Sel de la Terre, meaning "Salt of the Earth", was created in dedication of Mac's grandfather. This Westside Paso 100% Grenache is a combination of fruit from Luna Matta, Shadow Canyon and Terra Bella Vineyards. 85% whole cluster fermented in small, open top bins, and spent 15-20 days on skins with pump-overs during cold soak and punch downs during fermentation. Aged 20 months in 500-liter 2nd filled puncheons. The wine is riddled with aromas and flavors of Rose Petal, Bing Cherry, Cocoa Powder, Stone Fruit, Nectarine, Rosemary, Sage, Rhubarb Pie, Chalk, Cranberry, Mulberry, and Leather.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "A perfect wine any way you look at it, the 2012 Grenache Rattrapante comes all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and spent 33 months in 27% new French oak. My notes start - and end - with "Wow." Giving up tons of black raspberries, peppery herbs, licorice, dried flowers and cured meats, it's a massively concentrated, rich and layered Grenache that somehow manages to stay graceful, lively and fresh on the palate. There are roughly 800 cases of this elixir and any Grenache lover should do their best to latch onto a bottle (or two). It's also worth noting that this cuvee saw 26% whole clusters, which is a small change from past vintages."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "Lastly, the utterly perfect 2012 Syrah Touche reminds me of a great vintage of Guigal's Cote Rotie La Landonne. A blend of 93% Syrah, 5% Petite Sirah and 2% Viognier, all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, it spent 40 months in 78% new French oak. Deep, concentrated, full-bodied and layered, with a multidimensional texture and to-die-for notes of camphor, cured meats, violets, smoke and assorted dark fruits, this beauty has fine, perfectly ripe tannin and blockbuster length. Give it 3-4 years and drink over the following two decades."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "Few people are as passionate about Ballard Canyon as Peter Stolpman is. As President of the Ballard Canyon Winegrowers' Alliance, Stolpman is focused on bringing producers together to promote the area. To be sure, Ballard Canyon is a very distinctive region, especially for Syrah, so it will be interesting to see how things develop here in the coming years. As for his own wines, Stolpman's A-list team of winemaker Sashi Moorman and vineyard guru Ruben Solorzano keeps ratcheting up the quality level at the estate. In addition to these wines, I also tasted a few selections from the estate's library, including the 2004 Roussanne L'Avion, Syrah Estate and Syrah Angeli. Although those wines have aged pretty nicely, they also show just how far Stolpman has come in the last few years, especially with regards to cooperage. Simply put, these wines have never been better.
"Explosive and perfumed to the core, the 2012 Syrah Originals captivates all the sense with exuberant perfume and super-intense fruit, all with plenty of underlying structure. Cloves, lavender, mint and an array of spices inform the fragrant, highly expressive finish. The 60% whole clusters are impeccably balanced. This is a gorgeous showing from Stolpman."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - 'In the same ballpark, the 2012 Angeli is 100% Syrah that comes from a single block of own rooted vines. It too is medium to full-bodied, rich and textured, with pretty violets, purple fruits, spring flowers and edgy minerality. Seeing 80% whole clusters and 18 months in puncheons, it has bright acidity and clean, nicely focused feel. It is another outstanding Syrah that will evolve for a decade."