserve Chardonnay – A pre-release of our most cherished Chardonnay bottling of the year, the 2014 Reserve Chardonnay is, in our winemaker’s opinion, our best Reserve Chardonnay yet.  Highly ripe, with orange peel, ginger, and tropical fruit aromatics, this year’s release is more subtly-oaked than in the past, with nice vanilla and coconut peering around the fruit, and a long, spicy dense finish.  A very interesting wine.

While in previous years the Reserve has originated in Estate Vineyard #1, the 2014 is a blend of our two Chardonnay vineyards – 65% Estate Vineyard #1 and 35% Shenandoah Springs.  The purpose here was to couple the great, ripe, pronounced aromatics of our V1 Chard with the more textural, acid-driven fruit from the Shenandoah Valley.  100% Chardonnay.  100% barrel fermented.  This is a pre-release for our club members.   Winner, Best Loudoun County Chardonnay, Loudoun Wine Awards.

Sunset Hills Vineyard 2014 Cabernet Franc – What a great vintage for Cabernet Franc!  And what great variety!  Shenandoah Springs gave us Cabernet Franc with nice finesse, great red fruit characteristics, and a depth we’re excited to have finally coaxed from the vineyard through better balance in the vines and more even ripening.  Our Estate blocks were ripe ripe in 2014, making big, lush wines leaning more toward stewed fruit and cigarbox aromatics, with a nice sweetness to the finish and a vibrant, pleasing quality.

Blending was very difficult and also very rewarding for this wine.  Ultimately, we wanted a thoughtful mixture of the two styles, meaning this wine has selections from both vineyards, as well as a dabble of Petit Verdot, so we’ve got great dense aromatics of bramble, baking spice, cedar, and bold red fruits.  A pre-release for our members, this wine is slated for release in our tasting room in late fall.

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