2014 Stolpman Estate Syrah
From the winery: BACKGROUND Representing a portion of every Syrah block on the vineyard, Estate Syrah best represents Stolpman Vineyard’s soil, methodology, and the Ballard Canyon weather conditions. VINTAGE Out of the recent run of near perfect growing seasons, 2014 Estate Syrah might very well climb to the top of the podium. We enjoyed the same even, dry heat as 2012 and 2013, but 2014 brought warmer, more Mediterranean nights. In the case of 2014 Estate Syrah, evening t-shirt weather translates into a supple, dense mouthfeel. AT THE WINERY All of the Estate Syrah was naturally fermented in large concrete fermenting tanks. We delicately foot trod the cold, night-harvested fruit to free up enough juice to begin circulating. As fermentation began, we only occasionally punched down the cap to ensure tannins remained fine. At dryness, wine destined for Estate Syrah ran freely out of the tanks’ bottom spouts – none of the more tannic press wine made the cut. SENSORY The dark density of the wine compliments the bright fruit profile bursting with tangerine and fresh red fruit. While the 2014 Estate Syrah certainly reflects the warmth of the vintage, the wine still shows a lively tartness that indicates a long life ahead of it. The ability to combine bright, lively fruit with pleasurable richness has become the signature of Ballard Canyon Syrah. 2014 showcases this middle ground – not jammy or gloppy like a warmer climate Syrah – but not austere and hollow like many young cold climate Syrahs. Just a baby now, the primary flavors will surely unfurl into more complex, seamless layers. While the ideal drinking window begins around 2018, our leap forward in winemaking methodology allows for early enjoyment as well.