Tuesday morning was supposed to be all about free time. I had scheduled a few hours here and there through the week so no one got burned out. We were at a beautiful resort, spa, pool, golf and casino a stone’s throw away. Everyone would want alone time, some time to chill, get away from each other, right???? Oh hell no……. “Heath, can we find some juice in the morning? We don’t have to wait til the afternoon to taste do we?” Luckily for me my old friend and one of the legends in the world of winemaking was a phone call away. Bob Lindquist, owner and winemaker of Qupe Vineyards was out of town, but kind enough to answer his phone and set us up with his son Ethan at their tasting room before they opened for business that day. Nestled in Los Olivos a 10 minute drive from Solvang we headed the Uvaggio tour to the north. Qupe has been around since 1982 and has been the standard bearer for California Syrah for over 3 decades. Bob also pumps out serious Northern Rhone valley white varietals roussanne, marsanne and viognier along with a beautifully restrained chardonnay, but it’s the syrah he’s hanging the love of life Dodger’s cap on. We were also fortunate enough to try his wife’s label Verdad of which we had a rose of Grenache (aka golf cart wine thanks Rick and Anne) which focuses on Spanish varietals and Ethan’s private labels of Italian varietals Sangiovese and Nebbiolo (kick ass and under 100 cases made), but in this wine-o’s mouth the big kahuna was the Qupe Bien Nacido Hillside Syrah 2009, full of bacon fat, pepper and smoke this stony charged bottle was ripe with acid and looking to make love to some venison.