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 2020 L'Avion has a deep golden color and compelling scents of baked apricot and nectarine, honeycomb, pie crust and ginger. The full-bodied palate is dry, weighty and complex, with a mouth-coating texture, refreshing acidity and exotic herbal streaks that go on and on long after the wine is gone. It's a serious white that's ideal for the table or the cellar, and it's one of the stars of the 2020 vintage. 500 cases were made.
- Erin Brooks (2022)