2009 Qupe Sonnie's Sawyer Syrah
Syrah •Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard
Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County
SELL OUT ALERT: If you love incredible Syrah, you’ll simply flip out over today’s delicious Qupe 2009 Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard Sonnie’s Syrah.
The recipient of nearly a dozen 90+ point scores (see below for a partial list), this fantastic wine delivers everything you’d expect from an elite Syrah. The wine is complex, fragrant, lush and very flavorful, all with a perfectly balanced disposition.
Agent Red practically did cartwheels around Wine Spies HQ when he secured this wonderful wine, and while he wants to stash a few cases away for himself, we assure you that you get first dibs. Just act soon, as this highly coveted wine could sell out before midnight.
Deep and inky with dark ruby hues that become darker toward the slightly opaque heart of the wine.
Dark and layered with dark cherry and plum on top of cured meats, clove, cinnamon, dark fig, cedar, forest floor and cracked pepper.
Deep and complex with black cherry, sweet tobacco, dark berry compote, stonefruit, twig, earth, supple leather, subtle dried herbs and a hint of sandalwood.
Extra long, led by bright fruits that gradually give way to complex earthy flavors. Plush tannins slowly dry the palate.
This plush wine begs to be enjoyed with an assortment of hard and soft sheep’s milk cheeses or a grilled ribeye. The adventurous Operative might also try this wine with a spicy beef Chili Colorado.
What the Winery Says
- Winery Tasting Notes
- This is the best wine from a rigorous barrel selection (8 barrels) and is made from the Alban syrah clone blended with 15% UCD-1 clone. The wine is 30% whole cluster fermented and aged for 16 months in 50% new Ermitage barrels. The wine has great depth and complexity with tremendous pepper spice balanced with intense savory fruit. This was named after Sonnie, Bob’s mother and the matriarch of the family.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: “[$55 list; abv: 13.5%] Very ripe, showing rich, pure varietal flavors of blackberries, cherries, ground pepper, grilled meat, sweet sandalwood and spices. One hundred percent Syrah, it’s balanced with great acidity. Really smooth and delicious, and a crowd pleaser. Could develop over the next 4-5 years. (Oct 2011)”
91 points Rhone Report: “A vineyard that continues to impress, the 2009 Qupe Syrah Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard boasts textbook northern Rhone aromas of game, tobacco, smoked bacon, olive, and both red and black fruits on the nose. Beautifully perfumed and complex aromatically, it doesn’t disappoint on the palate either has possesses a lighter styled, medium-bodied mouth feel, juicy acidity, solid mid-palate texture and depth, and a chewy, lengthy finish. It should drink beautifully for 5-8 years. California wine lovers who are intrigued by northern Rhone Syrah need to try this wine! (Dec 2011)”
90 points Wine & Spirits: “Bob Lindquist planted his first estate vineyard in 2005, farming it under biodynamics and earning Demeter certification in 2009. The young vines don’t deliver much more than a friendly, easy drinking wine when it’s first poured. But as is often the case with well-grown biodynamic wines, the fruit resists oxidation and begins to show its complexity a day later. It evolves into scents of forest floor, evergreen, cinnamon and cranberries, a firm young wine with lasting spice. Cellar this a year or two, then decant for pulled pork. (Feb 2012)”
17/20 points Alex Hunt (The World of Fine Wine): “Comparatively pale, which has me intrigued already, and the color is matched by lovely delicate aromas of raspberry, pepper, and herbs. There is absolutely no lack of concentration on the palate, but there remains a lightness of touch and sense of harmony that set this wine apart. (Issue #35; 2012)”
Producer notes: “Grown at our biodynamic vineyard this a selection from 4 sections of hillside vines and made from 7 different Syrah clones. The wine has lush berry flavors framed by distinctive spice aromatics. It is 25% whole cluster fermented and aged for 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels and bottled without fining or filtration.”
About the Winery
A California resident since childhood, Bob Lindquist named his winery “qupé” to honor the Chumash, the indigenous people of the Golden State’s Central Coast and Channel Islands. Since many of the sounds of the Chumash language have been obscured by time, Bob gave “qupe” its pronunciation (“kyoo-pay”), with an accent on the final syllable.
In Chumash, “qupé” refers to the poppy, a flowering plant traditionally used for food and medicine. In 1903 the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) was officially designated the state flower, and every spring masses of the bright orange blossoms still blanket local hills and back country.
Pictured on the winery’s label, a stylized poppy stands amid a swirl of stems studded with leaves and seed pods. The arresting image - originally intended as an embroidered motif for bed linens - was selected from designs associated with Gustav Stickley, the famed furniture maker and champion of the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900s.
Ann Johnson, one of Qupé’s original shareholders, discovered the design in a book of clip art available for public use. She sent a copy of the art to Bob, who immediately recognized it as the perfect image for his wine label. The original design resembled a wine glass, but Bob tweaked it to look more like a poppy, in keeping with his intention to pay homage to the region’s earliest residents.
- About Bob Lindquist
- Born in the Midwestern U.S., Robert Neil “Bob” Lindquist moved to Southern California with his family in 1964 at the age of 11. The music scene was in full swing and as the Beatles, Beach Boys, Kinks, Byrds, and Rolling Stones electrified the airwaves, Bob’s passion for rock-and-roll ignited. In fact, the Kinks would later figure as a plot device in Bob’s path to becoming a winemaker.