2011 Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard - X Block
Santa Maria Valley
This wine is 100% Syrah from the X Block at Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. X Block is the original Syrah vineyard at Bien Nacido, planted in 1973 to Riesling and then grafted to Syrah in 1987, all Estrella clone. When the vines got to be about 30 years old they started behaving like older vines... naturally setting smaller crops with small intense berries. That creates wines of density and richness. Beginning in 2005 the X Block has been farmed using biodynamic protocol.
The wine was aged exclusively in Ermitage French oak barrels to give it a different oak profile than our Hillside bottling, 60% were new and 40% were once used. The wine was kept in the new to newer barrels for the first year and then racked and returned to neutral barrels for another 8 months, 20 months total barrel time. The wine was fined with organic egg whites and bottled without filtration. This is an intensely dark wine for a Qupé Syrah with incredibly deep, rich flavors of berry and spice. This wine should easily age for 20 years.
Review from Vinous - Josh Reynolds SCORE: 94:
"Glass-staining ruby. Captivating aromas of blackcurrant, smoked meat, olive tapenade and smoky minerals show excellent clarity and energy. Reminds me a lot of a serious Cote-Rotie. Rich black raspberry and cassis flavors are complicated by cracked pepper, olive and candied violet, with juicy acidity adding lift and cut. The floral and spice qualities gain strength on the finish, which is strikingly focused, youthfully tannic and very long."