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Qupe Reserve Block 11 Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
  • W&S93
  • WE93
13.5% ABV
  • W&S93
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine is 100% Chardonnay from Block Eleven, a 6 acre custom block planted exclusively for Qupé in 1997. I like oak in Chardonnay, as long as its good oak and as long as the Chardonnay has balance. This wine carries its oak off perfectly. The aromas are classic cool climate chardonnay with hints of lime, pears and wet stone with a strong underpinning of creme brulee and sweet oak. The flavors are rich but nicely balanced by clean, fresh acidity...mouth-filling with a long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
At first, this wine seems to be mostly abotu oak and lees - luscious and creamy. With air, it gains precision, the fruit building into a fresh white cherry flavor that's sharpened by a crisp, mineral edge. This comes from a steep hill-side block at Bien Nacido, planted specifically for Bob Lindquist in 1997. The block's northern exposure mitigates the sun's rays and contributes to the wine's implicit freshness. It deserves a few more years in bottle.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
You’ll have to go far and wide to find a bigger, richer California Chardonnay. It’s enormous, offering an explosion of tropical fruit, citrus and apricot, brightened by crisp acidity. Despite the power, the wine maintains elegance and balance. This is one of the few Chards that will take bottle age, gradually losing fruit.
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Qupe
Qupe, Central Coast, California
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Qupe was founded in 1982 by Bob Lindquist. Located at the Bien Nacido Vineyard in northern Santa Barbara County, Qupe's current production is about 25,000 cases. Varietals produced include Chardonnay, Syrah, Marsanne, Viognier, a Syrah/Mourvedre blend, a Viognier/Chardonnay blend and Roussanne.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

SWS341958_2010 Item# 127252