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Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido X Block 25th Anniversary 2006

Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
  • WE97
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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

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, , California
Qupe
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.

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

CWMQP1426_2006 Item# 113575

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