The 2006 vintage was a very cool one... cooler than normal during the summer, cooler than normal throughout September and then warming up gloriously, just in time, in October to ripen everything! I love the results we get in cool vintages. The wines are usually not as apparent upon release but usually are among our most ageworthy... and this 2006 fits right in there.
I love the cooler vintages. This definitely ranks among the top 5 syrahs that I've produced from this special Bien Nacido Hillside block. It has the classic black pepper you get in cool vintages along with raspberries, cola, Provençal herbs with that nice touch of sweet French oak. This wine is a baby upon release... to enjoy young please decant a couple hours before you drink it so it can open up. If you buy some for the cellar, I'd recommend waiting until it's at least 8 years old and with the right storage this wine will easily go 15-20 years.
"The syrah vines at Bien Nacido's Z-Block were planted exclusively for Qupé in 1992; by 2006, they began to reach a sweet spot in their adolescence. Where earlier vintages of Hillside Estate may have been awkward on release, this '06 feels confident and sure, wrapping raspberry and plum flavors in strong tannins that mix smoke and earth. It gains freshness with air, the fruit lifted by peppery spice and cool acidity. It will reward patient cellaring."
Wine & Spirits
"Vivid ruby color. Smoky red and dark berry aromas are complemented by nuances of cracked pepper, dried flowers and apricot pit. Pliant, gently sweet black raspberry and cassis flavors are framed by dusty tannins that quickly fade into the lush fruit. Packs a good punch but doesn't come off heavy, finishing with good clarity and echoes of rose and smoky spices and herbs. This is delicious right now."
International Wine Cellar