👨‍🚀 Join Our Wine Club and Become a Winestronaut Today! 👩‍🚀
📡 Two Natural Wines Monthly 🥂 10% Off Everything 💰 Spellbinding Write-Ups 📖 Free Monday Night Flights 🚀

Aug 2021

Satellite Wine Club, August 2021

Red Cold Chilly Poppers!

Solminer x Satellite - Moon Wrangler ‘Malbache’ - Malbec & Grenache - Serena San Marcos Vineyard, Santa Barbara County, CA - 2020

$32 Retail, $307/Case ($25.60/Bottle)

Stolpman SO FRESH - ‘Own Rooted Field Blend’ - Mourvedre, Syrah, Grenache - Stolpman Estate, Ballard Canyon, Santa Barbara County, CA - 2019

$48 Retail, $461/Case ($38.40/Bottle)


I love chilled red wines. Honestly, most wines should be served with at least some chill. Hot wine = BAD // Chilled wine = GOOD. Of course, you won’t want a big Brunello, Barolo, or Bordeaux style wine served out of an ice bucket - but that’s exactly NOT what we’re focusing on this month. 

For me, summer has been the busiest time of my life. It used to be busy being a summer sunshine chaser, spending any available moment on a bike, on a trail, or in the ocean… not so much these days 😅 (don’t open a restaurant if you like doing… things). Though I may enjoy vanishingly few rays of sunshine, I’m ever-craving a chilled wine to kick off my shoes with at the end of a big day at the restaurant - even more as mask requirements return! There’s something so refreshing and yet rewarding about a fresh red that really dispels that upper-lip mask sweat!

While I am an equal opportunity drinker I do find I most regularly reach for lighter, sometimes spritzy, often funky reds out of my fridge to end a long summer day. They speak to my soul. They say, “hey man - good work today, have a bite of pizza and a splash of my fresh, herby juice!”. Even as I taste them and write this thought - I’m dewy with a summer glow and these wines are cooling me down and making me smile… and write with decreasing accuracy.

It’s hard to say when exactly chilled reds really became a style. Before ice was common everyone just drank wines at the ambient temperature of storage - the deeper the cellar - the better! 

We, the beneficiaries of the magic that is Air Conditioning get chilled reds in the summer my friends. That’s excellent. But, like I said, not for all reds. In this case we’re looking for higher acidity, lighter body, lighter tannins, and less extraction, most especially when a wine has floral aromatics rather than beefy ones. It’s all about that lightness - I’m talking Sauvignon Blanc in a red summer dress.

Fortunately for us all Santa Barbara’s excellent climate has led many of our winemakers to produce wines built for the heat. Red, white, rosé - whichever - we’re seeing more wines made for the heat every year. This month we’re showcasing two which are near and dear to us. The first is the Stolpman So Fresh - “Own Rooted Field Blend” of Mourvedre, Syrah, and Grenache - a fully carbonic, hyper-delicious, flower petal… petal to the metal, ØØ, crusher from their amazing estate in Ballard Canyon. The other is a proud collaboration between yours truly and our very dear friends at Solminer in Los Olivos. The Moon Wrangler Malbache is one-of-a-kind. From (what we think is) the highest vineyard in Santa Barbara County, it’s a lean and fresh take on Malbec and a little grenache. The lighter of the two - the wine drinks like a cool breeze in a plum vineyard, effusing a delicate lavender layered on from its proximity to the field right next to it.

I hope you take a break some hot afternoon this month to pull these bottles from the fridge, kick off your sneakers, and take a breath. Whether it's a quiet night, a sweaty dance party, a dinner with friends on the patio - these wines do the job. 

Chill, brah

Solminer x Satellite - Moon Wrangler ‘Malbache’ - Malbec & Grenache - Serena San Marcos Vineyard, Santa Barbara County, CA - 2020

$32 Retail, $307/Case ($25.60/Bottle)

(This label brought to you by the infinitely talented Elle Cuddy - @oneellart 💖)

We’re making wine! This wild little bundle of purpley joy is our third winery collaboration and our first with our friends at Solminer. What a collaboration indeed!

For the uninitiated: Soliminer is a straight-up love farm and winery founded by my friends David and Anna DeLaski. This couple’s energy is infinite. Their ethics are unmatched. Their creativity is enviable. Solminer is the culmination of their passions, a second act in their lives after careers in music production and forestry. It’s a goll-darn delight. 

The Solminer estate is a fully Demeter Biodynamic certified farm focusing on biodiversity and the cultivation of Austrian grape varietals, apples, chickens, and adorable sheep. They also have a mule and a tiny horse! There they make all kinds of wines from vibrant grüner veltliner to champagne method sparkling syrah to a natural cider that’s simply mind blowing. The couple started the farm 9 years back in 2012 and every year I celebrate how much better and better the wines continue to become. It’s amazing. 

David and Anna farm most of the wine they make, but they’re not strict about purchasing grapes from producers of excellent quality ethical farming. They love the exceptions and I’m ecstatic to share a particularly special one this month. 

The Serena San Marcos Vineyard is unusual - in a very good way. This estate is just down the 154 from Cold Spring Tavern, near the San Marco Pass. At well over 1000’ it really only rivals Demetria for elevation (where we get our Counoise fruit!). This plot is a single 1 acre vineyard across from the turn-off to Paradise road and was planted by friends of the DeLaskis back in 2014. There Serena grows Malbec, Grenache, and a little Viognier - the vineyard is virgin and never sprayed with anything at. all. The site is 100% red clay soils and is surrounded with lavender fields and an olive orchard - the lavender really comes through!

