What a delicious wine. I dare anyone with an (imagined) aversion to Chardonnay to NOT love this. Not to detract anything from the #1 selling wine-grape in the world, but this takes everything a purist loves about Chard and steps it up a few notches. Light and brilliant in the glass–ignore the psychological distraction of BOTTLE color–it pours out creamy tropical and woodsy aromas: Key lime pie and banana, grass heavy with dew, some Christmas spices and the decided kiss of oak.
Roussanne and Marsanne have always been staples in the Rhone-heavy Qupé roster, and die-hard fans and collectors line up for them. I have tasted these wines with many years under their belt, and they age better than most California white wines. This little guy is 24 bucks–a price-point typically reserved for general-appellated *Central Coast* wines–and the fruit is not Bien Nacido, but comes from 30 miles south: from the newly-formed Los Olivos District in Santa Barbara County.
Tasting it is a springy step into both zest AND rich fruit. Sweet flower-petal and melon play around with more-serious peach and apricot nuances. A core of acid creates grip around the middle of green tea and lychee; the oak becomes more apparent (especially over 55°); and it all accelerates toward a finish undeniably tannic. This wine’s got a decade to go, and will thicken and richen and into straight nectar.
2019 QUPÉ Marsanne Los Olivos District Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. California 13.0