1st Bottle Red: 1st Bottle Red: Stolpman Vineyards Estate Grown Syrah 2018

For the wine snob: 100% Syrah, Today we rely on concentration derived from our version of dry-farming – no irrigation from fruit-set through picking.  We are able to harvest small, undiluted grapes at the peak of freshness without the jammy flatness associated with longer hang-times and dehydrated fruit. The heat-free 2018 vintage gave winemakers the chance to let fruit hang on the vine to achieve extreme ripeness with some semblance of balance and energy.

For the rest of us: Medium bodied with red and black fruits on the nose like black currant and boysenberries. Floral notes like violets accompany the fruit on the palate, tannins are smooth with a long elegant finish. Food for thought for this pairing would be rack of lamb, medium to hard cheeses or braised beef.

1st Bottle White: Stolpman Vineyards Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2018

For the wine snob: 100% Sauvignon Blanc and is aged in 60% stainless steel, 40% Neutral French Oak. 2018 cool harvest conditions allowed picking for high acid, energetic components at 20 brix on September 14th and left about 10% of the crop hanging to allow and give more richness and depth which was picked October 22nd.

For  the rest of us: The crisp, bright profile binds with the weight and texture of the mid-palate. Hints of zesty citrus, tropical fruit, golden brush, and riper pear elements with a stony dry note from the limestone. Pair this Sauvignon Blanc with shellfish, fatty meats, cheeses or fish such as salmon.

2nd Bottle Red: 2018 Stolpman Para Maria Red Blend Santa Barbara County

For the wine snob: Maria Solorzano, this wine’s namesake, appears shy around visitors and she is always quick to smile. For anyone that sees her in action, it is clear that she leads by the example of her hard-work. Vignerons Ruben and Maria Solorzano partner with the Stolpman family on two different projects. This one, Para Maria, Ruben cherry picks the fruit for red and rosé wines from the dozens of Santa Barbara County vineyards under his farming control.  Prior to this partnership, Ruben took this fruit for his Hecho Por Ruben label.

For the rest of us: This red blend of 80% Syrah, 20% Petit Verdot, bright scents of blackberries and blackcurrants with notes of spices, earth and loads of floral perfume. The medium to full-bodied palate is concentrated and wonderfully fresh, with a grainy frame and long finish provided from the 20% Petit Verdot for more depth. Pair this red blend with grilled meats, medium to hard cheeses and red sauce dishes.

2nd Bottle White: Stolpman Estate Grown Roussanne 2018 Ballard Canyon

For the wine snob:  100% Roussanne, this varietal is extremely slow to grow and mature through the season and the conditions at Stolpman combine to allow for even, albeit late, ripening.  Our southern location near 34 degrees latitude gives the Roussanne grapes intense solar radiation to tan the fruit their namesake “Rousse” or Rust color. A month prior to forecasted harvest, every grape cluster is rotated 180 degrees to facilitate an even sun-tan. We are extremely proud that our 19 acres of Roussanne now represent a world-wide benchmark for the varietal.

For the rest of us: The Red wine drinker’s white!  2017 Roussanne is rich and textured enough to stand up to most proteins from raw or cooked seafood, to turkey, through pork. It has a red wine weight but with a pretty lemon meringue profile. Fleshy textures ride many a layered current through the palate.

1st Reserve Bottle Red: Stolpman Estate Sangiovese 2018 Ballard Canyon

For the wine snob: Tom Stolpman planted the original 10 acres of Sangiovese way back in 1994.  Today, we are up to 21 planted acres of the grape and we still can’t keep up with near fanatical demand from our wine club members.  By far the most popular wine in our Los Olivos tasting room, we have had to cut back out-of-state distribution on this wine.

For the rest of us: Rich notes of raspberries, hints of strawberry sweetness, spice and leather show up on the mid palate. Nice acidity, medium bodied with mild tannins that round out the fruit notes for this wine. Pair this Sangiovese with Pasta Bolognese or lamb chops.

1st Reserve Bottle White: Stolpman Vineyards L'Avion Roussanne 2016

For the wine snob: 88% Roussanne, 12% Chardonnay. Pete Stolpman says that they could not make L’Avion without our full time crew, La Cuadrilla’s focus and determination. Wine destined for L’Avion must go through three cuts.  First, only the two older blocks of Roussanne are eligible for L’Avion.  Then, only the prettiest, evenly “Rousse” – or sun tanned – clusters are selected by Cuadrilla.  At last, we include only our favorite barrels for L’Avion.  At the end of the day, L’Avion accounts for 25-33% of our total Roussanne production each year.

For the rest of us: An exceptionally moderate vintage, 2016 created supple, coating wines that reward both those looking for immediate gratification and long-term Cellar rats. 2016 might be a heightened, deep sensuality on the ripe, perfumed nose. Sensory Packed full of tropical fruit, golden pineapple, white flowers, jasmine, and the telltale L’Avion honeysuckle and the hints of oak further the depth of concentrated fruit. This wine pairs with so many different food dishes like pork, shellfish, chicken and cheese.

2nd Reserve Bottle Red: Stolpman So Fresh “GDG” Gamay 2018

For the wine snob: Stolman own-rooted their first Gamay block back in 2016.  The vines have struggled to establish themselves in the extreme Ballard Canyon wind and diurnal shifts and yields are very low.  Stolpman is now working on grafting Gamay onto rootstock.  The new Gamay blocks will begin producing in 2021.  In the meantime, they are augmenting production with their favorite Gamay vineyard in Santa Barbara County. As one of the new members of the Stolpman Syrah So Fresh Family, Carbonic and no sulfur added – GDG Gamay comes with a label hand-written in Ruben’s beautiful penmanship.  When Tom Stolpman arrived at Villa Angeli one Friday afternoon in early 2016 he noticed some re-plantings across the L’Avion runway in Block 6.  He asked me what we had planted: His response was..

You Planted GOD DAMNED GAMAY?” ….. “Well, at least we have a name for it now.

For the rest of us: 2019 GDG loads of red fruit, tart cherries, strawberries that give the wine lively notes of freshness, flinty notes and almost a hint of effervescent from the carbonic maceration that went of with whole clusters of the grapes. This wild wine can be paired with lots of dishes from fish, roasted pork, aged cheeses to Thanksgiving dinners.