Stolpman Vineyards: Phenomenal Dry-Farmed Estate Syrah
The history of Ballard Canyon is a close call; it almost went to the Perrin family as they were looking for a vineyard for their California project. Luckily, Tom Stolpman held his ground in the bidding war and ended up with this 220 acre (about 90 hectares) estate, now planted with vineyards located on pure limestone ridges covered by a loamy clay soil. Tom's son Peter now runs the winery, with longtime vineyard manager Ruben Solorzano and winemaker Kyle Knapp. Incredibly, in his spare time, Peter also collaborates with celebrity sommelier Rajat Parr on the Combe Trousseau line, producing both an ever-trendy pétillant naturel and a red wine from the obscure Trousseau grape.
In a bold move for California, the Stolpmans dry-farm their vineyard, using the natural clay for moisture in the soil. The cool fog of the vineyards lends a lovely fresh streak to these wines. The combination of the dry-farmed vines and the large diurnal shift give these wines phenomenal intensity and purity of fruit.
With prices in both California and the Rhône Valley ever-rising, the Stolpmans have kept their pricing exceptionally keen, with their stunning Estate Syrah running just £25 per bottle in bond.
|2015 Estate Syrah
£300 per 12 in bond
£25 per bottle in bond
"The 2015 Syrah Estate is a powerful, intense wine that captures the natural intensity of its Ballard Canyon site. Today, the tannins are a bit fierce, but there is good purity and depth to the dark, red-toned fruit. Floral notes offer brightness and perfume with time in the glass."
92 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, September 2017