Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Qupe 2004 Los Olivos Cuvee  (Santa Ynez Valley)

Qupe Wine Cellars

2004 Los Olivos Cuvee
(Santa Ynez Valley)

When most folks think of Rhone Ranger Bob Lindquist of Qupé Wine Cellars, they conjure up a picture of a smiling, sometimes bearded gent, decked out in whatever is the latest style permutation of the L.A. Dodger’s baseball cap and jersey. Yes, Bob bleeds Dodger blue. When they think of his wines, the blue bloods they think of are his justly famous Bien Nacido Syrah and Bien Nacido Syrah “Hillside Estate.” And most followers also clamor after his recently initiated line-up of single vineyard designated Syrahs.

But the seemingly most well kept secret of the Qupé red wines is the Los Olivos Cuvee – Bob’s blended homage to the wines of the Southern Rhone. The 2004 vintage consists of 48% Syrah and 32% Mourvedre, both sourced from Qupé’s stalwart Ibarra-Young Vineyard in Los Olivos; the balance of the blend is Grenache, from both the cooler Purisima Mountain Vineyard and the warmer Vogelzang Vineyard.

Dark fruits, spices and a certain meatiness are among the aromatics that evolve with a little swirling in the glass. On the palate, this blend has plenty of traction and texture, with a lot of flavor components in the mix, including dark fruits, like blackberry and plum, as well as red fruits, like wild cherry and strawberry. Add to that a sense of Asian five spice powder, soy sauce and a distinct undertone of dry aged beef. This is a powerful wine that also shows excellent balance and a great framework for aging. In fact, I recently found some “lost” single bottles of Los Olivos Cuvee in my cellar, from 1992, 1994 and 1995; to my surprise, they had elegantly mellowed and complexed and were not at all tired nor oxidized. I should be so lucky if the rest of my red wines age that well.

Reviewed October 4, 2006 by Dennis Schaefer.

The Wine

Winery: Qupe Wine Cellars
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Los Olivos Cuvee
Appellation: Santa Ynez Valley
Grapes: Syrah / Shiraz (48%), Mourvedre / Mataro (32%), Grenache (20%)
Price: 750ml $22.00

Review Date: 10/4/2006

The Reviewer

Dennis Schaefer

Dennis Schaefer has been tasting and writing about wine for over 30 years, propelled by a continuing curiosity and burgeoning enthusiasm for discovering what’s in the bottle. Blessed with catholic tastes, he enjoys everything from the obvious to the sublime. A major requirement is that the vineyard, winery and winemaker consistently perform well and fulfill their potential. Balance, concentration and complexity are key to the tasting experience but, in the end, the purpose of wine is simply to give pleasure.