Stolpman's white tête de cuvée, L'Avion, is spectacular this vintage. It is a barrel selection of the best Roussanne and contains 7% Chardonnay. These old vines are farmed immaculately: on one visit to Stolpman, I watched the full-time crew painstakingly turning clusters by hand to expose greener grapes to the sun--they hang well into November. "By then, it's the only thing left on the vine," Pete Stolpman says. "So we send in our crew to turn clusters and harvest in several passes. Only the tanned Roussanne grapes have enough flavor concentration." The 2019 L'Avion has a medium golden color and singular scents of baked quince and beeswax with wafts of lime leaves, white pepper and flinty streaks. The medium-bodied palate is expansive and weighty with honeyed flavors balanced by mouthwatering acidity, and a compelling textural grip lengthens the finish. This complex, ageworthy white will develop more savory complexity over the next decade in bottle. 470 cases were made.
- Erin Brooks (2022)