We feel we have a singular opportunity to make opulent, intriguing Roussanne. The varietal is extremely slow to grow and mature through the season and the conditions at Stolpman combine to allow for even, albeit late, ripening. Our southern location near 34 degrees latitude gives the Roussanne grapes intense solar radiation to tan the fruit their namesake “Rousse” or Rust color. Limestone soils and cold nights combine to maintain acidity late in the year. Low humidity and high winds keep the grapes clear of mold and for better or worse, we never get significant rain fall through harvest. La Cuadrilla takes every possible effort in the vineyard to optimize the Roussanne fruit. Most notably, in late July we pull leaves away from the fruit to allow direct sun penetration. A month prior to forecasted harvest, every grape cluster is rotated 180 degrees to facilitate an even sun-tan. We are extremely proud that our 19 acres of Roussanne now represent a world-wide benchmark for the varietal. Vintage Heat spikes define vintages in Ballard Canyon. We are blessed to farm without fear of rain, rot, hail, and humidity. In 2018 the only heat wave we suffered through arrived so early, on July 7; that it didn’t impact the fruit ripening or quality. The summer turned into a moderate, steady, dream year when acids hung high as sugar slowly accumulated and intense, nuanced flavor developed.
2018 Roussanne brings a strong tropical game. The perfect pairing to a palm tree-lined beach and the only beverage you need while you eat a freshly grilled whole fish with your hands. It might sound aggressive but behind the tantalizing perfectly-ripe golden pineapple there is a carnal element I find rare in white wines. The coating texture calls for fleshy meats, a Los Angeles sommelier even pairs this wine with Short Ribs - a departure from the more typical seafood, poultry, and Asian dishes I usually associate with Roussanne.