2011 Stolpman "Angeli" Santa Ynez Valley Syrah

SKU #1136162 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (100% syrah; vinified with one-third of its stems): Good bright red-ruby. Musky aromas of blackberry, smoked duck, cinders and crushed stone, complicated by mocha and minerals. Velvety and fine-grained on entry, then tactile and focused in the middle, with lovely aromatic perfume to the flavors of crushed blackberry and violet pastille complicated by meat and crushed stone. Superconcentrated wine with a long finish featuring a hint of leather and a floral pungency.  (12/2013)

92 points Antonio Galloni

 The 2011 Syrah Angeli, from own-rooted vines, is Stolpman's top Syrah selection. Dark, meaty aromas lead to blackberry jam, grilled herbs, flowers, spices and graphite in this intense, brooding Syrah. There is so much going on in the glass. At the same time, the 2011 remains quite massive. My concern with wines like this is they might never truly soften, which means the optimal drinking window will come and pass very quickly. Still, there is a lot to admire in the 2011. Drinking window: 2014 - 2021. Stolpman was one of the most pleasant and unexpected surprises of my Central Coast tastings. The wines, once heavy and overdone, are moving towards greater finesse. Winemaker Sashi Moorman has pretty much eliminated punchdows and increased whole cluster fermentations.  (7/2013)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From lighter soils and vines planted in 2000, the 2011 Syrah Angeli comes all from Block 5 of the Stolpman estate vineyard and was fermented with 70% whole cluster. Exhibiting fantastic raspberry, chalky minerality, liquid flower, violets and plenty of spice box qualities, it stays medium-bodied, fresh and elegant on the palate with an overall age-worthy feel. With time in the glass, more and more tannin shows, so give bottles another handful of years in the cellar. It should have 12-15 years or more of ultimate longevity. Drink 2015-2026. Under the guidance of Sashi Moorman (of Sandhi Wines and the winemaker here since 2001), this estate has slowly moved toward earlier picking and slightly more fresh, elegant wines.  (8/2013)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* It doesn’t say so on the label, but this is 100% Syrah. It’s massively rich and extracted in cherries and blackberries, with smooth tannins and a fine burst of acidity. Give it 5-6 years to let everything begin to knit together.  (9/2013)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "Never before have I seen a vintage that produced wines with so much nuance depending on the origin of their climate and soil type. At Stolpman our Syrah vines planted in pure limestone produced the best wines -- mineral, elegant, powerful, and complex. The cuvee was fermented with grapes from both older vines from our 1998 planting and younger vines that come from our 'own-rooted' vineyards planted in 2006. 33% stems were included in the fermentations. The 2011 Angeli will be extremely long-lived and will reach its plateau early. If you decide to drink this early, long decanting is recommended."

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Sants Inez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, chardonnay and pinot noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5
Organic: