| Qupe Central Coast Syrah 12 bottles|
Central Coast, USA
This wine is 93% syrah, 4% Grenache, 2% MourvFdre and 1% Counoise. The grapes come from 16 different vineyards in the Central Coast û 55% from Santa Barbara County; 39% from Paso Robles and 6% from the Arroyo Grande Valley. The most significant vineyard components in order of percentage are: Bien Nacido in Santa Maria, French Camp and Lonesome Oak in Paso Robles, and Chalbot Vineyard, a cool climate vineyard near Los Alamos in Santa Barbara County. Some of the other vineyards included in the blend are Vogelzang, Alisos, Stolpman, Colson Canyon, Black Oak, Windmill and Ibarra-Young (all Santa Barbara County).
2005 was an amazing vintage for both quality and quantity and, in fact, itÆs one of the best vintages IÆve seen in my 27 years on the Central Coast. The grapes had impeccable balance and flavor intensity and the perfect weather allowed us to really dial in the harvest sugars.
All of the lots were picked and fermented separately. Roughly half of the wine was fermented in open top fermenters with twice a day manual punch downs. The other half was done in closed top tanks with twice a day pump overs. All of the lots were aged in French oak barrels for 10-11 months before blending and bottling. About 19,400 cases were produced (2500 cases of half bottles).
This is an outstanding bottling of our Central Coast Syrah, ranking alongside the 1991, 1994, 1998 and 2003. The cool climate Santa Barbara and Arroyo Grande fruit give the wine the whole range of spice characters, nicely offset by the forward, rich fruit character of warmer Paso Robles. The alcohol comes in just under 14%, which IÆm very happy about. Sure, this wine will age beautifully, but whatÆs the point? Drink it with pleasure over the next couple years and save your cellar space for more important wines.
Peppered Ahi Tuna with Oyster Mushrooms and Port Wine Recipe
4 five-ounce portions sushi grade Ahi tuna
2 tablespoons crushed black peppercorns
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound oyster mushrooms, sliced
2 ounces leeks, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons chopped shallots
2 cups Port wine
2 tablespoons sweet butter
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled
3 ounces sweet butter
4 to 6 ounces milk
Salt and pepper to taste
First, prepare mushrooms by heating clarified butter in a medium saute pan. Add leeks and saute until lightly translucent. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic, and saute until tender. Deglaze the pan with Port wine and finish with two tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Now, prepare potatoes. Place potatoes in cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, strain and push through a ricer or food mill. Stir in hot milk and butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Finally, cook tuna and assemble the dish. To cook the fish, heat a non-stick pan over high heat. Add one tablespoon oil. Lightly coat tuna with crushed peppercorns. Sear Ahi tuna until rare (about one-and-a-half minutes on each side). Serve with mashed potatoes and top with Port wine/mushroom mixture.
Yield: 4 ervings
Recipe from: Bidwell Street Bistro, Folsom, California, USA.