Sunday, August 15, 2010

QUPE SYRAH CENTRAL COAST 2007


Qupe Syrah

Sometimes I wonder where this stuff comes from.  I pulled a bottle out of the rack the other day, only to find it was a half-bottle.  Where did I get that?  I don't buy half bottles - at least I thought I didn't.  Oh, yeah, it's coming back to me.  I bought a couple of half-bottles to take to the Hollywood Bowl, but my bowling excursions have been nonexistent since then.  Let's drink it here in the comfort of my own home.

This Syrah is actually 98% Syrah and 2% Grenache.  About a third of the grapes come from the Santa Ynez Valley, about a third from Santa Barbara County and another third from Paso Robles.  The Santa Maria Valley and Edna Valley are minor players in the mix.  In all, according to the Qupé website, 17 vineyards from five AVAs were tapped to get the grapes for this wine.

Robert Lindquist's half winery – the facilities and staff are shared between Qupé and Au Bon Climat – is located on the famous Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria. It's a rustic area, and rustic is the feeling I get from drinking this Syrah.

Medium dark red in color with deep purple around the edge, it looks like it means business.  The nose carries a little heat right after opening, but shows spicy, dark berries and leather otherwise.  Violets and blackberries populate the palate.

After nearly an hour, it's still a bit hot.  It's still nice and spicy, too.  The alcohol takes about an hour and a half to ease its grip, leaving the taste extremely leathery and dry.  The fruit takes a backseat, allowing the earthy tones to ride shotgun.

At 13.5% abv, it was surprising to find so much alcohol present upon opening it, but by the second night, there were no heat issues at all.