Founded in 1982 by CA pioneer Bob Lindquist, Qupe quickly established itself as the premier winery in Santa Barabra County. Bob planted some of the first cool-climate Syrah in California at the Bien Nacido vineyard in 1997, which has since been thrust into the "Grand Cru" spotlight and is universally regarded as one of the best vineyard sites in all of California. He is 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.
2x 2009 Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Hillside Estate - Deeply colored with well-integrated flavors of blueberries, cassis, plums, violets, petroleum jelly, dark chocolate, cola, and hints of black pepper. On the palate, the wine is supple, velvety, and medium to full-bodied, with lots of peppery, crunchy fruit, and good juicy acidity, as well as excellent concentration and length.
2x 2011 Qupe Grenache Sawyer-Lindquist Vineyard - The nose is instantly expressive and characteristically Grenache, with aromas of raspberry, red cherry, and licorice, backed up by blackberry and black pepper from the Syrah and Mourvèdre. Those two grapes also lend a firm tannic structure to Grenache’s gentle texture, all rounded out in a long, spicy finish. A fruity, elegant expression of Grenache which will reward at least five years’ aging.
2x 2011 Qupe Reserve Chardonnay Bien Nacido Block 11 - Another amazing vintage of this wine. Rich, complex, balanced. As always, this wine is made using very traditional, time tested winemaking 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.
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