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Qupe Wine Cellars

Qupe Wine Cellars Qupé is dedicated to producing handcrafted Rhône varietals and Chardonnay from California’s Central Coast. We employ traditional winemaking techniques to make wines that are true to type and speak of their vineyard sources. Our goal is to make wines with impeccable balance that can be enjoyed in their youth, yet because of the good acidity from cool vineyard sites can also benefit from ageing. We are committed to sourcing grapes from some of the best and most prestigious vineyards in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.


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2963 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos, CA, US, 93441 Email:
Phone: 805-686-4200 Web:
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  Bien Nacido Cuvée
This is a very showy Bien Nacido Cuvée. The Viognier from the warmer Santa Ynez Valley vineyards, especially the Vogelzang, give this an even more lifted Viognier aroma. Peaches, honey, with hints of tropical fruits and citrus, balanced by the structure and great acidity of the Chardonnay. The Chardonnay also balances the alcohol in this wine (the label says 13.5%, it’s actually 13.7%) so that this can so nicely with different foods. There is an impression of sweetness from the ripe Viognier but the wine is completely dry. We find it goes especially well with Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, Indian food or any other dish that’s full flavored and incorporates a bit of sweet and spice. This wine is not meant for the cellar, drink now and over the next two years.
  Chardonnay "Bien Nacido-Reserve Block 11"
This is a riper, more forward Chardonnay than the 2001. I tend to prefer the ’01 for its balance, but this wine is more overtly delicious. It is classic Bien Nacido Chardonnay with citrus, pears and minerals in the aroma. There is vanillin, with a hint of pineapple too. The mouth is creamy and rich with a thick, firm finish. This wine will certainly age nicely for 2-7 years – I would drink it while I’m waiting for the 2001 to reach its peak.
  Chardonnay "Bien Nacido-Reserve Block 11"
  Chardonnay "Bien Nacido-Y Block
A more opulent fruit component - bits of pear, mango and pineapple show up, along with nice creamy oak with slightly softer acidity. Drink over the next 5 years.
  Grenache "Purisima Mountain Vineyard"
Traditional fermentation, open top, manual punch down and aged for 10½ months in neutral French oak barrels. Only three barrels (72 cases) of this delicious Grenache were produced. It is a racy, spicy wine, possessing deep cherry, ruby color and fresh berry and spice aromas. Sappy and full flavored, with soft tannins and fresh fruity flavors. Yummy stuff!
  Grenache "Purisima Mountain Vineyard"
This ’04 is juicy, sappy, spicy Grenache with hints of wild cherry, thyme, and pepper. The flavors follow the aromas, wrapped around bright acidity and modest tannins. It’s a big wine but still under 15% alcohol, somewhat modest for Grenache, it carries itself well.
  Los Olivos Cuvée
This is our 14th vintage of this wine and certainly one of the best. This is a Southern Rhône style blend, but Los Olivos is cooler than the Southern Rhône yielding a more elegant, balanced wine. The aroma shows a lot of berry and wild cherry with classic gaminess from the Mourvèdre and uplifted fruit from the Grenache. The mouth feel is almost Pinot Noir like, with sweet, rich fruit and a snappy, clean finish. This wine should age gracefully for 5-10 years.
  Los Olivos Cuvée
This wine is 50% syrah and 33% Mourvèdre, both from the Ibarra-Young Vineyard in Los Olivos and 17% Grenache from Purisima Mountain and Vogelzang Vineyard just outside of Los Olivos. This is the first time we’d worked with grapes from Vogelzang, a warmer site on the eastern side of the Santa Ynez Valley. This wine is our homage to the Southern Rhone but with grapes grown in a cooler climate which yields a more elegant wine with balanced alcohol at 13.9%
  Marsanne "Santa Ynez Valley"
The aromas lead off with minerals, flint and hints of peach and herb. The flavors are persistent with good fresh acidity and balanced (13%) alcohol. It wasn’t easy to make a wine that low in alcohol in 2004.
  Roussanne "Alban Vineyard"
This is one of the best vintages of Alban Roussanne we’ve made (along with ’96 and ’99). The aroma shows smoke, flint, beeswax, with hints of honey and citrus. It’s an intense wine in the mouth, big with juicy acidity. Do Not serve as an aperitif, this wine should go with the meal (grilled fish or roast pork come to mind). I believe this wine will age nicely for 10-15 years.
  Roussanne "Bien Nacido-Hillside Estate"
This is a big, exotic wine and I think a classic representation of Roussanne. The aromas show honeysuckle, orange rind, almonds, minerals and a hint of smokiness that’s inherent to Roussanne and complemented by the oak. The flavors show much of the same with a big robe of fruit and great acidity. I purposely kept this wine pretty closed in because I know its aging potential. I wanted to give it more bottle age before release but we had sold out of our ’01 and ’02 Roussannes and the marketplace wanted more (Roussanne is not the easiest wine we sell).
  Syrah "20th Anniversary"
As I mentioned before, this is a wine meant to go another 20 years. It is an intense wine, not nearly as approachable as our other 2001 Syrahs. The aromas show tar and leather with smoked meats, blueberries and hard spice. The flavors are intense with firm tannins and grip. Please don’t drink this wine now, but if you must, decant and aerate it to help open it up.
  Syrah "Alisos Vineyard"
