Stolpman Vineyards Hilltops Syrah 2006
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Stolpman Vineyards is located in Ballard Canyon, just 15 miles from the coast. The location lends to warm days with cool nights. Tom and Marilyn Stolpman planted their first grapes in 1992 and today have 120 planted acres. The vineyard continues to be a dynamic location for the planting of Syrah, Sangiovese and Rousanne. Jeff Newton and Larry Finkle, along with our Vineyard Manager, Ruben Solorzano, have recently planted high density vines and continue to explore the standards of what it takes to make the best quality grapes from southern exposed vines and limestone soil.
Ranging from cool and foggy in the west to warm and dry in the east, the Santa Ynez Valley is a climatically diverse growing area. The most expansive AVA within the larger Santa Barbara County region, Santa Ynez is also home to a wide variety of soil types and geographical features. The appellation is further divided into four distinct sub-AVAs—Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District and Happy Canyon—each with its own defining characteristics.
A wide selection of grapes is planted here—more than sixty different varieties, and counting. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir dominate in the chilly west, while Zinfandel, Rhône blends, and Bordeaux blends rule the arid east. Syrah is successful at both ends of the valley, with a lean and peppery, Old-World sensibility closer to the coast and lush berry fruit further inland.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”