Our friends Brandon and Sarah Trenz visited us in Los Angeles recently and it gave us an excuse to visit the Santa Ynez Valley. This valley is very well known for Rhone varietals and Pinot Noir as well as some lovely white wines, including Chardonnay and some tasty Sauvignon Blancs and Riesling and more. It’s also known for Michael Jackson’s Neverland and the wine country film Sideways.
One of Jane’s favorite tasting rooms is surprisingly in downtown Los Olivos. We say surprisingly because we always love going to actually vineyard tasting rooms – more off the beaten path, the better. Why? Because they are usually situated on a beautiful ranch with winery dogs and kitties. However, the Stolpman Vineyards tasting room in Los Olivos is so relaxing that it’s a retreat itself.
Because Jane fawned over the wine, she was hit hard with joining the wine club and she caved. And we are so excited she did. We walked away with half a case of wine and glasses and an anticipation that had us glowing.
Recently, we opened one of the bottles we purchased. It’s a red wine blend called La Cuadrilla from 2011. In the tasting room, Jane wasn’t convinced but tonight she was sold. This bottle is super tasty and it’s at a great price point of less than $20 if you are a member. It’s $22 if you are not a member.
Boy am I changing my tune about this wine. When I was in the tasting room, it didn’t jump out at me as anything special. But when I had an opportunity to focus on it during one of our home tastings, I was happily surprised to really enjoy it. I tasted a lot of black cherry and perhaps some boysenberry. It was very smooth and pretty well-balanced. I love that it’s affordable. Many of the Stolpman wines are about $10 to $20 more per bottle so this one really stands out as a way to fit a Stolpman wine in your every day arsenal.
3.5 out of 5
I found the La Cuadrilla surprisingly light in color, almost translucent. It had a subtle complexity and some earthiness to it. I noted black cherry on the nose and tasted red fruit and plums. I think this would be a really good, satisfying daily drinker since it’s at a sub-$20 price point.
3 out of 5
Just the Facts M’am
La Cuadrilla de Stolpman Vineyards Santa Ynez Valley
2011 Red Wine