2016 Stolpman "Estate" Ballard Canyon Syrah

SKU #1375093 93 points Vinous

 The 2016 Syrah Estate is dense and powerful in the glass, with plenty of fruit intensity. Even so, the shift towards a more polished, subtle style that is so evident in the 2017s is already quite evident here. Today, the Estate is a bit shy, but all the elements are very nicely balanced. I especially admire the wine's persistence. (AG)  (9/2018)

92 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2016 Syrah Estate spent 10 months in neutral, larger barrels before being bottled. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by a beautiful bouquet of black and blue fruits, ground pepper, bacon fat, and cured meats. It's medium-bodied, has good acidity and notable tannins, and is a classic, impeccably made Syrah well worth seeking out.  (10/2018)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Stolpman's largest cuvée, amounting to some 4,400 cases, is the keenly priced 2016 Syrah Estate, which reveals a classic nose of blackberry, violets, rose petal, cracked pepper and grilled meat. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, expansive and juicy with an ample core of sweet fruit and good length and persistence. Some chalky tannins assert themselves on the finish, but it's already drinking well. (WK)  (4/2018)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Compact elderberry aromas and purple flowers mesh with savory touches of roasted beef and black pepper on the nose of this bottling, which is quite young. Black-currant and lilac flavors pop on the sip before the tightly woven structure temporarily hides them, though they will surely arise in the years to come. Drink 2020–2036. *Cellar Selection* (MK)  (12/2018)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 A tad riper and a bit better filled than its counterpart from 2015, Stolpman's latest Estate Grown Syrah is a deep and defined effort that hits all of the right varietal bases. It smells generously of fully ripe berries and plums with plenty of distinctive Syrah spice and sports touches of cola, dried violets and sweet cream all of which are reiterated with great confidence in the youthful, very vital flavors that follow, and, although a fairly full-bodied wine of fine concentration, it exhibits great energy for a Syrah of its size. It tightens up and shows just enough finishing astringency to warn off hasty drinking, but it is guaranteed to grow for a good many years and earns an extra round of applause for unbeatable value. *Good Value*  (3/2018)

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Price: $24.95

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/11/2019 | Send Email
Such a perfumed, expressive, delicious wine. A great example of why this small sub-region of Santa Barbara County is quickly becoming known for some of the most highly regarded Rhone varietal wines in all of California. Stolpman is the founding winery of Ballard Canyon and in my opinion their wines are still absolute benchmarks despite being much more reasonably priced than many of their neighbors (Jonata, Larner). They have the oldest vines in the region and their farming is top notch. This Syrah has lovely high-toned floral notes leading the way, lilacs, violets, ground spices. Then brambly fruit, loganberry, and redcurrants. Powerful but fresh and vibrant. Great structure and acidity give this wine a lovely frame and length on the palate. Drinking well in its youth, but I think the best is still yet to come and have no doubt it will age for 10 years in the cellar without issue. A very serious wine that belies its modest price point.
Top Value!

Additional Information:



- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.1