Stolpman Vineyards Love You Bunches Carbonic Sangiovese 2021
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Stolpman Vineyards was founded by husband and wife team Tom & Marilyn Stolpman. On their honeymoon in Napa Valley, Marilyn put the wild idea into Tom’s head about one day owning a vineyard. In 1988 their search for limestone near the ocean ended with the purchase of what is now Stolpman Vineyards in Ballard Canyon AVA of Santa Barbara County. In 1994, Ruben “the Grape Whisperer” and his wife Maria Solorzano became the vineyard managers at Stolpman – employing a year-round team and empowering them through mentorship and a profit sharing program. Tom’s son Peter joined the family business in 2009 after working for a reputable wine distributor. Since he joined the team, he took back the majority of the vineyard for wine production rather than selling the grapes. He also helped increase Ruben’s La Cuardilla profit sharing program for the vineyard workers to 10% of all Stolpman production. Stolpman Vineyards’ story is reminiscent of the early pioneers of American winegrowing. They started with a dream of cultivating land with their family, included all of those who maintain the land into the family, and produce world class wine initially through trial and error and evolving to hone their skills through collaboration.
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Stolpman Estate’s flagship wines are the Sauvignon Blanc, the Uni White Blend, and the archetypal Syrah. In addition to these wines, the La Cuadrilla program – which was developed as a small program to engage their year-round vineyard team to take ownership on one block of vines and has now grown to a profit-sharing program that represents 10% of the total production.
So Fresh wines include the Love You Bunches lineup & Crunchy Rôastie Syrah. The grapes destined for these wines are natively fermented whole, un-crushed, for a delicately high-toned profile. Harvested early for lighter mouthfeel and higher acidity, wines go to bottle early to capture purity and freshness without added sulfur.
Para Maria is vignerons Ruben and Maria Solorzano’s project with the Stolpman family. Ruben cherry picks the fruit for red and rose wines from the dozens of Santa Barbara County vineyards under his farming control.
Combe is Pete Stolpman’s esoteric project that came about around 2010 when Pete became convinced by Rajat Parr of Domaine de la Côte of the great potential for Trousseau grapes on the limestone soils of Stolpman Vineyards. In 2014 he produced his first wines from 3.5 acres of Trousseau and then 1.5 acres of Chenin Blanc in 2016. More varieties such as Mondeuse, Poulsard, and Savagnin are soon to become part of the Combe program. These wines are bottled without added sulfur or other additions.
With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by moist ocean fog and breezes, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate Central Coast wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, producing wines marked by racy acidity. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc and savory Syrah are also important. The region is home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.