Blend : 60% Mourvedre / 20% Syrah / 20% Grenache
Maria Solorzano is shy around visitors and quick to smile. For anyone that sees her in action, it is clear that she leads by the example of her own work ethic. Maria is most comfortable in her routine of perpetual motion out on the vineyard – checking the vines and directing the crew. Maria, solely in charge with a quiet, commanding presence, heads the day-to-day operation at Stolpman. She runs perhaps the hardest working, most passionate vineyard crew in the world. On a daily basis she teaches La Cuadrilla new techniques to execute a constant barrage of experiments – often adapting on the fly – figuring out practical ways of farming ridiculously high-density vineyards by hand, or training canopies for ideal shading and wind-flow.
Label Art: The nickname for villagers from Santa Cruz, Jalisco; Maria’s hometown, is “Tecolote” – or night owl. The name stems from the popular late night parties thrown in the town. Maria and La Cuadrilla also turn nocturnal for three months out of the year to harvest in the cold night air for maximum freshness. A resident female Great Horned Owl is the most prolific rodent-control beast on the vineyard. Para Maria is a 50-50 partnership between the Stolpman and Solorzano families.
The 2020 vintage started with much needed late rain in March and April. The cold moisture pushed back bud break and set up an anticipated late harvest. Ripening then accelerated after late season heat waves. We commenced harvesting the Ballard Canyon fruit following the labor day weekend heatwave, followed by the later ripening Mourvedre. The ripest and darkest component, Los Olivos District Syrah, came in last.
All fruit went through consistent verasion, helped along with the hot conditions peaking on September 6th. Because we had no concern about extracting color from the dark skins, all lots were immediately pressed rather than soaking them for a few hours as we sometimes do. Next, after a cold native fermentation, we decided to keep the wine in cold stainless steel tanks for maximum freshness. The flavor concentration we tasted in the fruit simply didn’t need more tactile development in barrel.