2014LaCuadrilla2014 Stolpman Vineyards, La Cuadrilla, Ballard Canyon, Santa Barbara County.
The La Cuadrilla red, with a different label each vintage, from Stolpman continues to be one of the finest wines in California for the money, and an under the radar masterpiece, kudos to Peter Stolpman, Sashi Morrman the winemaker and vineyard manager Ruben Solorzano, who selects the blocks for this beauty. The 2014 version is a savvy and gorgeous full bodied effort with whole cluster Syrah leading the way, rumor has it that it is 80% Syrah along with small amounts of Sangiovese, Grenache and Petite Sirah and has Sashi’s classic Stolpman style with lush textures, deep color and wild spiciness. The nose is full of red and black fruits, pepper spice, violets and hints of tobacco leaf, minty herb and lavender leading to a rich palate of boysenberry, damson plum, vivid currant and kirsch along with cracked peppercorns, celery root, black olive, mineral, earthy stones, anise and clove. There is a lively kick of acidity and youthful ripe tannins in this focused and succulent La Cuadrilla, this is like the Bedrock of the southland, and while not a field blend, the selected plots from Stolpman’s chalky limestone rich soils and hillsides give it that kind of feel. The latest releases by Stolpman are a stunning set of wines, especially the 2015 Rose, The Originals 2013 Syrah, this great new La Cuadrilla and Ruben’s own project with Stolpman the brand new Para Maria, a Syrah offering that pays homage to his skills with the vines. Drink La Cuadrilla anytime, and in particular with friends and outdoor BBQ, it is such a gem, best from 2016 to 2024.
($22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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