The 2013 Qupé “Sonnie’s” Syrah is a selection of the most elegant and aromatic lots of 100% Syrah clones ((Alban 1, Alban PB and Estrella) from the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard in Edna Valley. Planted in 2005, this vineyard was established using biodynamic farming methods, and was Demeter Certified Biodynamic in 2009. The soils are a composition of sandstone, rocks and volcanic material, which give the resulting wine a distinct mineral characteristic.
“Sonnie’s” is named after renowned winemaker Bob Lindquist’s mother, Sandra (Sonnie) Granger Lindquist, and is a barrel selection of the best grapes of the vintage. Traditional winemaking techniques included open top fermenters, 50% whole clusters, native yeasts, and manual punch downs twice a day. The wine was aged for 22 months in exclusively Ermitage French oak barrels of which 60% were new oak for the first 10 months and the rest in one and two-year-old barrels.
A final cut was made six weeks before bottling to ensure optimal complexity, acid and tannins, and to allow the wine to mature gracefully over time. Sublime notes of boysenberry, blueberry and black olive transition into a long and lingering finish. Enjoy this wine young with roasted duck and fingerling potatoes or save it in the cellar for a special occasion over the next 8-12 years.
Appellation: Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard, Edna Valley, California
Vintage: 100% Syrah
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Score: 90 "There's a lot to admire in the 2013 Syrah Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard Sonnie's from Qupé, which wafts from the glass with an incipiently complex bouquet of blackcurrants, earth, grilled meat and oak vanillin. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied and quite compact, with deceptive depth but missing some succulence, energy and mid-palate amplitude, and finishing rather dry. This saw two-thirds new Ermitage barrels, and my fear is that it's a little dried out by its two years in wood. Of course, Bob Lindquist's wines regularly transform in bottle, so I may well be wrong, but I would love to see this cuvée matured in neutral barrels." William Kelley