This elegant wine captures the feel of stepping off a plane in a new land and surprising the senses with a first breath of fresh air. Earthy fragrances of blackberry brandy, dark-roast coffee beans and fresh-ground coriander dazzle the senses, and are followed by flavors of dark plum, cranberry, toasted oak, baking spice and mushroom that create a dreamlike experience. Firm, mature tannins and balanced acidity provide ample structure while the silky texture and rich mouthfeel add rewarding tactility.
The Monterey AVA is the largest appellation within Monterey County, stretching almost the entire length of the county from east of Monterey Bay to just north of Paso Robles. Exposure to the bay’s maritime influence is the determining factor in grape selection: northern vineyards experience cool temperatures, afternoon breezes and frequent morning fog (favoring chardonnay and pinot noir) while those in south have warmer temperatures and dryer conditions with increased distance from the bay (excellent for most Portuguese grape varieties).
A sub-appellation of the Monterey AVA, Hames Valley is situated at the southern end of Monterey County. This tiny AVA is nearly surrounded by foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, but its southern demarcation opens to flatlands west of the Salinas River.
Sunset Vineyard was planted circa 1990, offering a unique combination of growing conditions such as rocky chalk-shale soils, elevations of 600–800 feet, and a climate that is warmer and dryer than the nearby San Miguel district of Paso Robles.