2014 Stolpman "Estate" Ballard Canyon Syrah

SKU #1294546 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.  (3/2017)

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)  (6/2016)

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.  (7/2016)

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, it’s a great value to buy a case for drinking over the coming 4-6 years. (JD)  (8/2016)

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Staff Image By: Anthony Gittings | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/25/2017 | Send Email
I cannot say enough great things about the people and the wine from the Stolpman Vineyards, they really are some of the nicest people in the industry. On top of their generous nature, the latest offering from their "Estate" Ballard Canyon Syrah is an instant classic and worthy of a multiple bottle purchase. Dark fruit, currant, fennel, and fresh herbs dazzle in the glass. The wine has an opulent and rich full body smothered in blackberries and fresh lavender. A long sophisticated finish make this almost irresistible. Try it with roasted lamb or grilled wild mushrooms.

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- 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.

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.


- 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.
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 (%): 14.1