Friday, November 30, 2018

Stolpman Santa Ynez Valley Hilltops Estate Syrah 2011

A couple years ago we were planning a trip to the Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez Valleys' wine districts along the South Central California coast. In preparation for the trip we embarked on exploration of wines from the region and acquired several labels from the various appellations to taste so as to establish a baseline of knowledge and understanding of the varietals, styles and terroir effects of the different areas.

Back at that time, niece Jenna was attending UC Santa Barbara and we were hoping for a dual purpose visit and wine trip. In any event, for various reasons our plans were disrupted and we canceled/postponed our trip. This label is one from that collection. We still hope to visit the area at some point to explore another wine region and it's wines. Stay tuned for such a trip report.

This weekend would've been an ideal time to visit as the Big Ten sends three out of the four teams to the NCAA Final Four College Cup soccer tournament in Santa Barbara. Our Indiana Hoosiers are favored to win their ninth National Championship after they defeated Notre Dame Friday night to advance to their twentieth College Cup. They will play University of Maryland. Tonight, Michigan State advanced to the semi-final to represent a command performance by the Big Ten.

We opened this for casual but serious sipping with some artisan cheeses while watching weekend sports, including the NCAA Soccer Tournament.

This was ideal with ten year old Aged Sharp Cheddar as well as creamy Havarti, with fresh berries and pear fruits. Neutral soda crackers were more suited to reveal the native flavors of the wine, cheese and fruits, as opposed to butter crackers or others with overt tastes.

Tonight's tasting was consistent with our earlier tasting of this label back in 2015.

Dark red-ruby, full bodied, aromas of floral and mocha, complex, concentrated big, forward black and blue fruits, tones of anise/licorice, hints of mocha chocolate and herbs, turning to a very long soft savory fruit filled finish.

RM 91 points.