I was supposed to meet Peter Hunken at the vineyard, but a mix up in the previous appointment location (I thought I was going to meet Rob Fry of Au Bon Climat/Qupe at the tasting room in Solvang and he was almost an hour away at the winery.) threw me way off schedule. Peter was very understanding and arranged for a tasting, on another day, for us at the tasting room with Katie McGaughy, Direct Sales Manager. The wines along with very brief notes:
2005 L'Avian: 98% Roussanne, 2% Sauvignon Blanc, $28, big buttery, viscous, 89
2003 Poetry in Red: Syrah, Sangiovese, Grenache, a hint of strawberry on the nose, berry flavors
2004 Limestone Hill Cuvee: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, this has been discontinued, uninspired, 83
2004 Sangiovese: dark fruit nose, as good as most Italian incarnations, 89
2003 Nebbiolo: Stolpman is selling off these grapes from now on for good reason, 83
2004 Estate Syrah: 5% Grenache, baked fruit nose, rich, complex, delicious, can only get better, 93+
I found the Sangiovese, a varietal I just can't love, surprisingly good. The Estate Syrah was so good, my wife insisted I buy some to take to dinner. My rating on the Roussanne might be a little low if it develops some complexity with a little age. Definitely worth a visit when you are in the area.