Stolpman Vineyards La Cuadrilla 2020
The 2020 La Cuadrilla opens with a whole new world of red fruit from crunch, tangy cranberry trough to pure driving ripeness. A cut of lemon from the balancing acidity combines with mint leaves, chocolate, and peppercorns. Tannin lies just under the lingering red fruit finish, creating a tautness to the firm young wine. Already exceedingly pleasurable upon release, the wine evolves from a bright young profile to a richer, hedonistic full body with a few swirls in the glass.
Blend: 70% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre
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.
Accounting for only ten percent of the greater Santa Ynez AVA, Ballard Canyon’s north-south orientation provides an ideal pattern of sunshine and martime fog for producing excellent Syrah. While Syrah is planted to half of the total AVA acreage, an additional third is dedicated to other Rhône varieties, red and white.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.