Santa Barbara County
After a year’s absence, we offer a Stolpman Vineyard syrah once again. We had problems in the winery with the 1998 and couldn’t in good conscience release a wine that did not come up to our expectations. Luckily in 1999 everything went right.
In 1999 we aggressively trimmed out every inappropriate cluster on the vines during the growing season and ended up with such a small yield from our plot at Stolpman that we offer this wine exclusively through this newsletter. The down side, then, is there isn’t much of it. But the up side is that this wine has fabulous concentration and shows its distinctive terroir brilliantly.
There is something very interesting about this vineyard because each year, after fermentation and continuing until bottling, there is a hardness and minerality about the young wine that puts most people off. I remember the 1996 in barrel. I couldn’t get anyone who tasted it to admit that it was any good at all! And yet, after bottling, it blossomed into an indisputably wonderful wine. The same was true about the 1997 and now this 1999. I think this wine has a great sense of place derived from the shale soil that it is grown on. It gives a mineral quality to the wine that makes it difficult to assess when young, but it is that same mineral-ness that allows the wine to carry the dark, blueberry Stolpman fruit with flair and elegance.