77% Merlot, Block A&B, Sunstone Estate Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley
17% Cabernet Franc, Sunstone Estate Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley
6% Cabernet Sauvignon, Sunstone Estate Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley
Fresh raspberries, bright blueberry preserves and pie crust are enhanced by dried fennel seeds, damp forest floor, lightly smoked green herbs and warm spices, gracefully finished with lingering Bing cherries and French oak vanillin.
The 2013 Merlot Reserve is produced exclusively from estate grown grapes. Farmed organically for over 25 years, Sunstone Estate vineyards produces ultra-premium quality wines with distinct varietal character, thanks to the site¹s unique terroir. During harvest the grapes were lightly crushed and de-stemmed, then pumped into 3/4 ton open top fermentation bins. After cold soaking, the grapes were inoculated with BDX yeast and allowed to ferment and macerate for 14-days on the skins to extract maximum color and flavor. Following fermentation, the wines were racked to 30% new and 70% neutral French oak barrels. After barrel aging for 23-months, the separate lots were blended to taste before being bottled in November, 2015, producing 190 cases 12/750mL and 120 magnums.
In the U.S. there are no regulations for the term "Reserve". The term is self-regulated with winemaker integrity being the underlying value that gives the term its credence. Traditionally winemakers would reserve some of their best wine. Sometimes, reserve wine originates from the best vineyards, or the best barrels, making it more special. However, in regions where the use is not regulated the mere presence of the term reserve on a wine label may be only marketing strategy. We at Sunstone use the term with fervent respect.
With proper cellaring this 2013 vintage Reserve Merlot will soften and peak from 2016 through 2020.
Bion Rice, Winemaking Director
Jose Gomez, Cellar Master
Guadalupe Chavez, Assistant Cellar Master
TA: 0.58 g/L
Residual Sugar: 0.56 g/L