The syrah vines at Bien Nacido's Z-Block were planted exclusively for Qupé in 1992; by 2006, they began to reach a sweet spot in their adolescence. Where earlier vintages of Hillside Estate may have been awkward on release, this '06 feels confident and sure, wrapping raspberry and plum flavors in strong tannins that mix smoke and earth. It gains freshness with air, the fruit lifted by peppery spice and cool acidity. It will reward patient cellaring.
Vivid ruby color. Smoky red and dark berry aromas are complemented by nuances of cracked pepper, dried flowers and apricot pit. Pliant, gently sweet black raspberry and cassis flavors are framed by dusty tannins that quickly fade into the lush fruit. Packs a good punch but doesn't come off heavy, finishing with good clarity and echoes of rose and smoky spices and herbs. This is delicious right now.
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