Thursday, July 15, 2010

{ 100% Estate Grown: Stolpman Vineyards featuring Rhone Varietals }

Stolpman wines are 100% estate grown and situated on three finger-like ridges, which provide outstanding drainage. The distinct element of the vineyard is a thin layer of clay-shale above Limestone. The limestone drains the water which forces them to search deeper for water, which results in concentrated and balanced grapes. They primarily focus on Syrah and other Rhone Varietals such as Roussanne and Grenache. They pride themselves in the fact that they are the only Cote Rotie styled vineyards in California. I was genuinely amazed that I could enjoy such wonderful Rhone Varietals here in California.

I first enjoyed Stolpman Vineyards during my “Thinking, Eating and Drinking” class. Meg and Joe who were students in the class were kind enough to bring a bottle of L’Avion to share with the class. We enjoyed it with this beautifully roasted chicken and the pairing together was magical. This wine is 10% Viognier and 90% Roussanne and is a true Rhone Varietals. In class we called this wine the “38 minute wine”. Once it opened up we discovered flavor profiles beyond our original sip and it was the highlight wine of the evening.

The tasting room was off the main street in Los Olivos and when we walked in, it was bustling with people and the vibe was certainly central California chic. We decide to par take in the tasting flight which included a signature Riedel logo glass. A gentleman named Reed assisted us and he was extremely knowledge about the wines and the winery. We enjoyed their 2008 Sauvignon Blanc first and it had hints of citrus, verbena, stone fruit and was light in color - very refreshing and a great palate cleanser. Next we enjoyed the 2009 Rose and are a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Grenache. I am not typically drawn to Rose, but this one was particularly tasty. Light, bright and just danced on the palate.

Our third wine was a 2007 Granache and it just exploded with plum and fresh fig aromoas and flavors. The tannins were not overpowering with being young, but rather were a perfect compliment to the integrity of the wine. Next we tasted the 2006 Sangiovese which displayed a bright ruby color and delicate perfumes. Cherry flavors are present along with citrus and pomegranate flavors. It was a unique and extremely tasty wine which was enjoyed by everyone.

The last two wines were the Syrah and to say, “Saving the best for last” was a true statement. The 2006 Hilltop Syrah embodies notes of blueberries, floral and a smoky hue along with a silky finish. Robert Parker rated this wine 92 points and only 748 cases were produced. The 2008 “Originals” Syrah was simply amazing and left you wanting more. It has intense flavor and aroma.

We decided to purchase seven bottles of wine along with joining their wine club. Both Charles and I enjoy collecting wine.  It is a fun hobby to have and we enjoy trying interesting and unique wines from around the world. If you planning a trip to Los Olivos, please check out Stolpman Vineyards, you will certainly not be disappointed.


  1. I love their Syrah...Sadly I have never been to a tasting there, so far:) Great post!

  2. I love trying new wines too, the vineyards are usually beautiful and the tasting rooms inviting. Cheers!

  3. Love it! New wine adventures are always fun to test the senses and talk to new people about wine.



It simply makes me smile when I receive a new comment and I look forward to hearing from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.