2011 Qupé "Ibarra-Young Vineyard" Santa Ynez Valley Viognier (Previously $25)

SKU #1110379

Qupe is one of the top California producers of Rhone varietals, and their 2011 whites are really stunning. Arguably one of the cleanest, most vibrant expressions of Viognier available this side of the pond, Qupe's 2011 "Ibarra-Young Vineyard" Viognier has acidity and elegance to rival the its best Northern Rhone counterparts. The distinctive microclimate of this vineyard (still tended by 70-year old Michael Ibarra, who planted the vineyard in 1971 by the way), in which cool foggy mornings are followed by warm sunny afternoons and temperatures change dramatically from day to night, is ideal for allowing Viognier to achieve sufficient phenolic ripeness while preserving acidity and keeping sugars low. The result is a Viognier with balance and restraint. At a refreshing 13.5% ABV, this lovely Viognier offers fresh peach and floral aromas and flavors, with incredibly racy acidity and a long finish. It has depth without being too heavy, and intensity without being overdone. Bravo!

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Price: $12.99

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By: Chiara Shannon |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 10/9/2012  | Send Email
If you think you know Viognier, think again. From a 1.5 acre Viognier parcel within the meticulously tended Ibarra-Young Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley, this Viognier makes the wine geeks in the crowd do a double-take, as it does not present itself like your typical overripe, high alcohol, over-oaked warm climate Viogniers. Made in an elegant and restrained style, this shows attractive peach, blossom and exotic fruit aromas and flavors that are backed by some seriously unexpected complexity, acidity and structure on the midpalate, and raciness on the finish. It's absolutely delicious, and totally refreshing. Did I mention that it's Viognier? Whether you love Viognier or simply appreciate interesting white wines with character, this is a must try.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Viognier

- Relatively challenging to cultivate, this white grape's plantings were long limited to two appellations in the Northern Rhône - Condrieu, the better known of the two, and Château-Grillet - but its recent gains in popularity inspired plantings in the Languedoc-Roussillon, across California, as well as in parts of Australia, Italy, Spain and South America. Intensely aromatic and full-bodied, Viognier is prized for its aromas and flavors of stone fruits, d'Anjou pears and white flowers. In fact, its heady perfume wins it the honor of being a rare white varietal used in one of the world's top reds - Côte-Rôtie - where it is often planted amid the Syrah and co-fermented with that grape. The combination deepens the color of Côte-Rôtie and adds to its already deep and distinctive nose.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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 Sants Inez 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