The 2017 Agharta Syrah was originally produced by Santa Barbara’s original cult winemaker, Bob Lindquist. The 2017 Syrah was one of the last vintages Bob produced for the Qupe brand and somewhat forgot about until it was acquired by Vintage Wine Estates. The original barrels were put aside and not discovered until the purchase. Legendary winemaker Pax Maule’s cult brand Agharta was also acquired in the deal and eventually became the label this mystery juice was bottled under. The 2017 Agharta Syrah is a rare bottling that will quickly become one of the most unique and sought after wines from the central coast.
This Rich full-bodied Syrah is an ode to Cote Rotie in the Northern Rhone, the birthplace of Syrah and Viognier. Grapes in this wine are sourced from the famed Bien Nacido vineyard in Santa Maria. The vineyard produces unparalleled fruit with rich, earth-driven flavors, and hints of spice. For those who love Old World Syrah and the Northern Rhone style.
Bob Lindquist is a pioneer in Santa Barbara winemaking. He planted some of the first cool-climate Syrah in California at the Bien Nacido vineyard in the 1990s. He became known as one of the founding Rhone Rangers, demonstrating that Rhone varietals could succeed in California.
"Qupe" is a Chumash Native American word for poppy, the California state flower often found in the area. The Bien Nacido vineyard translates to "of good birth" and is part of a larger parcel, associated with an original California land grant. Given the vineyard's east-west exposition, the cool air from the Pacific Ocean flows into the Santa Maria valley and creates a perfect, natural air conditioning that keeps nights and mornings cool and the days warm. For this reason, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay reign supreme here. And, as Bob discovered, so too does Syrah.
Focused aromas of boysenberry, light violet, and lavender show on the nose of this bottling. The palate snaps with boysenberry, black-plum, and tart elderberry flavors, with a hint of those purple flowers, set atop very strong acidity. ~91 Wine Enthusiast
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