2011 Stolpman "Angeli" Santa Ynez Valley Syrah
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.
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.
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.
*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.
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."