2015 Stolpman Vineyards, La Cuadrilla, Ballard Canyon.
Stolpman Vineyard’s vineyard manager Ruben Solorzano and vineyard crew selected the individual vines for this red blend of mostly Syrah 68% with 20% Grenache and 12% Sangiovese in the 2015 vintage, it changes with each season/year, the La Cuadrilla is a special wine of high quality and value with the profits going to Stolpman’s full time vineyard workers. The winemaking is classic old world in style, the grapes are fermented with native yeasts in concrete vats and aged in neutral cask resulting in a deeply flavored wine with great fruit intensity, spice and pure harmony, in particular this 2015 is a very serious offering showing the vintage’s concentration from smaller than normal yields which adds to the depth and rich mouth feel. Layers of blueberry, boysenberry, currant and plum fruits lead the way along with crushed violets, framboise, peppery notes and subtle earthy/savory tones, this 2015 La Cuadrilla opens beautifully on the palate with unique intrigue and graceful texture, it’s more round and less edgy than prior releases, though still energetic and entertaining throughout, lingering on and on with velvety tannins, juicy/freshness and an aftertaste burst of cherry, sweet tobacco, lavender and a mineral element. The lush density is quite alluring and forward, but this La Cuadrilla, that comes in 13.9%, is finely balanced, it should drink with aplomb for many years, it’s one a California’s best kept secrets and a fun wine to enjoy in the near future. I love this stuff, bravo Stolpman!
($22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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