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CHANGE IS IN THE AIR! Over twenty-four thousand vines on Sunstone’s estate vineyard have been tended to by hand since they were pruned in January, 2013, and now they are going through their annual metamorphosis we in the wine world call Véraison; when the grapes change color from green to purple, and the sugars begin to develop. After this transformation the acids slowly decrease as complex sugars steadily increase, providing flavorful hints of what the new vintage will bring. This visual transformation brings some nervousness, yet excitement. The color change signals a visual reminder that harvest is near, and that we had better start preparing the harvest equipment, barrels and laboratory. The yeast selections begin to enter our conversations and some winemakers begin to make the call on estimated pick dates, yields, quality and recall prior years comparatively. The entire winemaking community enters into a frenzy of prospecting, purchase agreements and contract signing. Farmers and winemakers begin making deals on the hoods of trucks in vineyards, or in local restaurants as they savor their prized vintages, hoping the new vintage will be fruitful. The craziest part about this business is the fact that this year’s harvest may not be bottled next year, or even the year after. We will ferment it’s goodness, preserve and protect it from oxygen and spoilage, and bottle it perhaps many years from now, when we will have likely forgotten about all of the anxiety and anticipation this year has brought. Such is life, such is change.

— Bion Rice, Husband, Father, Proprietor, Winemaker CALL: 800-313-9463 � EMAIL: INFO@SUNSTONEWINERY.COM � WEB: SUNSTONEWINERY.COM

2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Barbar a county BACKGROUND: The Sauvignon Blanc grape variety originates from the Bordeaux region of France and likely got its name from the French words sauvage (“wild”) and blanc (“white”) due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France. What’s historically significant about this variety is that, at some point in the 18th century, the vine paired with Cabernet Franc to parent the Cabernet Sauvignon vine.

WINEMAKING: Grown in the Santa Ynez Valley, Sunstone’s 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was made in a fashion which highlights the crisp acidity and fresh citrus character of the variety. The grapes were lightly pressed as whole clusters, and the juice settled. After being racked from its solids, the juice proceeded through an eight day fermentation in stainless steel. Racked from its fermentation lees early on, shortly after the completion of fermentation, the resulting wine was aged in stainless steel for approximately nine months, lightly fined and gently filtered before bottling to 220 cases.

TASTING NOTES: Crisp green apple and elegant tropical notes are highlighted by light herbal nuances. On the palate, the wine is alive with zesty acidity, yet it has a mild viscosity at the same time. Best consumed now to enjoy the freshness of the wine, the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc will continue to develop nicely over the next year or two.

WINE CHEMISTRY: pH: 3.42, TA: 5.41 g/L, Residual Sugar: 1.2 g/L, Alcohol: 14.9%

PRICE: $35 � RE-ORDER PRICE: $24.50


2012 R apsodie du Soleil, Santa Ynez Valley BACKGROUND: Rapsodie du Soleil is our tribute to the great red wines of Châteauneufdu-Pape. Made in the classic Southern Rhône tradition of blended red wines, Sunstone’s 2012 Rapsodie du Soleil is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Viognier that transcends the qualities of any one of the grape varieties on its own, each variety lending the finished wine unique nuance and texture. Syrah brings power and depth to the blend; Grenache, elegantly balances this young wine out with it’s juicy fruit forwardness; Viognier, contributed floral aromatics and softened the wines mouth-feel.

WINEMAKING: The Syrah portion of the blend was hand-picked from the Claxton Vineyard, located 1.5 miles from Sunstone’s estate on Refugio Road. The Grenache was farmed by the Saarloos family at the Windmill Ranch site in Ballard Canyon, a slightly cooler microclimate than Sunstone’s estate, resulting in nice acidity. The grapes for both wines were gently crushed to small open top fermenters and, after a 3 day cold-soak, spent an average of 18 days on skins to best extract the intense flavors and aromas. The Syrah was pressed out to new French oak barrels, and the Grenache went into to new American oak puncheons, where the wines aged separately for nine months. Entirely stainless steel fermented and aged, the Viognier was sourced entirely from Sunstone’s estate. All three wines were blended to taste and bottled in July, 2013, without any fining or filtration.

