Dark aromas of black currant and black olive meet with charred beef and supple herbs of dill and anise on this wine's excellent nose. The sip is very full and hefty in body, allied with a juicy acidity and fruity character of concentrated blackberry that's imminently appealing. More elegant touches of lavender, rosemary and incense round out the palate.
The 2014 Syrah Estate is surprisingly succulent for a young Stolpman Syrah, which Peter Stolpman attributes to warmer nights and softer extractions. Dark cherry, plum, mocha and dark spices are fused together in a deep, yet mid-weight, highly expressive Ballard Canyon Syrah. The whole clusters are felt but also very nicely balanced. If this is the future direction for Stolpman, all I can say is the winery has made huge strides in recent years. Peter Stolpman and his wife, Jessica, along with their team headed by vineyard guru Ruben Solorzano and winemakers Kyle Knapp and Sashi Moorman, continue to make important strides at their Ballard Canyon estate. Stolpman describes 2014 as a year with warmer nighttime temperatures and therefore narrower diurnal shifts than are common here. The 2014 Syrahs are generally mid-weight wines (within the context of Ballard Canyon) made with more attention towards finesse than pure power. Stolpman's Roussanne L'Avion (which sometimes includes Chardonnay) remains one of the Central Coast's most distinctive whites. From what I have seen of late here, the best is yet to come. (AG)
*One Star and a Good Value* As its discerning devotees are all too aware, serious Syrah does not come cheap, and examples as good and as interesting as this one are especially rare at the price. The wine is complex and very specific in spice and compelling in its fruity depth, and it once again shows Stolpman's very careful winemaking hand. It is sizeable yet fairly well-polished stuff and shows a certain sense of refinement even though very young, and, while it may not demand as much patience as its pricier companions, it is still a wine that is four or five years away from showing all that it has.
The straight 2014 Syrah is a terrific Syrah that has fabulous concentration, notable tannin and a masculine, mineral-laced, peppery bouquet that screams Syrah. Fermented with 50% stems and aged 17 months in neutral oak, it’s a great value to buy a case for drinking over the coming 4-6 years. (JD)
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