K&L Wine Merchants - Header

An “Awesome” 93-Point, Sub-$19 Central Coast Red from Stolpman - 02/06/2018 - Syrah (domestic)

Earning 93 points and priced under $19, the 2016 Stolpman "Para Maria" Santa Barbara Red is a thrilling find that will be an immediate hit with anyone who loves depth, richness, extraction, and power. Stolpman is one of the most sought-after and and respected producers in the Central Coast today, crafting wines that express all the best characteristics of this region’s unique terroir. Organic practices, native yeasts, dry farming, and limited production all are central to Stolpman’s approach and it shows, as the purity of fruit is nothing short of spectacular. The profile is precisely as one would expect from Syrah driven blend from the Central Coast. High-toned and with ample red and black fruit, it is accented by peppery spice along with elements of graphite and savory herbs. On par with some of the best from the Central Coast, the value of this 2016 is incontestable.

Also available, are the “Estate” Syrah and the "La Cuadrilla" red. Both hail from the Ballard Canyon. This newest Santa Barbara AVA has already built a reputation for Syrahs the stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the world’s top regions, including Hermitage and Cornas. Both are utterly delicious and are very attractively priced given their pedigree. Quantities are very limited, so you will need to plan your purchase accordingly.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2016 Stolpman "Para Maria" Santa Barbara County Red Blend 93 $18.99 View
2014 Stolpman "Estate" Ballard Canyon Syrah 93 $26.99 View
2015 Stolpman "La Cuadrilla" Ballard Canyon Red Blend $21.99 View

Staff Image

2016 Stolpman "Para Maria" Santa Barbara County Red Blend ($18.99)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This Syrah, which is enhanced by 15% Petit Verdot, is one of the better wines from the region on the market for less than $25. Awesome aromas of pepper, blackberry and charred beef are intense and deep, while the palate is lifted by bountiful acidity and flavors of boysenberry, white, black and green peppercorns, incense and sagebrush. (MK)" (12/2017)

88-90 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Not yet bottled, the 2016 Para Maria Red Wine is a partnership between vineyard managers Ruben and Maria Solorzano and the Stolpman Family. Its a mix of 88% Syrah and 12% Petite Verdot that was fermented with some stems (just for the Syrah) and was aged in neutral barrels. It has lots of stem and pepper notes as well as tons of dark fruit, medium-bodied richness, firm tannin, and plenty of character. Its an excellent value and will keep for 3-5 years." (08/2017)

K&L Notes: Wine Enthusiast Top 100 List - #51 and Editor's Choice

Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 26, 2018

After spending my first three years working all over Napa and Sonoma County in the wine industry, one could say my palate is slightly burnt out on Napa and Sonoma wine; however, I still love seeking out new and exciting wines from the Central Coast and Santa Barbara, and the Para Maria from Stolpman is definitely a crowd-pleaser. Fruit forward, yet well balanced with acidity, for under 20 bucks, this wine is a very pleasant experience. Want to bring something nice to a dinner party without breaking the bank? Look no further. The Para Maria is an outstanding red blend, truly showing just how good Santa Barbara wine is.

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 10, 2018

Deep purple color and sleek, ripe, purple fruit greet the nose with a slight rustic prickle. Just the right amount of richness on the palate with a touch of tannic grip and lively acidity. This is a wonderful wine with loads of character for a great price; no wonder it made the Wine Enthusiast's "Top 100" list.

Staff Image

2014 Stolpman "Estate" Ballard Canyon Syrah ($26.99)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Dark aromas of black currant and black olive meet with charred beef and supple herbs of dill and anise on this wine's excellent nose. The sip is very full and hefty in body, allied with a juicy acidity and fruity character of concentrated blackberry that's imminently appealing. More elegant touches of lavender, rosemary and incense round out the palate." (03/2017)

91 points Vinous: "The 2014 Syrah Estate is surprisingly succulent for a young Stolpman Syrah, which Peter Stolpman attributes to warmer nights and softer extractions. Dark cherry, plum, mocha and dark spices are fused together in a deep, yet mid-weight, highly expressive Ballard Canyon Syrah. The whole clusters are felt but also very nicely balanced. If this is the future direction for Stolpman, all I can say is the winery has made huge strides in recent years.Peter Stolpman and his wife, Jessica, along with their team headed by vineyard guru Ruben Solorzano and winemakers Kyle Knapp and Sashi Moorman, continue to make important strides at their Ballard Canyon estate. Stolpman describes 2014 as a year with warmer nighttime temperatures and therefore narrower diurnal shifts than are common here. The 2014 Syrahs are generally mid-weight wines (within the context of Ballard Canyon) made with more attention towards finesse than pure power. Stolpman's Roussanne L'Avion (which sometimes includes Chardonnay) remains one of the Central Coast's most distinctive whites. From what I have seen of late here, the best is yet to come. (AG)" (06/2016)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star and a Good Value* As its discerning devotees are all too aware, serious Syrah does not come cheap, and examples as good and as interesting as this one are especially rare at the price. The wine is complex and very specific in spice and compelling in its fruity depth, and it once again shows Stolpman's very careful winemaking hand. It is sizeable yet fairly well-polished stuff and shows a certain sense of refinement even though very young, and, while it may not demand as much patience as its pricier companions, it is still a wine that is four or five years away from showing all that it has." (07/2016)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The straight 2014 Syrah is a terrific Syrah that has fabulous concentration, notable tannin and a masculine, mineral-laced, peppery bouquet that screams Syrah. Fermented with 50% stems and aged 17 months in neutral oak, its a great value to buy a case for drinking over the coming 4-6 years. (JD)" (08/2016)

Staff Image

2015 Stolpman "La Cuadrilla" Ballard Canyon Red Blend ($21.99)

La Cuadrilla began as an experiment, engaging the vineyard crew to manage their own sections of vineyard and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Today, profits from the expanded Cuadrilla program are returned to vineyard crew members. In 2015, the blend is 68% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 12% Sangiovese.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 12, 2018

Another gorgeous and balanced offering from our dear friends at Stolpman. This is exactly what I wish California could do more often. Affordable, varietally correct syrah that's approachable but by no means neutered or dumbed down. A dark purple color with garnet around the edge. A nose of peppered plums, subtle earthy spice, rip brambly fruit and heady dried flowers/herbs. Medium plus body with an evident, but very appealing soft tannin and wonderful lifted acid. Very hard to find a better $20 from California.