This wine is 80% Marsanne and 20% Viognier from the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard in the Edna Valley. This is the first release of a dry Marsanne from this Demeter Certified Biodynamic Vineyard.
The grapes for this wine were harvested on October 19th at 24.6° brix, 3.47 pH and 7.7 acidity. It was considerably riper in sugar than we normally get from our long time producing Ibarra-Young Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley. Marsanne is not a particularly high acid variety, and doesn’t rely on acid for structure, balance and age worthiness.
The grapes were whole cluster pressed and the juice chilled in a tank for 48 hours to settle. The juice was racked off of the gross lees to neutral French oak barrels for fermentation and aging for 9 months. It went through complete malo in the barrel. A couple weeks before bottling, one barrel of Viognier from Sawyer Lindquist was added to four barrels of the Marsanne. 120 cases were bottled in June 2013.
This is quite an exotic bottling of Qupé Marsanne! Richer, bigger and more complex than the Santa Barbara County Marsanne. It still has that classic peach pit, lanolin and mineral character, with lovely floral aspects from the Viognier. My experience with Marsanne argues in favor of bottle age. It is a fun wine to drink young, but better to put it in the cellar for 10-15 years.