2011 Stolpman Vineyards Syrah

Santa Ynez Valley, California

Farming: Organic, partially dry-farmed

Winemaker: Sashi Moorman

Ageability: 5–8 more years

On the nose, this wine has a lot of old-world Syrah charm: black pepper, olives, violets, herb de Provence, meat.

The palate is rich and medium-bodied. The fruit is predominantly red and just shy of jammy. The palate has a bit more new oak than the nose would suggest, though it’s relatively harmonious with the whole of the wine.

It’s a great wine to mark a transition. It’s a snapshot of winemaker Sashi Moorman — of Sandhi and Piedrasassi — fully embracing the In Pursuit of Balance ideals. He took a wine infamous for being rich and concentrated (from an area know to produce rich and concentrated wine), and gave it a little less new oak, picked the fruit a bit earlier, and, effectively, tamed the beast. This wine has aged impressively, with lots of longevity ahead.

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