2012 Qupé Santa Barbara County Syrah
This wine is 98% Syrah and 2% Grenache from grapes grown at Bien Nacido Vineyard (75%) in the Santa Maria Valley, and the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard (25%) in the Edna Valley. These are our most important cool climate vineyards, and this wine will replace the single vineyard bottlings that we’ve produced from those two sites for the broad market beginning with this 2012 vintage. We will continue to produce a single vineyard bottling of Bien Nacido Hillside and Sawyer Lindquist “Sonnie’s” out of our best barrels from those two vineyards.
In the late 1980s to early 1990s there was an effort by winemakers and grape growers to establish a new AVA that would encompass all of the cool climate growing areas of the South Central Coast. These east-west running coastal valleys and mountains, starting at the bottom of the Cuesta Grade in San Luis Obispo south to the Gaviota Pass in Santa Barbara County share a similar climate as well as basic soil types. This AVA was to be called the Santa Barbara Coast. Winemakers and grape growers in the warmer Paso Robles AVA protested because they were not included and the BATF rejected the application. This wine exemplifies why that AVA should exist!
This wine comes from our best blocks at Bien Nacido and Sawyer Lindquist, all from either biodynamic or organically grown grapes. The various lots were fermented in small open top fermenters, manually punched down twice a day. Most of the lots included some whole clusters for an overall average of about 25%. It was aged in small barrels for 22 months (mostly French oak with a smattering of Hungarian), with about 25% new barrels in the blend. 1,600 cases (750ml and magnums) were bottled in September 2014.
This is classic cool climate Syrah from an outstanding vintage. Deep and spicy, blue/black fruits, lavender, herbs and black pepper. This is a full bodied Syrah but still savory, elegant and under 14% alcohol. The balance and structure will serve this wine well in the cellar…drink it between 2015 – 2018 if you want the fruit, or put it down for 10-15 years if you want aged complexity.
Review: 90 points - Wine Enthusiast Magazine
"Plump boysenberry and dewy sagebrush meet with a touch of wet asphalt on the nose of this bottling by Bob Lindquist, whose pioneering brand is now part of Charles Banks' portfolio. Dark purple fruits, from blueberry to blackberry, show on the palate, but with refreshing tartness, as do more complex nuances of menthol, eucalyptus and incense."