This month, we’re featuring some excellent California wines that are crafted in the Rhone tradition. Bob Lindquist, a native Midwesterner, caught the California wine bug in the seventies and founded Qupé, named after the California poppy, in 1982. Since then his focus has been Rhone varietals and he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhone Rangers in 2015.
2013 Qupé Marsanne – $25
Grapes: 75% Marsanne 25% Rousanne
Region: Santa Barbara County, California, USA
Terroir/Tech: barrel fermented, aged in used Burgundy barrels
The Marsanne comes from the organically farmed Ibarra-Young Vineyard and La Pressa Vineyard in Santa Ynez, with the Rousanne from the famed Bien Nacido Vineyard. It has a lovely aroma of beeswax, apricot, and honey yet it’s texture on the palatte stands out above everything else, somehow both unctuous and lithe at the same time. The weight and freshness make for a versatile food wine, great for any type of poultry, pork, or rich seafood.
2013 Qupé Central Coast Syrah – $20
Grapes: 98% Syrah with Grenach, Mourvedre, Tempranillo
Region: Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, California, USA
Terroir/Tech: fermented separately, aged minimum 18months in French oak
Bob Lindquist says that the 2013 vintage was exactly what he likes for Central Coast Syrah: warm but not too hot and very little rain. These conditions produce a wine that has the perfect blend of “cool climate components for spice, freshness, acidity and lower alcohol, and warm climate components for the forward fruit and value.” This wine is spiked with peppery bacon jam notes along with a light touch of oak. Great with anything off the grill.