2010 Qupé "Bien Nacido Reserve-Block Eleven" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1139837 93 points Wine & Spirits

 At first, this wine seems to be mostly about oak and lees--luscious and creamy. With air, it gains precision, the fruit building into a fresh white-cherry flavor that’s sharpened by a crisp, mineral edge. This comes from a steep hillside block at Bien Nacido, planted specifically for Bob Lindquist in 1997. The block’s northern exposure mitigates the sun’s rays and contributes to the wine’s implicit freshness. It deserves a few more years in bottle. (700 cases)  (10/2013)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 You'll have to go far and wide to find a bigger, richer California Chardonnay. It's enormous, offering an explosion of tropical fruit, citrus and apricot, brightened by crisp acidity. Despite the power, the wine maintains elegance and balance. This is one of the few Chards that will take bottle age, gradually losing fruit. Drink now-2018.  (10/2013)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright gold. Pear skin, chamomile, honey and pungent herbs on the fragrant nose and in the mouth. Shows very good depth and a tangy lemon pith note with aeration. Closes spicy and tight, with lingering citrus and orchard fruit flavors and strong cut. This chardonnay opens up nicely with air.  (12/2012)


 The 2010 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Reserve Block Eleven is quite pretty in this vintage. Soft and delicate, the 2010 is first and foremost a wine of notable texture. Lemon, mint, crushed rocks and white flowers flow through to the nicely articulated finish. This soft, medium-weight Chardonnay is best enjoyed over the next few years.  (7/2013)

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Price: $24.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/18/2013 | Send Email
It’s kind of funny if you really read the wine critics reviews that are listed here. All say very complementary things about the 2010 Qupe Bien Nacido-Block 11 Chardonnay but all four of the reviews describe the wine somewhat differently. This isn’t wildly odd in this biz, after all wine is certainly “in the eye of the beholder,” but it may be a bit confusing to our customers. I believe that the reason all four of these reviews differ so much, and mine as well, is that this wine is supremely balanced. In fact it is this balance that dominates the wine from nose to finish. Because of this I think you can really focus on what you enjoy in Chardonnay as a whole. If you like them bigger you’ll probably zone in on the brioche, toasted pecan aspects of the nose and the rich weighty texture, slightly tropical fruit and the toasty roasted corn-like new oak component. If you like leaner Chards then you’ll probably focus on its citrusy, honeysuckle aromatics along with the wines unmistakable energy on the palate with lemon curd, apricot, sous bois and a long acid driven finish. Either way there is something that I think every Chardonnay fan is really going to enjoy about this wine.

Additional Information:



- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5