Magnum Monday: Stolpman “l’Avion” Roussanne


Tom and Marilyn Stolpman founded this Central Coast winery in 1990. The dry-farmed vineyard plantings here are one of the great viticultural stories of California. Stolpman’s plantings account for over 5% of the Roussanne planted in California in the Santa Ynez Valley of the Central Coast. A huge factor in why L’Avion is unparalleled worldwide stems from our terroir and the skill of Cuadrilla, both of which enable us to wait to pick the crop at least a month after any of our neighbors. The result is simply concentration. Aromatically; wafting out of the glass. In the mouth; a rich, coating, glycerin mouth-feel that lasts all the way through the palate.

This wine is 100% Roussanne, typically aged over a year in New French 500 liter puncheons. Naturally acidified by dry-farmed limestone soils, and saved from botrytits by winds whipping in from Point Conception.

It took Sashi 6 years of making this varietal at Stolpman to finally risk making it pure. The time in between was spent training Cuadrilla (a full-time vineyard crew) and learning how to hand-twist every cluster to achieve an even, golden grape suntan and how to select each cluster while picking, leaving others to pick on a later date. Labor intensive is an understatement.

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“100% Roussanne, aged for 15 months in new French oak, the stunning 2008 Stolpman Roussanne L’Avion exhibits fantastic aromatics of honeyed pears, dried pineapple, and flowers that are supported by richer notes of butter and toasted bread. This medium bodied, lavishly textured white possesses an edgy, energetic profile, as well as vibrant acidity on the finish. Delicious now, it should continue to perform well over the next 3 to 5 years, if not longer. (Nov 2010)” – The Rhone Report