2012 Stolpman "Originals" Ballard Canyon Syrah (1.5L)

SKU #1228657 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Distinctive and unique aromas of blueberry, sawdust pencil shavings, freshly tanned leather and fennel seed swirl amidst a mysterious minty element. It’s silky and lush once sipped, with fine-grained tannins and all shades of purple fruit and flower flavors.  (12/2014)

93 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Two Stars* The latest line-up of Stolpman Syrahs is nothing short of a true embarrassment of riches, and this wine made from the oldest block of Syrah in Ballard Canyon is a powerful and impressively extracted working that manages to be both brawny and well-behaved at once. It is mouthfilling stuff, and it does not stint on ripeness, yet it is always in balance and displays lovely, very pure fruit with highlights of dried flowers and spice, and, like its mates, it a wine that will age famously even as it tempts with immense richness in its youth.  (11/2014)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright purple. Sexy, spice-laced cherry and blueberry aromas show very good clarity, picking up notes of woodsmoke, Asian spices and candied flowers with air. Vibrant dark fruit and spicecake flavors gain depth and sweetness in the glass while maintaining vivacity. The floral quality builds strongly through the gently tannic finish, which lingers with outstanding clarity and mineral-driven persistence.  (12/2014)

93 points Vinous

 Explosive and perfumed to the core, the 2012 Syrah Originals captivates all the sense with exuberant perfume and super-intense fruit, all with plenty of underlying structure. Cloves, lavender, mint and an array of spices inform the fragrant, highly expressive finish. The 60% whole clusters are impeccably balanced. This is a gorgeous showing from Stolpman. (AG)  (7/2014)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Darker and richer, the 2012 Syrah Originals comes from the 2 oldest blocks on the estate, and sees slightly more stem inclusion than the estate Syrah. It’s loaded with assorted dark fruits, chocolate, smoke, dried violets and chalky minerality, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, impressive concentration and a clean, nicely focused finish. (JD)  (8/2014)

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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 Santa Ynez 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