TASTING NOTES: Earthy plum and raspberry aromas are framed by notes of black pepper, brown sugar, dried green herbs, coffee, and allspice, with a subtle background of cedar box and smokey oak. On the palate, the 2012 Rapsodie is marked by juicy dark plum, red cherry and rich blueberry flavors with surprisingly soft tannins and vibrant acidity. This medium-bodied, young red wine is delicious now, with 30-minutes of patient decanting, but will gracefully mature over the next three years, showing off more of the spicy and earthy aromas that characterize this wine.

WINE CHEMISTRY: pH: 3.43, TA: 6.65 g/L, Residual Sugar: 0.04 g/L, Alcohol: 14.7%


2009 Merlot, Santa Ynez Valley BACKGROUND: Merlot, the most widely planted red grape in the Bordeaux region of France, reaches its apogee of quality on the Right Bank of the Gironde River in the Pomerol district. There, often blended with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, it produces wines much appreciated for their juicy black plum and boysenberry flavors; soft, bushy textures; and moderately tannic backbone. Planted in sandy-clay soils, Merlot in Pomerol is, above all, known for its immediate charms and remarkable ability to evolve and develop with bottle age. At Sunstone, it is this very particular expression of Merlot to which we aspire.

WINEMAKING: A blend of 88% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon the 2009 Merlot Estate is made of 100% organically grown grapes from the Sunstone Estate. The 2009 Estate Merlot expresses the gravelly-clay terroir of the upper terraces of our vineyard. Planted in soils very similar to those found in Pomerol and in the neighboring St. Emillion, our Estate bottling come largely from Blocks C & D, located on a gently sloping hill behind the Villa. Cabernet Franc, blended in for its aromatic and textural contribution, comes from a gravelly-sand block on the middle terrace of the Sunstone property. An adjacent block of Cabernet Sauvignon brings additional structure and gravity to the wine. Fruit, picked at moderate levels of ripeness, is destemmed and gently crushed to small open top fermenters and, after a 3 day cold-soak, spends and average of 18 days on skins to best extract the intense flavors and aromas that the Estate Vineyard produces. Aging for 40 months in 60% new French oak has resulted in a polished, elegant mouth-feel and subtle aromas of coffee and cocoa.

TASTING NOTES: Deep aromas of black cherry and plum are complemented by pipe tobacco and cedar notes. On the palate, similar notes of plum and extremely ripe cherries give way to earthy complexity and a sauvage character that is distinct to the 2009 vintage. The mouth-feel is one of power and structure, but remains fresh due to a burst of vibrant acid on the finish. Delicious now, our 2009 Estate Merlot should age gracefully for an additional 3 years in bottle, peaking in 2015.

WINE CHEMISTRY: pH: 3.65, TA: 5.81 g/L, Residual Sugar: 0.01 g/L, Alcohol: 14.5% PRICE: $45 � RE-ORDER PRICE: $31.50 CALL: 800-313-9463 � EMAIL: INFO@SUNSTONEWINERY.COM � WEB: SUNSTONEWINERY.COM

Food Pairing Ideas for this Month’s Releases 2010 SAUVIGNON BLANC, SANTA BARBAR A COUNTY Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect wine to pair with California Fusion and Pacific Rim cuisine. We recommend that you make a night out of this visually guided Spicy Tuna Rolls Recipe by Nami of Just One Cookbook. What better way to enjoy a romantic dinner experience with your Sunstone Sauvignon Blanc? Enjoy!

2012 R APSODIE DU SOLEIL, SANTA YNEZ VALLEY Although lamb and Rhone blends are classic together, we recommend trying our 2012 Rapsodie du Soleil with Toulouse-Style Cassoulet on Food & Wine’s website: “Although there are innumerable versions of cassoulet, most are based on a stew of white beans and various forms of pork. The dish gets its name from the pot it’s traditionally baked in, the cassole (see Note), which is often shaped like a wide inverted cone to insure the greatest amount of luscious crust. This version includes duck confit and the French garlic sausages that are a specialty of Toulouse.” — by Paula Wolfort

