Love your Big Reds but are looking something a bit different than a Napa Cab or Merlot? Want to get ahead of the curve on the great wines being grown around Santa Barbara but don’t know where to start? Well, my friends, look no further than the Stolpman 2012 Estate Syrah (Ballard Canyon). This delicious yet unique Syrah from the terroir of Ballard Canyon in southern California may just break your impression that all Syrah wines are big, jammy fruit bomb. By contrast, the Stolpman 2012 Estate Syrah is silky, elegant and bone dry yet manages to deliver satisfying black cherry on the nose and a sage and earthy quality on the mid-palate. This wine would pair beautifully with a grilled port tenderloin. I recently had the opportunity to meet the president of Stolpman, Peter Stolpman, at a tasting hosted by our friends at Ronin Wines. Peter presented a compelling case for the often-overlooked Syrah grape, and one of my favorites, particularly when value was factored in, was the 2012 Estate Syrah. No less an authority than Wine Enthusiast describes Stolpman as “one of Ballard Canyon’s premier vineyards”, and after having the delicious opportunity to sample several Stolpman offerings, it is easy to see why that is the case. What do the experts think of the 2012 Stolpman Estate Syrah, which retails at a reasonable $30? Wine Enthusiast bestowed an impressive 94 rating, remarking that “The mouthfeel is all silk….” This is a terrific bargain, even for a Worth A Splurge Wine.