Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido Hillside Estate Vineyard 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
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.
Wine & Spirits - "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."
International Wine Cellar - "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."
Qupe was founded in 1982 by Bob Lindquist. Located at the Bien Nacido Vineyard in northern Santa Barbara County, Qupe's current production is about 25,000 cases. Varietals produced include Chardonnay, Syrah, Marsanne, Viognier, a Syrah/Mourvedre blend, a Viognier/Chardonnay blend and Roussanne. View all Qupe Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.