2019 Stolpman 'Uni'
Region: Ballard Canyon < Santa Ynez Valley < CA
Grapes: 70% Roussanne, 30% ChardonnayVineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming, limestone soil; whole bunch crushed and left on skins for 2 hours; each varietal vinified separately in neutral barrel on fine lees and blended before resting in neutral 500L French oak puncheons for 10 months; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added Co2; zero-zero; 13% ABV; 400 cases
Winemaker: Kyle Knapp
You know we’re big fans of the Stolpman family here at Rock Juice – in addition to working organically since day one, and producing wine in a very low-intervention way, they do something really cool and unusual: employ their vineyard workers year-round and full-time, as well as offer profit sharing. Says Peter, “We strive not only to make the best wine possible – we are also committed to creating a healthy, stable work environment for fifteen families. Proud, fulfilled people make better wine!”
Head winemaker Kyle Knapp delivered the final touch to this wine. I’ll never forget walking into the winery and he had two glasses perched on separate barrels– one – a clear golden hue – and the other with a more yellow, fine translucent glowing mist. The latter had all the delicate flavor of the clear glass, but the rich texture had an additional coat through the mouth – it immediately took my brain to the taste and sensation of our local urchin. It turned out, Kyle had stirred the fine lees of one barrel as an experiment, and we ended up stirring the entire lot and bottling unfiltered."
We have nothing to add to this excellent overview, except that this is a magical, ethereal wine with a featherweight richness that briefly coats the tongue before the wave of salinity washes it away. It's kind of like an unfiltered Sake, with fuzzy pear, tangerine and tropical fruit. We've yet to pair with sea urchin, but can attest to its affinity for all sorts of seafood -- scallops, shrimp, calamari -- as well as green things like asparagus and butter lettuce salad.