Founded in 1982 by CA pioneer Bob Lindquist, Qupe quickly established itself as the premier winery in Santa Barabra County. Bob planted some of the first cool-climate Syrah in California at the Bien Nacido vineyard in 1997, which has since been thrust into the "Grand Cru" spotlight and is universally regarded as one of the best vineyard sites in all of California. He is known as one of 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.
Tasting Notes:Red Wine. 100% Syrah. Deeply colored with well-integrated flavors of blueberries, cassis, plums, violets, petroleum jelly, dark chocolate, cola, and hints of black pepper. On the palate, the wine is supple, velvety, and medium to full-bodied, with lots of peppery, crunchy fruit, and good juicy acidity, as well as excellent concentration and length.
The 2010 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Hillside Estate offers classic cool-climate notes of pepper, green olive, leather, and spice, as well as a core of ripe blackberry and raspberry styled fruit. Medium+-bodied, nicely balanced, and with integrated acidity, it has outstanding mid-palate density, plenty of tannins, and solid finish. Made from 100% Syrah that spent 20 months in 50-60% in new French oak, it will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 15+ years of overall longevity. ~92 Robert Parker
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