Stolpman Vineyards Estate Grown Syrah 2016 | Seductive Dark-Berry Concentration
Stolpman Vineyards Estate Grown Syrah 2016 is deep ruby with purple hues. Decadent aromas of blueberry, chicory, cinnamon, and nuanced leather. Also, energetic layers of red fruit and blackberry jam coast the palate tinged with vanilla, black tea, and wild herbs. In addition, beautifully integrated oak notes shape a lasting finish with just a hint of baking spice. Most of all, this powerful Syrah shows off the silken dark-berry opulence of the vintage. Drinkable in its youth, but has the tannic backbone to be cellared for several years. Don’t miss this Stolpman Syrah from Winemaker Sashi Moorman paired with Vineyard Manager Ruben Solorzano.
Ruben Solorzano — Wine Enthusiast’s “grape whisperer”
Last August, Robert Parker’s longtime California reviewer, Jeb Dunnuck, called the Stolpman Vineyards Estate Grown Syrah 2016 “ripe, sexy and polished. Among “the best wines to date from Stolpman Vineyards, it’s no surprise, given the talent behind this bottle. The tag team of consulting winemaker Sashi Moorman (Ojai, Domaine de la Cote, and Evening Lands) and vineyard manager Ruben Solorzano — Wine Enthusiast’s “grape whisperer” — crafted a terrifically ripe, and beautifully compact expression of Stolpman Syrah. While the explosive fruit and seductive texture suggest a much higher price point.
Jeb Dunnuck went on to call the Stolpman Syrah a “charmer to drink in its youth. In addition, Dunnuck also hailed it’s “terrific tannin quality,” suggesting a wealth of cellaring potential. True to the philosophy of founder Tom Stolpman, the wine begins in the vineyard, where Ruben Solorzano dry-farms the pristine Syrah vines, rooted in Santa Barbara’s Ballard Canyon. By the time Sashi Moorman takes over in the cellar, Syrah berries are exploding with flavor. While delivering the kind of Holy Grail dark-berry concentration you’d expect from Hermitage. Moorman then applies the same deft precision he picked up at The Ojai Vineyard, using explicitly “free-run” juice prior to pressing.
Ballard Canyon is home to many of California’s best Rhône-styled wines, and Solorzano is the AVA’s hardest working man. He’s also a night owl. Hence taking advantage of Santa Barbara’s chilly nights to harvest nocturnally preserving the berries’ scintillating acid vibrancy. Equipped with a headlamp and a smile, he presides over dry-farmed, head-pruned vines. Furthermore, calls to mind the northern Rhône slopes of Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage.
Winemaker Sashi Moorman | Stolpman Syrah
Solorzano and Moorman played the 2016 vintage in Ballard Canyon perfectly. Any California winemaker will tell you that the defining event of the vintage was a severe heat spike in late September. Those who harvested after had to contend with accumulated sugars and lower acids. Hence, those who picked before were treated to BB-sized berries of exquisite brightness and a suave density guaranteeing excellent cellaring potential. Most noteworthy, Solorzano and Moorman were among the early birds. Hence, the Stolpman Vineyards Estate Grown Syrah 2016 is a powerful yet nuanced expression of the Central Coast; one that can be enjoyed now or for years to come.