2012Angeli2012 Stolpman, Angeli, Syrah, Ballard Canyon.
The Angeli is Stolpman’s ultimate Syrah, it is their best of the best coming from their best barrel selections and from most own rooted Syrah in the their estate vineyard, in now what is Ballard Canyon, one of California’s newest AVA in the Santa Ynez Valley Region near Santa Barabara. The Stolpman wines are made by Sashi Moorman, who always works with Raj Parr at Sandhi, Domaine de la Cote as well as doing a few side projects plus consulting for Evening Land, he has a very gifted touch and has crafted some magic Syrah wines , especially this Angeli. The 2012 might be the greatest wine produced by Stolpman, and that is saying something, Sashi used close to 75% whole cluster, and was able to ferment in new concrete open top vats, then raised/aged in 30% new French cask, this wine was done in artisan and Northern Rhone fashion and it shows, but still gives generous California texture and mouth feel. This is absolutely gorgeous Syrah, bursting with fruit, earth, spice and it oozes class and showcases the quality of the vines and terroir at Stolpman Vineyards, this is a masterpiece. The nose excites with heady perfume of violets, cassis and peppercorns, it is a cross between the heightened sense of Cote-Rotie and the powerful intensity of Hermitage with loads of black and blue fruits and hedonistic density. The layers unfold with blueberry, black olives, lavender, licorice, camphor and truffle along with a core of boysenberry compote. There are peppery, briar spice notes throughout along with hints of cedar and wild herbs that lift the rich fruit and even at 14.5% alcohol it doesn’t feel overly ponderous of too weighed down, there is plenty of life and vibrancy that add to the joy here, and the finish is stunningly long and lingering, this is sublime Syrah, drink from 2014 to 2020.
($68 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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