97 Points - Stuart McCloskey
The 2015 L’Avion (90% Roussanne 10% Chardonnay) is substantial, unctuous and as I have previously commented, I would love to place this alongside Château Beaucastel Roussanne Vieilles Vignes & Sine Qua Non in a blind tasting. Wine destined for L’Avion must go through three cuts. First, only the two older blocks of Roussanne are eligible for L’Avion followed by the best, evenly “Rousse” or sun-tanned clusters which are selected. Finally, only their favourite barrels for L’Avion make it to bottling on the label, which translates to a tiny production of a mere 500 cases. The result being a mesmerising kaleidoscope of honeysuckle, acacia flower, tangerine peel all supported by a fine thread of minerals and piquant acidity. It is simply amazing that a wine of this full-bodied richness can retain perfect definition and refinement. Needless to say, this is a stunning wine and a rare glimpse of something very, very special at this price level.
Stolpman Vineyards was founded by Thomas Stolpman after discovering what he believed to be one of the greatest vinicultural sites on the planet. They have 153 acres of vineyard lying on three major limestone ridgelines in Santa Barbara County, undertaking strict, dry farming methods to push the grapes to the highest level of quality. Tom’s wife Marilyn encourage him to pursue his vinicultural dream of creating a vineyard believing that they should only ever invest in something their children can enjoy as well with their son Peter and his wife Jessica also having a role in the estate.
The vineyards are managed by Ruben Solorzano who in 2003 introduced a revolutionary program in which he began to give the vineyard workers, known as la Cuadrilla (the crew) two acres of vineyards for them to manage given no instructions so they can learn how to proactively cultivate the vineyard from pruning through to harvest. This has led a highly specialised workforce that allows for them to experiment with highly complex and unusual trellising techniques in a constant pursuit of quality. Each vintage, winemaker Sashi Moorman takes the wine from this block and blends it with other blocks to create a wine named La Cuadrilla, the profits of which go to the vineyard team as an end of year bonus.
California is the largest and most important wine region in the US – in fact, if California were a separate country it would be the world’s fourth largest wine producer! California stretches along the west coast of the USA meaning that soils and climates vary enormously depending on the area’s altitude, latitude and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Generally the cooler regions closer to the coast are most suited to the growing of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, whilst further inland (where the climate is much hotter) some of California’s most famous Cabernet Sauvignon wines are grown. The famous Ridge Estate is located here and produces some of the best and most sought after wines in California. If you enjoy Chardonnay, we highly recommend you take a look at Liquid Farm Winery, whose Chardonnay’s (we believe!) rival those of Burgundy. Within California you find some world famous regions including Napa Valley, Sonoma Coast and Santa Barbara and within these can be found small sub-regions, known as AVA’s with unique micro-climates creating characterful, terroir driven wines. Our selection includes some exclusives to the Vinorium such as Anthill Farms Campbell Ranch Pinot Noir 2014, Talbott’s Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay 2016 from their legendary Grand Cru rated vineyard and Chanin’s Sandford & Benedict Chardonnay 2014. Other highlights of our California collection include the cult wines from Orin Swift, the incredible wines of DuMol, a favourite of Rober Parker, the 99 point scoring Continuum and many other icon of US wines like Varner, Ramey, Paul Lato and Stolpman.
Zalto Denk-Art White Wine Glass
** Available for delivery week commencing 6th May **
Zalto White Wine glass is perfect for crisp, vibrant, dry whites, aged Champagne such as 2007/08 and 2003 Late Disgorged. The glass is superb for many different types of white wines which do not need much aeration, the shape of the glass is focussed on the precision of the aromas. The Zalto White Wine glass covers many varieties such as Riesling, Pinot Gris, Viognier, unoaked Sauvignons or Chardonnays.
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