Stolpman Vineyards Para Maria 2018 | Hard to find a better wine for the price
Dark purple-black center with violet highlights at the rim. The nose is energetic and explosive with vibrant tones of blackberry, blueberry, spiced plum, and lots of cracked pepper. The palate shows a lively feel, with wildflowers, spices, and game. Though 80% Syrah, the Petit Verdot in this blend is an anchor, lending strong and dark tones, and carbonic maceration gives the wine extra lift and aromatic intensity. It’s long on the palate, and the coexistence of freshness and power in the wine is remarkable. This offers a lot to ponder at this price point! Drink this Stolpman Vineyards Para Maria 2018 now-2025+.
In the 2018 Para Maria de las Tecolotes, the team blends 80% Syrah with 20% Petit Verdot, lending the wine some pretty serious heft without sacrificing verve or length. The balance comes largely from their use of a method called carbonic maceration, where whole grape clusters are layered in a tank and pressured only by the force of their own weight. Much of the fermentation starts with the skins intact, producing a wine that is less extracted and therefore bouncier and fruitier in the glass.
Most of all, the resulting Stolpman Vineyards Para Maria 2018 is a total showstopper. While packed to the hilt with deep, dark Rhône concentration—one of our favorite Stolpman releases in years!
92WE | It’s hard to find a better wine for the price than this blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Petite Verdot. Blistered black-plum, charcoal, and fresh boysenberry aromas kick off the nose, while the palate blends black pepper, boysenberry, and smoke. It is a versatile table wine, as apt for tacos and barbecue as it is for prime rib and roast lamb.
92AG | The Stolpman Vineyards Para Maria 2018 is another gorgeous wine in this range from Stolpman. Syrah and Petit Verdot work together beautifully here. Hints of lavender, licorice, and spice meld into a core of inky dark fruit in a mid-weight, fruity red that offers tons of near and medium-term appeal. The 2018 is simply irresistible.
Ruben Solorzano | “The Grape Whisperer”
Stolpman’s Ruben Solorzano — the man Wine Enthusiast editors have nicknamed “The Grape Whisperer. Ruben not only manages the land at Stolpman Vineyards, but he also works on nearly every major Ballard Canyon vineyard. Including the likes of Jonata, Larner, Rusack, Kimsey, Harrison Clarke, Boa Vista, and others. 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. Of course, taking advantage of Santa Barbara’s chilly nights to harvest nocturnally. And in addition, preserve the berries’ scintillating acid vibrancy. Equipped with a headlamp and a smile, he presides over dry-farmed, head-pruned vines. The vineyards call too mind the Northern Rhône slopes of Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage.
Winemaker Sashi Moorman
So Solorzano and acclaimed Stolpman winemaker Sashi Moorman played the 2016 vintage perfectly. California winemakers will tell you that the defining event of the vintage was a severe heat spike in late September. While those who harvested after had to contend with accumulated sugars and lower acids. Those who picked before were treated to BB-sized berries of exquisite brightness and a suave density guaranteeing excellent cellaring potential. Finally, the Stolpman Vineyards Para Maria 2018 has it all. Definitely opulence, vibrancy, silken texture, and great length.