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By coincidence, the blend of the 2012 vintage represents each varietal’s respective acreage planted on the vineyard: 60% Syrah, 20% Sangiovese, 15% Grenache, and 5% Petite Sirah.
Being that the blend comes from the perfect, warm 2012 vintage, the wine is darker with fresh blue and black fruits abounding. It already is drinking great so raise a glass and toast “Salud!” to the crew!
This year’s label is titled “courage and loyalty” in honor of the strength, fortitude, and dedication of our passionate full-time workers, La Cuadrilla.
While the 2011 La Croce rivals 2011 Hilltops Syrah for stealing my heart, the La Croce’s firm structure calls for a more sophisticated, structured appreciation. It’s not that the wine is tight and needs time although it is certainly 5-10 years away from peaking. If anything, the Sangiovese and Syrah are so well integrated through co-fermentation it becomes difficult to pick apart individual flavors.
This is the perfect girl who you brush off as way out of your league; beautiful, well-adjusted, intelligent; and if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle, tasting 2011 La Croce might remind you of waking up to realize you’ve married that girl!
The depth and richness of the 2011 La Croce exemplify the best of New World winemaking and what Italians set out to accomplish by blending more expansive varietals with medium bodied, tannic Italians.
Planted throughout the early and mid 90s at the demand of self proclaimed “Italophile” Tom Stolpman, Sangiovese has flourished on Stolpman Vineyards, especially under the supervision of international consultant Alberto Antonini PHD. Dr. A dictated dry-farming the Sangiovese, and later, we were able to extend the practice to every mature block on the ranch.
The 2010 Estate Sangiovese carries on the “Cherry Leather Chocolate” trifecta to bring joy to devotees, and further bedevil critics who obsess over the definition of “new world Sangiovese”. The 2010 carries an air of brightness with hints of red violet. The tannins are already coddled by lapping waves and layers of red fruit on the finish, but like the vintages prior, the Estate Sangiovese will fill out to become a mature beauty over the next few years.
After reinvesting in perfected high density planting of Sangiovese clone 23 on a single ridgeline simply labeled “Block A” (A for Alberto Antonini?), and tasting fruit from the 20 year old Sangiovese Rodino Clone vines on the wide Block 3 Hilltop; we decided to hold the most intensely beautiful lots of Sangiovese for an “Angeli” bottling. Sashi selected the first bottling of Sangio degli Angeli from the 2008 vintage, and both that wine and the 2009 to follow, sold out shortly after release.
Marilyn Stolpman’s Italian Family name Angeli, Angels, presents the perfect brand opportunity for us. Sangiovese meant Blood of the Gods in ancient Roman, so we translate, Sangio degli Angeli, to Blood of the Angels. The Angeli wine remains the very best few barrels of 100% Syrah.
For the Angeli line of wines, we strive to bottle complex “Wines of Meditation” that overwhelm the senses with deliciousness and evolve throughout a glass or bottle to surprise and delight with each discovery of nuance.
Everything about this wine is pretty and opulent. The red spectrum of color goes from deep red to Bordalesque velvet to shimmering rose around the rim.