About 2018 Qupe Marsanne:
A classically Californian take on the northern Rhône — the cool nights and mornings ensuring the wine maintains its freshness, while the warm days bring power and weight to the wine. This is a wine that can be enjoyed for its youthful exuberance, or cellared for five years to allow complex nutty aromas to develop.
On the nose, there are instinctively attractive aromas of citrus, kumquat zest, peach pit, and freshly cut fennel, followed on the palate by lively acidity and a viscous mouthfeel.
Barrel-fermented in neutral French oak
The cool climate Los Olivos District AVA lies in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County. The region experienced a fairly mild summer in 2018, resulting in a well-rounded vintage with expressive fruit flavors.
Qupé focuses on cool climate expressions of Rhône varietals due to a distinctive geographical feature that sets them apart from most other regions of California, as all vineyards are all located in East-West valleys (vs North-South) which function as open windows to the cool Pacific Ocean. The benefit to the vineyards of being along the coast and running East-West is that the cold, moist air gets pulled in and creates a layer of morning cloud cover over the vines which reduces temperatures and sun exposure on the grapes. This is why cool climate varieties excel in the coastal regions of the Central Coast and allows Qupé to focus on cool climate expressions of Rhone varietals. East-West valleys on the Central Coast that Qupé sources from include Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Los Alamos Valley and Santa Rita Hills/Santa Ynez Valley.
Marsanne was picked on the early side of ripeness, when acidity is crisp and pH is low, while Roussanne was blended in to add weight and complexity to the wine. The hand-harvested grapes were whole-cluster pressed. After a two day cold settle, the juice was racked off gross lees to barrel. The wine was barrel-fermented in neutral French oak followed by malolactic fermentation. It was then aged on its lees for 6 months before racking to stainless steel for blending and rest before bottling.
About The Winery:
Qupé is honored to be a member of the Rhone Rangers, America’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to promoting American Rhone varietal wines. American Rhone-style wines are made from the same grapes that have flourished for centuries in France’s Rhone River Valley, and their growing popularity in the United States speaks to their versatility with food, wide range of rich flavors, and to the skills of American winemakers. The Rhone Ranger’s mission is to educate the public on Rhone varietal wine grapes grown in America and to promote the production and enjoyment of these wines, with emphasis on integration into our daily lives. For a wine to qualify as a “Rhone Rangers” wine, the winery must be a member of the organization and 75% of the wine’s content must include one or more of the twenty-two traditional Rhone grape varieties as approved by the French government for the wines of the Cotes du Rhone (including Petite Sirah/Durif).
The name “qupé” was chosen to honor the Chumash, the indigenous people of the Golden State’s Central Coast and Channel Islands.
In Chumash, “qupé” refers to the poppy, a flowering plant traditionally used for food and medicine. In 1903 the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) was officially designated the state flower, and every spring masses of the bright orange blossoms still blanket local hills and back country.