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2010 Stolpman Angeli Syrah 750ml

2010 Stolpman Angeli Syrah

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Blackberries, tar, graphite and smoke burst onto the palate in the 2010 Syrah Angeli. It is an especially jammy, full-bodied wine endowed with tremendous depth and richness. I find less varietal character here than in some of the other Stolpman wines, but the Angeli is well-balanced, within the style. The Angeli was made with fully de-stemmed fruit. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.

Stolpman is one of the larger estates in the Santa Ynez Valley. The property spans 220 total acres, 150 of which are under vine. This is a solid set of wines, with a number of highlights. At the same time, I feel an identifiable house style has yet to emerge. This is most evident in the Syrahs, which are all over the map in terms of their personalities. For example, use of stem inclusion is driven by the qualities of each individual site, rather than by an overarching philosophy. While that sounds great in theory, it can lead to wines that are stylistically very different from each other. Still, the best Stolpman wines are compelling. In 2010, the heat spikes that were so challenging for Pinot Noir were less of an issue for Syrah, as the grapes were much less further along in their development, and the skins were thus more resistant to the conditions. Winemaker Sashi Moorman reports that some sorting was necessary to remove sunburned fruit, but that dehydration was not a major issue. Moorman also notes that as the vines have gotten older, the berries are smaller and therefore the grapes are sturdier, which requires less irrigation, a phenomena he first noted when visiting Saxum’s James Berry Vineyard just before harvest a few years back. Vintage 2011 was much less kind here. Frost lowered yields by as much as 40%, but that is a story for next year.

91 Points - Wine Advocate

Producer: Stoplman Vineyards


Price: $77.99

Availability: 2

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Varietal: Syrah or Shiraz
Depending on where it's grown and how it's made, the variety has two names. In France, where it goes by Syrah, it makes a huge contribution to the red wines of the Rhone Valley. In the southern Rhone villages of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, and Vacqueyras it is blended with a number of varieties but mainly Grenache. It is in the northern Rhone, including Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage,Côte-Rôtie, St. Joseph, where it most often stands out on its own, and is only occasionally blended with the region's white grapes. More recently, in the late 20th Century, Shiraz has put Australian producers such as Penfolds and d’Arenberg on the fine wine map, with cult wines like "Grange" and "The Dead Arm". Generally speaking, the style from the old world is more savoury, expressing aromas of pepper, cured meat and leather. The hotter climate experienced in Australia results in more upfront, dense and even jammy fruit. The grape has also taken off with rapid success in California and Washington, as well as South Africa and New Zealand. Producers in these regions often name their varietal wines according to the style they intend.

Country: United States
Although wine is made in all 50 states, it is understandable, with almost 90% of the country's production, that California is synonymous with domestic wine. As of 2010 harvest, reports indicate that Washington, New York & Oregon account for additional 6% of production, meanwhile Virginia, Missouri and Texas's wine industries are growing to a point beyond that of just a tourist attraction.

Region: California
California is one of the most diverse wine producing regions of the world. Although it has a history spanning over 200 years, it has experienced most of its growth in the last fifty years. The regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma County have become as renowned as France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy. While Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay are by far the most popular fine wine varieties, producers in the Golden State have also experimented with an unparalleled array of diverse varieties, including Zinfandel, Syrah, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo.

Sub-Region: Central Coast
The Central Coast is the largest AVA and includes the famous appellations of Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria Valleys.

Type: Red
Red wine is wine made from dark-coloured grape varieties. The color of red differs based on the grapes variety or varieties used. Interestingly, black grapes yield a juice that is greenish-white. The actual red color comes from anthocyan pigments (also called anthocyanins) from the skin of the grape (exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red colored juice). Most of the production centers around the extraction of color and flavor from the grape skin.