Fantastic, fabulous, a stupendously good Syrah that shows off Bien Nacido at its most perfect. Totally dry, with sturdy but ultra-refined tannins, it displays massive waves of blackberries, black currants, blueberries, smoked meat, violets, sandalwood and black pepper. Just beginning to find its groove, it should develop for many years.
2005 Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido X-Block Syrah X-Block is the oldest section of Syrah at Bien Nacido, grafted onto Riesling rootstock in 1986. Normally blended in Qupé's Bien Nacido Syrah, Bob Lindquist will occasionally make a selection to bottle alone. It's a massive wine in 2005, reticent and closed when first poured, needing hours to unfold from behind its savory, earthy tannins. It gains intensity with air, melding fresh pink and red peppercorns with smoky, dark cherry fruit. Deep and powerful, with an undercurrent of brightness, this is a wine to cellar for a decade or more.
Inky purple. Highly perfumed nose offers textbook Syrah aromas of cassis, blackberry, anise, floral oils and smoky minerals, with subtle game and pepper notes adding complexity. Deeply concentrated, chewy dark berry and floral pastille flavors boast liqueur-like depth but are far from plodding. Slow-building minerality adds energy and precision to a long, sweet, sappy finish. The tannins in the wine are beautifully knit with the fruit and only emerge with aeration. This portion of the Bien Nacido vineyard was planted to Riesling in 1973, and in 1986 the vines were grafted over to Syrah.
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