2011 Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Barbara

About the Wine

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 1997. He became 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.

2011 was an extremely cool vintage and crops were small. Average yields for this wine were less than 1.5 tons per acre. The wine is 33% whole clusters from the X Block, the rest was de-stemmed. Fermentation was done in traditional small open top fermenters with manual punchdowns twice a day. Aging was for 18 months in a combination of French and Hungarian barrels, about 20% new.

Reviews

Bright purple. Powerful, spice-accented scents of cassis, olive paste, violet and woodsmoke. At once rich and lively, offering sweet dark berry compote and peppery spice flavors, along with a smoky overtone and a hint of cola. Precise and sharply focused on the subtly tannic finish, leaving intense berry skin, bitter chocolate and black pepper notes in its wake. ~91VM

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