Grapelive Daily Pick
By Kerry Winslow
2005 Stolpman Sangiovese Estate Santa Ynez Valley (California).
Wow, I must say this rich and balanced wine really surprised me with flavors and style that makes me think of a Tuscan village in bathed in warm sunlight and my mouth water for some aged Pecorino cheese! Usually I find while nice and sometimes interesting, California Sangiovese does not live up to expectations or taste like the Tuscan version, but in this case I could honestly be fooled I think and I really enjoyed this vintage very much. Stolpman grow some good grapes, with Syrah being one of their best, and their own wines from the estate are very impressive, with past vintages of Hilltop Estate Syrah being one of my favorites, and now I’ll add this wine to my list as well. This 2005 Sangiovese just might have gained from having a few years in bottle to develop, as I know I have had Stolpman Sangiovese releases in the past and none sang to me like this vintage did. It has all the right stuff at the moment, it is long, silky and focused, in fact I think it is near perfect as it is, with lots of cherry, raspberry, plum and strawberry fruit on the palate after a nose of sweet dried flowers and herbs, wood and fresh berries. The mouth is lush, but still has bright tangy freshness that keeps everything lively and the finish lingers on and on with subtle oak notes and fruit sweetness. I would like to mention that I would be bigger fan of these lovely wine if it were a bit cheaper and my score reflects that too, I think at $25 I would have added at least 2 more points! ($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive