Qupe SplitI hadn’t lost sight of my goal for Syrah: To find a bottle that was balanced, complex and most of all, affordable. I looked to a domestic producer that was synonymous with Syrah, specializing in all things Rhône.

I had a split of 2010 Qupé Syrah open and breathing on the countertop.

This Central Coast Syrah was a deep purple at the core with ruby highlights at the rim. The youthful hue was just a passing note but the enticing scent was worth lingering over. I brought my nose to the bulb and discovered scents lifting (medium-plus) of cooked plum, tobacco, sage, cardamom and jerky. The intense aromatics were mouth-watering and continually evolving. When I transitioned to the palate, the first sip showed off the structure, a flexed frame (medium body), with moderate tannin and medium acidity that helped round out the slightly warm finish of Pluots, black cherry, tobacco, beef jerky and dried herbs.

The half bottle of Syrah brought a deep list of descriptors with it. Showing more than similar domestic Syrah I have tasted this year, and for a fraction of the price (≈ $15*), this modest red, an entry-level wine from the acclaimed producer, showed well until the end, shattering my sticker price theory for Syrah and left me with one wish: A bigger bottle!


*Price listed is for 750ml, not the 375ml I tasted.