2009 MERLOT, SANTA YNEZ VALLEY Merlot is known for it’s smooth silky fruit character and subtle notes of chocolate and spice. So when we stumbled across this unique pairing from Matching Food and Wine which paired Merlot with Chocolate-Chilli Cheesecake, we knew we had to try it. “Merlot is a grape variety that is often described as having chocolatey notes itself but these would not normally be in evidence when paired with chocolate. But with this particular cheesecake it tasted great the chilli and lime zest bringing out all its lush fruitiness.” — by Fiona Beckett


Upcoming Events at Sunstone Winery


HOST YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY AT SUNSTONE Corporate holiday events, employee gatherings, and “end of year” festivities. For more details or to book an event contact or (805) 688-9463 x234



“Sunstone Release Party” in collaboration with the SBIFF “Cinema Society Premier” The event will be held at The Sunstone Villa from 1 - 4pm. This is a Sunstone Club and Cinema Society Members only event. RSVP to or (805) 688-9463 x223 For more info go to or AUGUST 11:


The event will be held at The Sunstone Villa from 4 - 7pm. Tickets start at $85 per Individual and $150 for a Couples Ticket. Club Sunstone Members receive an exclusive discount of $65 per person. Please email for your special discount CODE. For more info go to Tickets are available at OCTOBER 5:


Tyrone Wells and Sunstone Vineyards & Winery have joined forces to create a unique VIP experience for you. This event is limited to 100 fans. Time: 5:00pm. Admission: $160. Age restrictions: 21+. For more information or to buy tickets go to: OCTOBER 13:


The event will be held at Sunstone Winery from 9am - 2pm. Early Bird tickets are $125 (all inclusive), and $150 after August 31, 2013. Only 100 spots are available. For tickets or more info contact or (805) 688-9463 x244


The Villa

THE SUNSTONE VILLA Originally conceived as a private home, the 8,500 square foot Villa now serves as an extension of the Sunstone Winery lifestyle by providing a culinary center to entertain guests. On a trip to France, Fred and Linda discovered reclamation yards containing architectural remains of buildings in towns and humble villages in various regions of France, including Marseille and Provence, from which the artifacts were incorporated into the Villa. Reclaimed materials, such as French limestone, hand-formed roof tiles, a fireplace from the Bordeaux region of France and a thousand-year old limestone kitchen sink were all incorporated into their dream building. Walking through the Villa is an opportunity to see and touch pieces of history. The Villa has five suites, each with private entrances and a view of the Santa Ynez mountains and Sunstone vineyards. Fred and Linda Rice designed and built a house from which to watch the four seasons that will become even more beautiful with age, a living piece of history. Click here to learn more about the Sunstone Villa.

YOUR WEDDING AT THE SUNSTONE VILLA Tucked on the edge of the Santa Ynez River, in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine country, Sunstone Vineyards, Winery and Villa is a beautiful event destination that greets your guests with the delicate fragrance of French lavender and rosemary. Reminiscent of wineries in the Provencal French countryside, the courtyard and architecture create the perfect backdrop for your special Wedding. As a small family owned and operated winery we book only a handful of weddings each year. Sunstone Winery also hosts events such as Rehearsal Dinners, Birthday and Anniversary parties, and Corporate dinners. Please refer to the Sunstone Private Events section of this website for the booking details as they differ from the Wedding requirements. If you would like to visit Sunstone Winery for a site inspection or discuss the details of your wedding, contact Annamarie Kostura at (800) 313-9463 ext. 234 or via email at



CRISP WHITES & ROSE 2009 Soleil Blanc – Summer Case Special, $65 a case! 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, SYV 2011 Grenache Blanc, SYV 2012 Grenache Blanc, SYV 2012 Viognier, SBC 2012 Grenache Rose, SBC

MEDIUM BODIED, FRUIT FORWARD REDS 2010 Merlot Estate 2011 Merlot, SYV 2011 Syrah Reserve

DRY & EARTHY REDS 2007 Syrah Reserve 2012 Rapsodie du Soleil 2010 Cabernet Franc

BIG, BOLD & BEAUTIFUL REDS 2008 Merlot Reserve 2009 Merlot Estate 2008 Eros Estate 2010 Eros Estate

SWEET DESSERT WINES 2012 Malvasia Bianca, SBC 2006 Doce da Alma


Club Sunstone August Newsletter  

Newsletter for our Club Sunstone Members for August releases

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