Para Maria is our partnership with vineyard manager Ruben Solorzano and his wife, Maria, our Forewoman. 2015 marks the second vintage of Para Maria, and for the first time, the wine incorporates fruit from the other vineyards Ruben farms.
We named the wine after Ruben’s wife, Maria. While Ruben oversees Stolpman and a dozen other vineyards, Maria fully focuses on Stolpman as full-time leader of La Cuadrilla. By relying on Maria to ensure impeccably detailed work on their home vineyard, Ruben spread his wings and gained fame for farming the best vineyards in Santa Barbara County. Maria is truly the woman behind the man.
Maria Solorzano grew up in the small village of Santa Cruz, two hours away from Guadalajara and only a few miles away from Ruben’s Ranchito. Ruben and the other locals referred to the villagers of Santa Cruz as Tecolotes, or Night Owls, because they threw the best, longest lasting parties. Today, Maria and La Cuadrilla turn nocturnal for three months every year, harvesting in the cool of the night, under the watchful eye of our resident Great Horned Owls.
Creative Director Kari Crist took a new hand-print from her wooden owl carving for this year’s blend.
2015 will certainly go down as a great vintage in Santa Barbara County. Due to cold, windy conditions at the start of the year, yields dipped drastically. The weather then slipped into a predictably moderate flow through harvest. Vines easily ripened less fruit earlier in the year and we had the luxury of carefully choosing our picking dates. We chose to pick the Syrah for Para Maria over a two week stretch to get a wider continuum of flavor.
AT THE WINERY
93% Syrah 7% Petite Verdot. One third of the Syrah, the lots that we harvested earlier, is carbonically fermented (uncrushed whole grapes in a sealed tank). The Carbonic portion adds fresh, bright red tones and exciting energy from the nose through the palate. The later picked Syrah lends depth and darker flavors while the Petite Verdot adds pleasurable juiciness and richer texture.
Dense, alluring purple fruit dominates the nose with a nice touch of violet, red plum, and sage on the periphery. Rich and full bodied, the wine packs many layers as it coats the mouth. At first the wine comes off as full bodied and ripe, but then shows red pomegranate brightness towards the finish. Already showing great – who doesn’t love deep dark and delicious? 2015 Para Maria once again drinks way above its pay grade.