Stolpman Sangiovese "La Coppa" 2009 Estate Grown
Sangiovese, the great red grape of Tuscany, has been notoriously difficult to grow with much success outside of the region. As a result, many new world Sangiovese's are blended with Cabernet and other grapes to make up for it, and in the process lose whatever "sangiovese-ness" they might have had. At Stolpman, they seem to have figured it out, producing a lovely, classic Sangiovese with Tuscan character and a little bit of sunny California sunny disposition. The key to their success lies in a combination of factors, first of all the vineyard location on three major limestone ridgelines located just north of Santa Barbara on California’s Central Coast. The grapes are all farmed organically, but even more importantly, they are dry-farmed with no irrigation once they reach several years of age. This outs enormous stress on the vines, forcing them to go deep into the limestone for water and setting the stage for the miracle of terroir to do its thing. Withholding water results in tiny, concentrated grapes and extremely low yields, while the Ballard Canyon microclimate of heat spikes, wind, and cold nights create intense wines with natural balance. Limestone soils create structure and acidity, and that's the key to Sangiovese. Get it ripe, keep the acidity and detail.
The 2009 Sangiovese is deep ruby purple, with a great nose of crushed red and dark cherry, spice, and earth. Aged 10 months in neutral oak keeps the focus on the fruit and delivers a beautifully ripe and full wine, nicely structured with ripe tannins and good fresh acidity. A succulent mouthfilling wine that will work well with anything from pasta and pizza to a roasted chicken or turkey, loin of pork or even beef or lamb.