Wine Ambassador, Dave Lofstrom, tastes and contemplates Qupé’s single vineyard Syrah selections from 2010.
2010 was a cooler growing season in Santa Barbara County, not as cold as 2011, but cool for sure. There were some rain events at harvest, but we sailed through without trouble because we pick earlier than many other producers. Bob is looking for grapes with higher acidity, which makes for a more age worthy and food friendly wine, picking earlier helps achieve that goal. The 2010 vintage for Qupé is marked by spice and acidity.
2010 Qupé Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard
This Syrah is what I would expect from Bien Nacido and that makes me incredibly happy. On the nose there are classic aromas of earth, game, spice, and dried fruit. It’s a fairly big Syrah on the palate but with a great balance of tannin and fruit. Raspberries, earth, spice, pepper, and herbs all come through nicely on the palate. A great wine for the price! Bob anticipates that this Syrah is quite age worthy, 10 – 15 years. I will have a hard time holding on to a supply of them for that long because it’s tasting great now!
2010 Qupé Syrah Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard
In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting vineyards that we work with. The vineyard was only planted in 2005, and 2008 was our first vintage of Syrah from SLV, but the quality of the wines from the vineyard are remarkable. This is a classic cool climate Syrah. On the nose this Syrah shows white pepper, raspberries, meat, and plenty of herbs. On the palate there is plenty of spice, herbs, smoke, and savory fruits. This vibrant wine would be an excellent match to Santa Maria style BBQ, or just about anything on the grill. I’m personally drinking this wine at home quite often.
2010 Qupé “Sonnie’s” Syrah Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard
This Syrah is similar is style to the Sawyer Lindquist Syrah. It’s bigger, bolder, fleshier, and far more complex. “Sonnie’s” Syrah shows great balance and depth. It is a brilliant wine. This wine is fantastic now, but Bob says that it’s definitely worth putting away for a few years.
2010 Qupé Syrah Alisos Vineyard
The Alisos Syrah is a big and powerful wine. It’s ripe with raspberry jam and showing plenty of earth. This Syrah shows less spice and more fruit and game than many of the other 2010s. The Alisos Syrah is complex and still young. It will benefit from more time in the cellar, another 3 or four years before it starts to show it’s true nature.
2010 Qupé Syrah Purisima Mountain Vineyard
The Purisima Mountain Vineyard (PMV) is another exciting spot that we work with. Like the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard, it is biodynamically farmed and the quality of the fruit from PMV is fantastic. The 2010 has lavender, raspberries, spice, thyme, and a little earth on the nose. The palate follows suit and has a lovely streak of minerality. This is a very elegant wine that I really enjoy. I am very excited to see how it ages. Get some while you can because this is super limited and Bob didn’t make any in 2011 or 2012!
I will be honest, I have been a big fan of Qupé Syrah for many years. Even with that in mind I am particularly impressed with the Syrah that Qupé produced in 2010. Overall they are food friendly and age worthy, which is right up my alley. Enjoy!