91 Points, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, 10/1/19
GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
5 months in Neutral & New French Oak
This estate bottling opens with a medley of citrus and stone fruit notes, including orange peel, grapefruit pulp, tangerines, peach and apricots with hints of honeysuckle on the nose. The creamy mouthfeel is accentuated by the warmth of baked peach, apple pie, clove, vanilla and honey flavors.
The 2018 vintage of our only Estate white varietal, named after our matriarch Linda Rice, was hand harvested in the early morning on September 18th. Upon arrival at the winery the fruit was lightly pressed whole cluster to prevent the inclusion of harsh seed tannins and to preserve the aromatic freshness of the juice. After being left to settle for two days the wine was racked to a combination of new and neutral French oak barrels where it underwent spontaneous fermentation by native yeast. Completing fermentation after two weeks, the barrels were topped and left to age. The barrels were stirred twice monthly. This “battonage” process of mixing the lees into suspension with the wine releases fatty acid compounds that enhance mouthfeel and flavor and helps promote malolactic fermentation. After five months of aging the barrels were blended, underwent cold and heat stability and were bottled to just 135 cases in April of 2019.
The intense citrus notes in this wine will pair lovely with a creamy chicken curry dish. Looking for something lighter with less spice? Try pairing this Viognier with a classic cheese and crackers spread. Our favorite cheeses to choose from are Blu Di Bufala & Fromager d’Affinois. The vanilla and honey notes from the oak aging on this wine help complete the creamy tangy nuances found in these cheeses.
The 2018 Linda’s Viognier can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 3 years if stored in proper conditions.
Bion Rice, Director of Winemaking
Matt Smith, Consulting Winemaker
Jon Flores, Assistant Winemaker
Jose Gomez, Cellar Master
Guadalupe Chavez, Assistant Cellar Master