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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 a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches 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 San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

CWMQP1426_2006 Item# 113575