The wine was made simply: early harvested fruit (low alcohol, lots of bright acidity) all destemmed, and fermented separately using only ambient yeasts. The Malbec was extremely small quantity and only amounted to ¾ of a barrel so the rest was topped with grenache that was harvested at the same time and finished fermenting the same day. Barrelled into very old neutral barrels on the same day and left to rest for 6 months. The wine didn’t see a bit of sulphur until bottling day when we added about 15ppm to stabilize it. Just a breath of fresh air!

Tasting Notes: 

This wine is the definition of inviting. Purple notes mix with the bright ruby of the bowl. Not at all dense, totally clear, but somehow deep. 

The nose is gonna be a big yes from me - all fresh picked plums, cherries, even peach juice - lavender and a subtle pininess. A little orange zest and sandalwood come up when you look a little deeper. This wine is like a fruit cocktail at a fancy juice bar. 

On the palate it’s just as breezy. Light as water, lightly tannic with just the right amount of grip to remind you it’s wine. The acidity loves a chill, elevating all the fresh squeezed juice flavors. I’m quite with this delicate balance of fresh plums, cherry, lavender, orange, and delicate holy-wood blend. It’s just like a dip in a cool pool with sangria on your tongue. 

I really like this wine, obviously. It’s fresh, easy, airy, and perfect for a Santa Barbara summer… or wherever you like to spend your vacation! It’s the closest I can get to giving everyone in our wine club a big hug right now and I sure am glad to share it! Enjoy ❤❤

Stolpman SO FRESH - ‘Own Rooted Field Blend’ - Mourvedre, Syrah, Grenache - Stolpman Estate, Ballard Canyon, Santa Barbara County, CA - 2019

$48 Retail, $461/Case ($38.40/Bottle)

The Stolpmans are awesome. Surprising and brilliant at every turn - always evolving and pushing forward the entire region’s winemaking year after year. 

The 220 acre estate was purchased by Tom Stolpman in 1992. A lawyer in LA, Tom was obsessed with escaping the city and dreamed of farming and making wines that rivalled the Cru Bordeaux that first lit his love of the industry. 

The estate is incredible. With 150 biodynamically farmed acres planted to scores of varietals: the Stolpmans literally have something for everyone. Since Tom is now largely retired, more of a living monument to the founding generation of Santa Barbara winemaking, his son Peter has become the driving force behind Stolpman’s rise to fame. 

Peter is a huge presence: some 6’5” of fiery red hair and viking-like strength - his unabashed love of viticulture is somehow unexpected and completely charming. Pete recently divided the company into two core brands representing the past and future of the company. The traditional wines of his dad’s generation fall under the Estate brand (a misnomer, pretty much everything is from the estate) and the So Fresh labels represent a natural wine path for the future. Both sides are terrific, but us winestronauts want that Trés Fraîche

What separates the two? Beyond the apparent seriousness of the labels (see your handwritten rainbow label) and thickness of the glass bottles - the So Fresh wines are all fermented whole cluster carbonic (to capture the freshness, not the tannins and color) and are almost exclusively bottled without any addition of SO2. They’re also unfiltered, unfined, and any yeast will be totally naturally occurring. The wines are what we call “soif” or thirst wines - meant to be glugged on hot days, chilled down, and enjoyed liberally. Unrefined is right - but somehow these wines are more a representation of the purity of the vineyard than the more structured and refined Estate wines. 

On a recent staff vacation our whole team spent the day with Peter on the estate, touring the vineyards and dive-bombing down the slip-n-slide into their reservoir. A complete blast! There we learned that Stolpman will, too, be both CCOF and Demeter Certified Biodynamic for the 2022 harvest - after a 3 year certification process (that means the wine in your hot lil hands is completely biodynamic too, yo). We’re ecstatic that one of our favorite producers is taking the next step in regenerative farming and towing the line for other larger producers in the region. It’s the only way, It’s the best way. 

Now let’s give it a taste!

This wine is straight badass. You might stare into its deep purpley abyss, seeing the 13.9% alcohol statement and think: BIG RED. But no, dear friend - this wine is not that. 

Start with the nose: Bright, fresh, crystal clear. Nothing baked or jammy here. It’s chaparral herbs on a basket of fresh fruits. Blackberry, black cherries, plums - all with a morning dew still draped on this vision of a harvest basket in my mind. It’s the kind of smell that gets me salivating, like biting into a cold and perfectly ripe plum - crunch and snap. All that with bubblegum sage, fennel, laid on something molasses - but never heavy.

On the palate it really is that crisp crunchy plum - a cacophony of all the flavors above pour out. I’m reminded of all the smells and flavors of a recent walk through the stolpman vineyard - and also of a zipline ride straight into their reservoir. All the wildness and fun and natural agriculture of their farm is here. It’s alive. 

The structure of the wine is a beautiful balance. There’s more here in weight, and alcohol, tannin, and general intensity than in the Malbache - yet the wine is just as engaging and refreshing. Perhaps it demands a little more attention. It wants a bit more food to come along for the ride. This wine want’s barbecue.  This wine might actually be a great marinade… if you’re crazy enough not to drink it first. 

Wild and free, all things turned to eleven and yet totally restrained. 

Reds that thrill, served with a chill - Funky Fresh // Disappearing Freaky Fast: This is August at Satellite. 

 ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ 

Older Post
Newer Post
Close (esc)


Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Alternatively use it as a simple call to action with a link to a product or a page.

Age verification

By clicking enter you attest that you are old enough to consume alcohol in your local market.


Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now