Twenty-two years ago Bob Lindquist made two barrels of Viognier from the Bien Nacido Vineyard. Bob was already producing a Viognier from the Ibarra-Young Vineyard and didn’t want to release a second Viognier, especially in such a small quantity (two barrels is only about 600 bottles). Bob wasn’t sure what he was going to do with the wine. That winter he was having dinner with a friend and they were drinking a fantastic white wine from Mas de Daumas Gassac, which is Chardonnay and Viognier based. In Bob’s words, “The light bulb went off and the rest is history!”
The Qupé Bien Nacido Cuvée is a blend of Viognier and Chardonnay. Typically this wine is a 50/50 blend of Viognier and Chardonnay, but the 2012 is 67% Viognier and 33% Chardonnay all from the Bien Nacido Vineyard. When it comes to making this wine Bob likes to let the Viognier hang on the vine a little longer than normal so that it gets a bit riper than he would typically prefer. This ripeness gives the Viognier plenty of floral aromatics. The Chardonnay provides structure and acidity. The wine is kept surlee (kept in contact with the yeast after fermentation) which gives the wine some creamy and round notes.
The 2012 Qupé Bien Nacido Cuvée shows wonderful peach and tropical fruit notes (think pineapple) as well as lovely lemon-lime notes. It’s floral, bright, and fresh, but still well rounded. This uncommon blend is a great summer sipper. Pick some up, and get ready for the warm days ahead!