Second in a row of a new category I am calling “Nameless, Faceless, Weirdly-Labeled Lower-Priced Red Blends From Esteemed Santa Ynez Valley Producers”. Got that? There will not be a test. This one is medium-density ruby, clear and bright with wide clear-pink-purple edges. Nice round nose of oak and earth and light spice and maybe… raw broccoli? SO YOUNG. That is the first thing which jumps out at you. Smells like a barrel-sample.
Brutally acidic with young, bright fruit. Tastes shockingly young. Like ‘green-wine’. Like carbonic. Yeasty and fresh. The last thing I tasted like this was Tablas Creek’s En Goblet on release. Seriously, it has that yeasty piquantness which screams it came out of a thief. Alcohol also plays a huge part in both the bouquet and taste. Un-resolved tannin of an un-worldly nature peel the sides off your mouth as you swallow.
No indication on label of content or blend. Just “2012 Ballard Canyon Red Wine”. This could settle down in to something quite nice, it just needs at least another year in bottle. I question the intent of even releasing this. I would not be surprised to find bubbles in the bottle. It’s THAT green. For nearly the Price-Point, you can buy Stolpman Syrah–and it is head-and shoulders more impressive than this. Buy a bottle for research, and buy a few more to rest for a couple years.
2012 STOLPMAN ‘La Cuadrilla Red Wine’ Ballard Canyon Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 14.5