Golden Showers

Bright greenish-golden–a hue not predicting massive concentration or age, but also not inferring a super-light white. Ashy, leaf-detritus nose with shy melon, apricot and neutral-oak masking under-pinnings of malo creaminess and Chardonnay piña-colada. Pure and clean, not relying on *oak & butter* oblivion–as many versions at this price-point do–a well-balanced bouquet with smoky, musty nuances of earth and shrubbery with a high-note of Christmas-spice fruit.

The label says “Santa Barbara County, Y-Block” and those in the back rows will know ALL the other offerings of this variety from this winery are Bien Nacido–a vineyard famous for its alphabet-designated blocks–but nothing about Bien Nacido printed. I think it is a fairly safe assumption the fruit is indeed from Bien Nacido, but the minds behind chose not to clog up the label of this entry-level bottling with such verbiage. If someone knows of another “Y-block” in Santa Barbara County: I’m all ears. Marketing decisions like this are myriad in intention… at BEST to not detract from the winery’s more-expensive bottles; at WORST to not intimidate a housewife in the grocery store. At $20, Stelvin-capped, and 30,000 cases, the demographic must be coddled–and not overwhelmed.

Rich and delicious in the mouth, a shock of acid appears early-on and never dissipates. I’m drinking it at 60° which is probably unfair, as the targeted demo will most definitely drink it easily 20° colder. What will they taste at that temperature? Who knows. Probably Budweiser. I’m not going to *take one for the team* and freeze my taste-buds off. Match-head and raspy graphite fulfil Chablis fantasies; green grass and stemmy acridity woo the dorky; fruit a religiously-thin wisp of delicate peach and strawberry–not too floral; not too tropical–carboundum on rust and oil on steel; bone-dry with substantial tannin.

You put this in front of Chardonnay-snob in a line-up of 20-dollar supermarket offerings and there’s no WAY it doesn’t obliterate the competition. Stupidly well done, and 2018 signifies the first vintage COMPLETELY out of Bob Lindquist’s hands. A favorite pastime on the Central Coast is sitting back and predicting the label will go all crowd-friendly and annoying with the new owners–and I keep waiting for that–but so far the wines I have tasted are toeing the party line beautifully and my popcorn’s getting stale. This is gorgeous Chardonnay. And something I would age for a decade EASY with confidence. PUT IT IN YOUR GLASS.

2018 QUPÉ WINE CELLARS Chardonnay ‘Y Block’ Santa Barbara Co. California 13.5

https://www.qupe.com/

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