I hope no one fires me for saying this, but Qupé Syrah might not be for everyone. And that’s okay.
One of the things that I admire about our winemaker, Bob Lindquist, is that he has not chased trends over the last 32 years of his Qupé winemaking career. From Syrah to Chardonnay to Marsanne (are there Marsanne trends to chase?) to his newly released Pinot Noir, Bob has chosen to make wine that is focused on being age worthy and food-friendly. He makes wine that is well-structured and high in acidity. In my opinion, Bob is looking to the Old World for inspiration and using that inspiration to make wine in California, without creating a carbon copy of what you find in the Old World.
Instead of making Syrah, or any wine, that is high in alcohol, extracted, and over the top, Bob has chosen to take a more restrained route and let the vineyards determine the character of the wine. (To be fair, if the vineyard is in a warmer area of Santa Barbara County, those wines are riper in style, but that’s Bob just letting warmer vineyards show off their character). I am in no way saying that rich, ripe, fruit forward, wines are bad or that using lots of new French oak to give wine a certain character is a bad thing. Above all else, wine should be pleasing. And like so many things, wine is completely subjective. There is a large section of the population that loves super ripe, big, rich, oaky wines. Those people should drink and enjoy those types of wines. I’m just not sure that Qupé wines are for that part of the population. Qupé wines are balanced, well structured, and age worthy. If that’s your style, then Qupé should be one of your go-to California wines.