A once in a lifetime opportunity! 12 different bottles ranging from 12 to 17 years old pre-tasted and packaged to enjoy velvety, integrated, and mature. For our customers who don’t have the patience to age their wines or for those new to wine collecting; this mixed case instantly creates a deep cellar! $40 per bottle for non-club members and $30/bottle for club members these wines are only available as a mixed case.
B A C K G R O U N D
We first harvested fruit from Stolpman Vineyards in 1994, and for the first three harvests, we sold all of our crop. Beginning in 1997, Tom Stolpman asked a couple of winemakers, including Rick Longoria, Brian Babcock and Bruno d’Alfonso, to make small lots of grapes into wine for our own wine label. By the time Tom hired Sashi in January of 2001, we had well over a dozen bottlings to fill our new Lompoc winery’s refrigerated library area. Here they sat untouched – until now – almost fifteen years later, when we simply have run out of space after adding to the library every year.
E X E C U T I O N
With the goal of reducing the size of our library, we dreamt up the idea of selling off a collection of our original vintages to our wine club members.
We knew some of the wines might be a bit too “over the hill” so we sat down to try every wine older than 2004. We then repeated the process a week later. Only wines that we approved both times made the cut into the Biography Collection. The final twelve include only one Bordeaux varietal-based wine, the 1998 Merlot, and no wines from 1997. Four of the sought-after, endangered Nebbiolos survived the two cuts as well as 5 of the local favorite, Sangiovese. Many of the wines not on the list showed nice one time, but a bit funky or oxidized with the tasting of the other bottle. Old bottles tend to vary even with perfect Provenance.
While two Rhone blends make an appearance, Syrah is conspicuously absent. Sashi simply poured too many bottles for critics and journalists over the years and we only have a few bottles of each vintage left. We will hold the handful of remaining Syrah bottles to see just how long our Syrahs will live.
THE B I O G R A P H Y
Sashi uses the Syrah to demonstrate the nobility of our terroir as over the past twenty years, we’ve identified the grape as the best varietal fit for the vineyard. But 15 years ago, we farmed 16 different varietals and had yet to rip out half of them in pursuit of more Syrah acres. As one can find by tasting through these 12 bottles, we made darn good wines in the process.
The wines tell the story of our winery program during an era of rapid development. Sashi made five of the wines from start to finish. He inherited barrels of 6 to make the final blending decisions but was not involved in the farming or crush process. The 1999 Merlot was already bottled by the time Sashi arrived.
T H E L I S T
1998 Merlot Reserve: no Sashi
1999 Nebbiolo: Sashi Blended
1998 Nebbiolo Reserve: Sashi Blended
2003 Nebbiolo: All Sashi
2000 Rhone Ridge Cuvee: Sashi Blended
2001 Rhone Ridge Cuvee: All Sashi
1998 Sangiovese: Sashi Blended
2000 Sangiovese: Sashi Blended
2001 Sangiovese: All Sashi
2002 Sangiovese: All Sashi
1998 Sangiovese Reserve: Sashi Blended
2003 Sangiovese: All Sashi
T H E F I N E P R I N T
As noted, because these bottles are so old, they are subject to bottle variation. We offer no refunds. Due to extremely limited availability – 48 bottles of each – there are no exchanges. Also, for those folks not accustomed to drinking old wines, be ready for soft textures, delicate flavors, and hints of brick and brown colors. All of these wines are in the late maturity stage referencing our ever-handy VINTAGE CHART.