Text Size:-+
06.07.2004

2002 Qupe "Bien Nacido Cuvee" White Meritage, Central Coast

After a recent review of a nice Edna Valley wine, let's move south and west along the central coast to the Santa Maria Valley and this all-purpose white from Qupe Wine cellars.

Qupe shares a production facility with the famous Chardonnay producer Au Bon Climat, which is a cult favorite from the Central Coast appellation that commands hefty prices on the market. Qupe was founded Bob Lindquist who got his start, like many of today's small producers as a cellar rat for Zaca Mesa winery where he met and learned from winemakers Ken Brown and Jim Clendenen. After seven years "under the influence" Bob decided to begin winemaking under his own label, and founded Qupe in 1982 in order to produce primarily Rhone Style wines, which were his first and abiding love.

In addition to these Rhone varietals, Bob also continues to produce Chardonnay (from the grapes he shares with Au Bon Climat) and this wine, which his an even 50/50 split of Chardonnay and Viognier. "By itself the Viognier is quite ripe and rather alcoholic with low acidity. The Chardonnay reigns it back in and balances the wine perfectly," says Bob, who recommends the wine as a warm weather aperitif as well as to complement Asian cuisine.

Tasting Notes:
The color of pale straw, with a distinctive greenish tinge, this wine has a typically heady Viognier nose of jasmine and orange zest. In the mouth it has a nice acidity (thanks to the Chard) and more than a little oak on it, with flavors of lemon, some mineral characteristics, and a clean finish. While this wine was a little heavy on the oak for me, and the aromatics of the Viognier weren't backed by really solid fruit, I think that many people will find this very drinkable, especially those looking for a break from Chardonnay.

Food Pairing:
I first had this wine at a Raclette cheese party with some friends and it didn't fare very well with the strong flavors of the cheese and the starch of the accompanying potatoes. I'd try serving it (nice and cold) with Vietnamese Imperial Rolls, or other light, slightly spicy dishes.

Overall Score: 8.5

How much?: $17

This wine is available for sale on the winery's Web site.

SAV_15_SBA_Badges_Finalists_wine_vote.png

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Instagram Delectable Flipboard Pinterest

Most Recent Entries

Acid Freaks Unite: Highlights From the 2015 IPOB Tasting Vinography Images: A Brief Oasis Going Dry In California Off to Taste Champagne! Vinography Unboxed: Week of April 5, 2015 Vinography Images: The Color of Spring Vinography Unboxed: Week of March 29, 2015 Vinography Images: Waves of Vines Tempranillo (and Gang) TAPAS Tasting: April 26, San Francisco A Man, An Island, and a Bottle of Grüner: The Wines of Rudi Pichler

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month

 

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud