This wine is 100% Chardonnay from “Block Eleven” at the Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley area of northern Santa Barbara County. Block Eleven was originally custom planted for Qupé in 1997 and is known for its high acidity and minerality, thanks to its north by northwest facing hillside exposure.
Traditional winemaking techniques included whole cluster pressed, complete barrel and malolactic fermentation (100%) in new, and 1-year-used, French oak Francois Freres Burgundy barrels. The wine was aged on the lees in the new barrels for 12 months, racked and returned to neutral barrels for another 6 months, and then bottled without filtration.
2014 was a warmer than normal vintage in the Santa Maria Valley with an intensely flavored, small crop of Chardonnay. The resulting wine has a rich yet approachable mouth feel, with classic notes of golden apple, Asian pear and a soft crème brulée and fresh oak finish. Enjoy this wine now with a rich chicken parmesan preparation, or allow the wine to age and develop caramel and marzipan notes over the course of the next 7-10 years.