Sun Chase was purchased by Alex Guarachi in the spring of 2013, after he sourced from the vineyard for his Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Following several vintages that blended Sun Chase with other Sonoma Coast vineyards, it was clear that Sun Chase delivered truly exceptional Pinot Noir. This is Guarachi Family Wines’ first single vineyard bottling from this estate, and illustrates why Sun Chase is considered one of the most sought after vineyards in Sonoma County.
“We wanted our Sun Chase Pinot Noir to capture the elegance and finesse that this high elevation vineyard is capable of. I really believe that we have crafted a refined expression of the Sun Chase terroir,” says Alex Guarachi, vintner of his eponymous brand.
Guarachi Family Wines Sun Chase Pinot Noir 2013 is a blend of clones 777 and 828. The grapes were night harvested by hand and aged 11 months in 100% French oak, 55% new. The resulting wine exhibits a floral nose and tremendous fruit, with rich red berries that are complemented by fine tannins and good acidity.
Over a dozen other high-end wineries source fruit from Sun Chase, which lies on the southwestern slopes of Sonoma Mountain at an elevation around 1,400 feet. The vineyard sits on loam soils and was planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in 2007. Sun Chase is one of the highest elevation vineyards in the Petaluma Gap, where most of the Pinot Noir blocks reside above the morning fog line, allowing for ample sunlight. Balanced fruit and minerality are hallmarks of Pinot Noir from Sun Chase.
The Petaluma Gap is renowned for its unique characteristics within Sonoma Coast. Cool ocean air is pulled through a 15-mile wide gap in the coastal range, as inland temperatures heat up in the afternoons. This cooling wind tunnel creates temperature swings of 40-50 degrees. The diurnal temperature variation lessens yields, thickens skins and allows grapes to ripen later with desirable acidity. The distinctive characteristics of the Petaluma Gap have prompted growers to purse AVA status, in an effort to differentiate themselves from the broad, catch-all Sonoma Coast AVA in which the gap currently resides.
Guarachi Family Wines makes other single vineyard wines from Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast, all of which will release new vintages in spring 2015. Their Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir 2013 is also a wine from a notable vineyard in the Petaluma Gap. This year, their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 features fruit solely from Broken Rock vineyard. Additionally, the brand will release their ultra-premium Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.
ABOUT GUARACHI FAMILY WINES
In 2007, after 25 years of serving as the founder and president of Guarachi Wine Partners, Alex Guarachi poured his passion and experience building brands into his own eponymous boutique label, with very well crafted and limited bottlings of Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley and Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast. In the past year, Guarachi Family Wines purchased Meadowrock vineyard in the Atlas Peak appellation of Napa Valley and Sun Chase vineyard, which overlooks Gap’s Crown in the Sonoma Coast Petaluma Gap.