Wine of the Week: Qupé, Santa Maria Valley, Bien Nacido, Y Block, Chardonnay 2011

Source: Dallas Morning News
January 16, 2013
By Rebecca Murphy

Qupé, Santa Maria Valley, Bien Nacido, Y Block, Chardonnay 2011

NF_QupeWine

Bob Lindquist is the driving force behind Qupé, which he named in honor of the indigenous Chumash people of the California Central Coast. He started working his way into wine with various jobs at wineries in the mid 1970s. He got the winemaking bug while a tour guide at Zaca Mesa and started Qupé in 1982.

While he specializes in Rhone-style wines, chardonnay is his best-seller, and no wonder. This is a decorous and delectable chardonnay, with apple and pear aromas and flavors highlighted by chalky mineral notes. It is medium bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel and roundness imparted by barrel fermentation and aging, animated by vivid, citrusy acidity. Its rich flavors will complement the opulence of sautéed scallops and will contrast the more straightforward flavors of a roast chicken.

The Santa Maria Valley is in Santa Barbara County, in California’s Central Coast. Although it’s just 150 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, it feels remote both in distance and time. It’s beautiful country — rolling hills, plenty of vineyards and farms, and a unique climate for grape growing. It’s far enough south to get warm summer temperatures for ripening grapes, yet due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, those temperatures are moderated by cooling breezes. This makes for a long growing season, allowing the grapes to develop the flavor and complexity and to maintain acidity exhibited in this wine.

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