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Qupé doll

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Syrah 2011, Central Coast, Qupé Wine Cellars ($25.30, 00866335)
Mostly or entirely Syrah from various vineyards, mostly cool-climate, between Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara. A third of the bunches are left whole. All the grapes are given 24 to 48 hours’ cold maceration, followed by fermentaiton in open vats with two punch-downs a day. After 15 days, the wine is transferred into oak barrels (20 to 25% new), where it spends 18 months. Fined with egg whites before bottling. 13.5% ABV.
Enticing, savoury, juicy nose with a candied edge: boysenberry, strawberry, spice, dried herbs, faint leather and sandalwood. Medium-bodied and silky textured. Not fruit-driven (the ripe fruit is definitely there but it’s only one in a complex of flavours that includes dark minerals, wood, spice and earth) and not what you’d call a structured wine, though there are some fine tannins and coursing acidity. An appealing astringent sourness marks the finish, a little like you can get on Sangioveses, along with a lingering black olive note. Definitely New World and not plumbing great depths but varietally correct and ultimately enjoyable. I sometimes dismiss Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noirs with an “I can’t believe it’s not Syrah.” Well, while this isn’t an “I can’t believe it’s not Pinot Noir,” it’s a step in that direction. (Buy again? Sure, though there’s not a lot left in the system.)

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Written by carswell

June 12, 2013 at 23:31

Posted in Tasting notes

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