Founder Tom Stolpman wanted to honor his wife, Marilyn, and her family, the Angeli clan, by naming his best wine after her. After decades of research and experimentation, the Angeli wine has now been sourced from her own block for well over a decade. These vines represent our oldest own-rooted Syrah planting – a planting practice that while risky, delivers a whole new level of potential for our wines. Only the hilltop, ridgeline section of the block is cherry-picked for Angeli each year, and then only our favorite barrels make the cut.
When it comes to the 2021 Angeli, I am reminded of both the 2018 and 2019 vintages. On paper, looking at our climatic and yield data, all three were years very similar and from the eyes of a statistician, as close to perfection as a coastal vintner can ever get. Warm days and cool nights, breezy but not damaging, etc. Yet each block-specific cuvee from these “perfect” vintages comes with its unique vintage profile stamp. To sum them up, while all amazing barrel selections from this prized hilltop, the 2018 proved more mellow, 2019 more savory, and 2021 more fierce.
Touches of high-toned fresh red fruit and wet stone dust the rim before falling into opaque purple. Intensity carries the day. Whereas most red cuvees from 2021 give smooth, suppleness – 2021 shows only fiery potential upon release – a wine to be checked in upon 5, 10 years from now and on and on.
Speaking to its “built-to-age” profile, an undercurrent of acid arrives mid-palate under the thick coats of texture and builds alongside tannin through the finish.
The magic is already there. Hints of feral, Syrah bloodiness are already checked by pleasurable fruit. I just look forward to the day when these massive textures, aromas, and flavors integrate and intertwine to hit a whole new level of harmonious euphoria. I think about 2013 Angeli right now and swoon about what the 2021 will be at that age!