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Bob Lindquist is a pioneer in Santa Barbara winemaking. He planted some of the first cool climate Syrah in California at the Bien Nacido vineyard in the 1990s. He became known as one of founding Rhone Rangers, demonstrating that Rhone varietals could succeed in California.
"Qupe" is a Chumash Native American word for poppy, the California state flower often found in the area. The Bien Nacido vineyard translates to "of good birth" and is part of a larger parcel, associated with an original California land grant. Given the vineyard's east-west exposition, the cool air from the Pacific Ocean flows into the Santa Maria valley and creates a perfect, natural air conditioning that keeps nights and mornings cool and the days warm. For this reason, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay reign supreme here. And, as Bob discovered, so too does Syrah.
The Block 11 is Qupe's "Reserve" Chardonnay. It is one of the best blocks in the 240 acre vineyard for Chardonnay. This wine has a 10-15+ year drinking window.
Editor’s Note: This wine is spectacular and was underestimated by Galloni. It is a 96pt wine now and regrettably, we only have a few bottles left of this vintage. This is truly a grand cru for Santa Barbara Chard at a price that is a fraction of a Montrachet equivalent.
Winemaker Notes: Another amazing vintage of this wine. Rich, complex, balanced. As always, this wine is made using very traditional, time tested wine making techniques… whole cluster pressed, complete barrel fermentation with 100% malo, and aging on the lees for the first year in mostly new, Francois Freres oak barrels, then bottled after 18 months total barrel time.
Qupé's 2014 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Block Eleven is powerful, rich and super-expressive, showing striking textural depth and plenty of fruit. There is more than enough aromatic freshness and overall nuance to play off the wine's more extroverted leanings. This is an especially tannic Chardonnay. Give it a few years in bottle to be at its best. ~92VM
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