2013 Qupe Marsanne - Santa Barbara County
75% Marsanne, 25% Roussanne
This wine is 75% Marsanne and 25% Roussanne from Ibarra-Young (62%) and La Presa (26%) Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley, and Bien Nacido Vineyard (12%) in the Santa Maria Valley. Ibarra-Young has been our primary source for Marsanne since the first crop off of grafted vines in 1987. We are now getting small amounts of both Marsanne and Roussanne from La Presa, which is on the Santa Ynez River bench. Roussanne from our Hillside block at Bien Nacido rounds out the blend.
I like to pick Marsanne on the early side of ripeness when the acidity is still crisp and the pH low. Ibarra-Young was harvested on September 24th at 21.0° brix, 3.35 pH and 7.2 acidity. The Marsanne and Roussanne from La Presa were harvested and pressed together on October 8th at 24.5°, 3.45 and 6.6. The Roussanne from Bien Nacido came in on October 9th at 23.2°, 3.22 and 7.6.
The Ibarra-Young and La Presa components were whole cluster pressed, chilled and settled in a tank for 48 hours, and then racked off of the gross juice lees to neutral barrel for fermentation. The Roussanne from Bien Nacido was whole cluster pressed, chilled overnight, and then put straight to barrel with the lees. For the Roussanne I like to use one year old Francois Freres Burgundy barrels, barrels that were used once for Chardonnay. The wine went through complete malo in barrel before blending and bottling in June 2014. 1,620 cases were bottled, and some barrels were held back to package in kegs.
We sell this wine as a fresh white wine, minerals and citrus with that classic peach pit and wet stone character. Medium bodied, fresh and racy in the mouth with balanced alcohol (12.7%). What surprises about our Marsanne is how well it ages. I recently had a bottle of our 1989 Marsanne and at 25 years of age was certainly at its peak but still going strong! You can easily put this 2013 Marsanne in the cellar for 15-20 years.
Review: Score 90 points - Vinous
"Light yellow. Sexy, high-pitched aromas of lemon curd, pear, white peach and jasmine, along with a minerally nuance. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering bitter pear skin and pit fruit flavors that expand and deepen with air. Clings impressively on the incisive, pear-inflected finish." - Josh Raynolds