2009 Qupe "Bien Nacido Hilllside Estate" Santa Maria Valley Syrah (Elsewhere $40)
Wine & Spirits
Bob Lindquist has been making Hillside Estate since 1994, using fruit from Bien Nacido Vineyard’s Z Block, a sloping, southwest-facing planting on the cool, gravelly Santa Maria bench. It was planted to Lindquist’s specifications in 1992. This iteration feels lean and leafy at first, then it blooms in a graceful, silken thread of complexity, suggesting all sorts of appetizing nuances—cured pork, green peppercorn, charcoal, rose hips, blueberry skin, allspice, mint. In the end, it lands on a cool mineral note that lasts. It’s saturated with flavor but not heavy, the wine’s acidity mouthwatering and alive. Age it for ten or fifteen years to taste its full potential.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Slightly richer, with addition depth and texture, the 2009 Syrah Bien Nacido Hillside Estate offers up knockout game, new saddle leather, pepper and smoke-tinged blackberry fruit as well as a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel. Balanced and showing plenty of ripe tannin and good acidity, it will have 12-15 years of evolution. (JD)
The 2009 Syrah Bien Nacido Hillside Estate is the biggest and most savory of these Syrahs from Qupe. Cedar, tobacco, smoke and game notes add complexity to fruit that has begun to soften in the 2009, which is also Qupe's current release. This deep, resonant Syrah is an excellent choice for drinking over the next few years, as the flavors already show a good bit of development. (AG)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright purple. Blackberry and cassis scents are complicated by notes of game, black pepper and bitter chocolate. Spicy dark fruit flavors show good concentration and focus, with zesty acidity adding spine. Finishes with good cut, length and lingering spiciness.