This is probably the biggest Syrah I’ve ever made, and a little out of character in my world of elegant wines. It has deep spicy and jammy flavors with dried raspberry and pepper. The wine is richly fruited and framed with decent acidity and firm tannins. Drink this wine while the 2001 ages in the cellar.
  Syrah "Colson Canyon"
Aside from our two Syrahs from Bien Nacido, this is my personal favorite of our 2003 single vineyards. It has a beautiful deep color with a magenta edge. The aromas are especially spicy; black pepper, red pepper, and herbs. There are hints of licorice and tar as well. It’s a big wine in the mouth by my standards, but will probably seem elegant compared to some of the California Syrahs being made these days. The wine is juicy with soft tannins and balanced acidity. Drink now and over the next 3-5 years.
  Syrah "Purisima Mountain Vineyard"
This is the most elegant and restrained of our 2003 single vineyard Syrahs, and yet it’s hardly elegant or restrained. This vineyard emotes a definite terroir in the aromas of ripe berries, perfume and spice. Like most of the ‘03’s it’s a pretty juicy wine with lifted, almost sweet fruit characters. The tannins are evident but fairly sort already. Drink this over the next few years and wait for the wonderful 2001 and 2002 bottlings from Purisima to come around.
  Syrah "Purisima Mountain Vineyard"
This wine is 100% Syrah for the Purisima Mountain Vineyard, in the hills just west of Los Olivos in the Santa Ynez Valley – this vineyard shares a fenceline with the Stolpman Vineyard. Planted in 1997 by the Beckmen family, farmed by Steve Beckmen (a local pioneer of biodynamics), this vineyard has quickly elevated itself to the top rungs of the quality ladder in the Central Coast.
  Syrah "Rancho Arroyo Grande"
The aromas of this wine are full of berries and fresh herbs, mint rosemary and hints of lavender. It is juicy and full in the mouth with soft tannins and rounded acidity. Upon release this is the most forward and drinkable of the 2002 single vineyard selections.
  Syrah "Stolpman Vineyard"
Aside from the Alisos Vineyards Syrah (which will be released later), this is the biggest and most rustic of our 2003 single vineyards. The aromas exhibit a deep, almost jammy raspberry fruit with hints of spice and pepper, and a bit of smoked meat. Rich flavors, balanced acidity and persistent tannins argue for some aging. It’s still a juicy, forward 2003 though, so I’d say now to 3-5 years.
  Syrah "Stolpman Vineyard"
This is pretty classic Alisos Syrah – spicy, deeply colored with firm acidity and tannins. Like most of the ‘04s, the alcohol is higher (14.6%) than you normally find in a Qupé syrah. And like most of the ‘04s it’s a big, forward, delicious wine. The structure and acidity here though should allow for aging as well, say 7-10 years.
  Syrah Bien Nacido
This is a rich, juicy Bien Nacido Syrah, reminding me a lot of the outstaying 1996. Unmistakably cool climate with great acidity and spice. I would drink this vintage and put the 2001 in the cellar. The ’02 does have good aging potential, but it tastes so good now, why wait?
  Syrah Bien Nacido "Hillside Estate"
This is a heady, spicy and well-balanced version of this wine. Because of the cool growing season, the wine has relatively low alcohol (13.2%) and refreshing acidity. The aroma shows white pepper, dried raspberry and an intriguing mocha character from the barrel fermentation. The flavors are concentrated without being heavy with bright fruit in the mouth and a long, zesty finish. This wine should age beautifully over the next 10-20 years.
  Syrah Bien Nacido "Hillside Estate"
Now, more on the balance issue. These grapes were perfectly and physiologically ripe. The skins had just started to pucker – they were ready. Ripeness at 23.5 brix gave us 13.7 alcohol with refreshing acidity that keeps you wanting more. This is my kind of wine! I am reminded of a lesson I learned years ago from Gerard Chave of Domaine Jean-Louis Chave… he said “when you think it’s the perfect day to pick Syrah, pick it the day before!” This 2001 embodies all that I hope for in our Hillside Syrah… it’s a wine that is delicious now and will easily age 15-25 years.
  Syrah Central Coast
This is a pretty big Central Coast Syrah. 2003 was a warm vintage and most of the components were on the ripe and fleshy, forward side. Luckily, we had a lot of Bien Nacido to put in the blend, which was picked late in the season at reasonable sugars (23 – 24) with good acidity. The aromas are classic Syrah: hardspice, black pepper, berries with hints of lavender and licorice. It’s rich and forward in the mouth with a bit more tannin than normal. The finish is juicy with fresh, balanced acidity, and an alcohol below 14% so you can actually drink it… a big yummy factor!
  Viognier "Ibarra-Young Vineyard"
This is classic California Viognier. Exotic fruit aromas— peaches, pears, lychee with a distinct minerality throughout. ’04 was a warm vintage so the flavors are a bit riper and fleshier than normal. The acidity is very well balanced though softer than most vintages. The small crop probably added some layers of intensity as well.
  Viognier "Ibarra-Young Vineyard"
This wine is 100% Viognier from the Ibarra-Young Vineyard in Los Olivos. This is a vineyard that we’ve leased since 1986 and have been farming it organically since 1999. This is our 17th consecutive bottling of this remarkable wine, stretching back to 1989. The clonal material has been around long enough that it’s referred to as the “Ibarra-Young Clone” and has been planted at a number of Central Coast vineyards including Bien Nacido and Zaca Mesa.


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