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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido X Block 25th Anniversary 2006

Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
  • WE97
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The idea behind this wine was to make a wine to celebrate our 25th vintage and last another 25 years. This is a very special bottling. It is 100% syrah from "X" block at Bien Nacido, which is the oldest Syrah block on the vineyard. This is a block that was planted to Riesling, on its own roots, in 1973 and grafted to syrah (Estrella clone) in 1986. In 2005 we began farming X-Block biodynamically.

This is a wine meant to go another 20+ years. It is an intense wine, not nearly as approachable as our other 2006 Syrahs. The aromas show tar and leather with smoked meats, blueberries and hard spice. The flavors are intense with firm tannins and grip. Please don't drink this wine now, but if you must, decant and aerate it to help open it up.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
A gigantic wine, one of the most powerful Syrahs in memory. Shows fabulously rich tannins from stem fermentation, sweet, spicy and earthy. The aromas and flavors are of mushrooms, grilled meat, blackberries, cherries, cola, black pepper and smoky cedar. Extraordinary depth and complexity, a very great California Syrah. Could soar off the charts in the next 2–3 years.
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Qupe
Qupe, Central Coast, California
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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.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

CWMQP1426_2006 Item# 113575