SOLD OUT! When my team and I tasted the 2018 Stolpman Vineyards La Cuadrilla recently, we all lit up with joy. This incredibly tasty blend of 70% Syrah, 15% Grenache, and 15% Sangiovese truly showcases the ripe yumminess of the heavenly 2018 vintage.
The wine is not only a crowd pleaser, it is a crowd stimulator too. Translated, it goes down a little too easy, but it simultaneously inspires contemplation. Rated 92 points by the Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast, this is a great effort from one of the pioneering producers of Ballard Canyon.
2018 Stolpman Vineyards La Cuadrilla
92 points Wine Enthusiast and Wine Advocate
Stolpman Vineyards is located in Ballard Canyon, just north of Santa Barbara and just 15 miles from the coast. With its warm days and cool nights, it is a perfect spot to grow grapes. And it was Tom and Marilyn Stolpman who were some of the first to plant vines here back in 1992. The focus has always been on Syrah and Sangiovese, two grapes that thrive in this unique climate and zone. And that remains the case today under the direction of Tom and Marilyn’s son Peter, and his wife Jessica.
La Cuadrilla translates to “the crew” or “the gang,” and it references the hard working vineyard workers that the Stolpmans employ. Unlike a lot of wineries, the Stolpmans employ and pay their team year round. Many wineries hire part-time help just during harvest and crush. By providing full-time employment to their team, they provide further stability to them and their families. So not only is this wine delicious, it goes towards a good cause.
So how is the wine? It’s fabulous, and it walks a fine line between New and Old World Syrah/Shiraz. Boasting a deep color and lovely scents of ripe raspberry, blackberry, freshly cracked pepper, and dried violet, this one is full-bodied yet smooth and seamless on the palate. Silky and rich, this makes for a great cocktail red, but I could see it being a great pair with steak au poivre too.
Just in case you need more confidence that this is good stuff, here’s what the critics had to say:
Wine Advocate: “The medium ruby-purple colored 2018 La Cuadrilla is a blend of 70% Syrah, 15% Grenache and 15% Sangiovese. The nose is open-knit with bright cranberries, raspberries and blackberries with nuances of forest floor, laurel and dried flowers. The palate is medium-bodied, super silky, bright and lifted with juicy freshness carrying the long finish.”
Wine Enthusiast: “This bottling was a pioneer in uplifting the education and funding of farmworkers when it began years ago, and the results keep getting better. Aromas of cooked plums, cracked pepper, wood spice and beef jerky show on the nose of the blend of 70% Syrah, 15% Grenache and 15% Sangiovese, while smashed berries, toasted sage and coffee beans arise on the sip.”
If you like Syrah and/or domestic red blends, you don’t want to miss this one. Supply is limited, and I suspect the response will be strong. Act fast or forever hold your peace. Cheers and keep drinking the good stuff!
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville