2017 Stolpman "Para Maria" Santa Barbara County Red Blend

SKU #1383227 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Medium to deep ruby-purple, the 2017 Para Maria de las Tecolotes has an inviting nose of crushed blueberries, red cherries, wild blackberries and red berry preserves with violet, charcuterie, spice and potpourri nuances. The medium-bodied palate is energetic and offers perfumed, tricolored fruits, with a frame of gently chewy tannins and juicy freshness, finishing long with lots of perfume. This will be a crowd-pleaser with its easy, Côtes-du-Rhone style. 4,400 cases produced. (EB)  (9/2019)

91 points Vinous

 The 2017 Para Maria de los Tecolotes, a blend of Syrah and Petit Verdot, is pliant and energetic, with terrific balance and tons of sheer appeal. Dark red fruit, spice and wild flowers all develop in this forward, inviting wine from Stolpman. (AG)  (9/2019)

Jeb Dunnuck

 Already bottled, the 2017 Para Maria Red Wine checks in as a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Petit Verdot that spent 9 months in neutral barrels. Its vibrant purple color is followed by juicy berry fruits, hints of bay leaf, and some pepper. Charming, medium-bodied, and delicious.  (10/2018)

K&L Notes

Over 20 years ago, founding partner Thomas Stolpman discovered what he believed to be one of the greatest viticultural sites on earth. The result is a 220-acre property of which 153 acres are currently planted to grapes on three major limestone ridgelines. In 2009 Peter Stolpman took over the day-to-day management of the vineyards. Along with his wife Jessica, they run this highly respected estate in the heart of Santa Barbara county. The Para Maria bottling represents their 50-50 partnership with vineyard manager Ruben Solorzano. This is their way of rewarding the amazing work performed by Ruben and his team.

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Price: $19.99

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By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2018 | Send Email
There may not be another reference point wine for Syrah & Petit Verdot blends but the talented team at Stolpman Vineyards pulls this one off with flying colors. The deep and sultry blue fruits of Syrah are given additional structure, depth, and complexity when combined with Petit Verdot. To offset the potential brooding nature of this wine, they employ the use of whole-cluster carbonic maceration. The net effect of this is to give the wine lifted aromatics and greater freshness on the palate. I’m really impressed how this one came together. I’ll be serving this at my house for the next several months or as long as we have stock. This is another exceptional achievement from team Stolpman.

By: Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/5/2018 | Send Email
Genuinely impressed by this one-two punch of a wine. This is a Syrah-driven blend, a good portion of which gets fermented semi-carbonically. This results in an incredibly balanced wine: bright red fruit aromatics that jump out of the glass, soft and silky tannins (from the traditionally fermented Syrah), blueberries and strawberries on the palate, finishing with a hint of plums from the Petit Verdot. My favorite part is how you can get all of this; a beautiful, local, and mindfully crafted wine, for less than twenty bucks.

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/1/2018 | Send Email
This primarily Syrah driven blend is fantastic - I strongly suggest trying a bottle. Aromas suggest freshly cracked black pepper and licorice, as well as a forward, juicy "carbonic" aspect which, without getting too much in the weeds, simply refers to how the wine is made and the fact that it is more fresh and refreshing than most California Syrahs out there. To that point, this wine seems to take the forward quality of California fruit and balance it out with some old world, refreshing refinement. Dare I say it reminds me of a well made Bierzo (Spanish) red? Kudos to the Stolpmans for this cool project and for producing another delicious red wine.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/31/2018 | Send Email
I was really excited when I tasted this wine to ind it so expressive, fresh and light-bodied. Then I heard that it was done with 40% carbonic maceration, which obviously helps bring it to another level of freshness. What a genius idea! This bottle has great bright fruit notes and little tannin. I was expecting a heavier, denser red blend from Santa Barbara and was very pleasantly surprised by this one.

Additional Information:



- 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.