About 2018 Qupe Y Block Chardonnay:
Cool climate Chardonnay made in a traditional style.
Aromas of citrus, pears and nutmeg waft from the glass, with just a hint of vanilla and toasty oak from aging in barrel. Mouth-coating viscosity on the palate balanced by naturally fresh, crisp acidity. Completely dry, this is an elegantly balanced and structured Chardonnay.
100% barrel fermented and aged in French oak— primarily François Fréres Burgundy barrels, 15% new
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.
As with all the Qupe Chardonnays, this wine was made using traditional techniques: hand-harvested, whole cluster pressed, chilled for 48 hours in tank, then racked off heavy lees for fermentation. Qupe’s Y Block Chardonnay was 100% barrel fermented and aged in French oak— primarily François Fréres Burgundy barrels, 15% new. We aged this wine on lees for seven months then racked clean 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.