What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

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Drew Goin
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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#301 Post by Drew Goin » January 9th, 2019, 2:04 am

AD Northup wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 10:41 am
Drew Goin wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 10:03 am
AD Northup wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 7:03 am
Drew - Just spent a few days outside Varna, Bulgaria and spent a good bit of that time drinking Mavrud which some believe to be an ancient clone of Mourvèdre introduced by the Romans. Worth checking out

I will have to check that out! Thanks!!

May I ask from where the Mavrud ≈ Mourvèdre information came?
From discussion with some of my servers, backed up by Wikipedia at this source: https://worldsbestwines.eu/grapes/mavrud/ (though not un-suspect)

Doesn’t appear to be a ton of info out there around this grape


I have found a winery on the island of Crete that grows and produces a Mourvèdre. I am still trying to determine whether there is a connection between Mavrud and Mourvèdre. I know that "Mavro" means "black" in Greek, as in the grape name "Mavrodaphne" = "Black Laurel"

According to the Wikipedia entry for "Mavrud":

"...There is speculation amongst grape growers that Mavrud may be an ancient clone of Mourvedre, imported into Bulgaria by the Romans."

The problem is that this statement is not supported by any citation. [scratch.gif]


Other claims of the association:

http://www.surprisingwines.com/wine/category/mavrud

https://worldsbestwines.eu/grapes/mourvedre/



"Nostos Mourvèdre

Soil: Schist, sandy clay loamy
Altitude: 320-380m (1050-1350ft)
Vineyard pruning and trailing: Goblet and Vertical Shoot Position, trained in double cordon Royat

Vinification: Classic red vinification in open oak vats and controlled temperature. Maceration lasts around 20 days. After maceration is complete the wine is racked into oak barrels (75% French oak, 25% US oak) for ageing over 12 months. All barrels are new and are replaced every 4 years.

Vintages:
2012 (157 bottles, 194 magnums)

"Characteristics: Clear deep dark red colour with a purple hue. Rich,dense legs. Intense nose with ripe juicy black fruits and some caramelized notes. Velvet tannins in this big bodied wine, warm finish with crunchy dark fruit. Bitter chocolate and a hint of eathiness. Long aftertaste that lingers for at least a couple of minutes. Drink now but can age up to 12-13 years."



Manousakis Winery website:
https://www.manousakiswinery.com



Chuck Furuya
"Chaniá, Greece–Salis Restaurant & Manousakis Wines"
November 19, 2017


"...The Manousakis estate & its wines labeled under the Nostros label, is the dream of Theodore Manousakis (Afshin’s father-in-law), as a way to give back something to his homeland of Crete.

"...25 hectares planted (half in 1993)–located in a rugged, vertically remote (up to roughly 2500 feet in elevation) wild, mountain side, wind pounded & with a breathtaking view. The soils were extreme & iron rich planted on various nooks & crannies along the mountain contour. The vines include–Syrah, Grenache, Roussanne, Mourvedre with Greek grapes varieties such as Romeiko, Vidiano & even a little Assyrtiko.

"...The wines were very well made, had style, polish, wonderful texture & balance. The 2 most interesting were the Mourvedre (1 hectare) & the Syrah (roughly 3 hectares). Both were quite masculine with a warm & real savory generosity...."

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#302 Post by Drew Goin » January 11th, 2019, 2:35 am

I received an email from Riley Hubbard of Hubba Wines yesterday. Ms Hubbard has previously worked at wineries like L’Aventure, Torbreck Winery in Australia, and Domaine d'Aupilhac in southern France. She also served as assistant winemaker at Law Estate, and currently is assistant winemaker at Desparada. Additionally, Riley consults for Monochrome Wines.

hubba-wines-mushroomhead.jpg
Hubba Wines "Mushroomhead" & other products - from the Hubba winery website
hubba-wines-mushroomhead.jpg (19.92 KiB) Viewed 317 times

To my dismay, it was revealed that the Mourvèdre component of Hubba Wines' "Mushroomhead" Mourvèdre-Carignan-Syrah blend was sourced from one of the Californian vineyards who mistakenly were provided the wrong grape variety in its stead:


"Hi Drew,

"I appreciate your interest in Hubba's 'Mushroomhead'. Even though the 'Mushroomhead' was labeled 50% 'Mourvedre', it is actually 50% of the varietal 'Graciano'. I labeled it before the news broke about this strange mix up.


https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/articl ... o-15963603

"If you have any other questions, please let me know.

"Cheers,
Riley"



The grapes that Ms Riley uses for wines like the "Mushroomhead" blend are from some amazing locations. The Graciano was grown at the "Shokrian Vineyard", a Los Alamos site that also cultivates Pinot Noir! Aside from the "Enz Vineyard", I do not know of another vineyard that successfully matures both types of fruit in the same place.

The Carignan fruit was purchased from Castoro Cellars' organic "Whale Rock Vineyard" in the Templton Gap (also in Paso Robles), while the Syrah came from the "Bassetti Vineyard", a Cambria-area vineyard most recognizable as a source of Edmunds St John's Syrah grapes for many years.



Hubba Wines website:
https://www.hubbawines.com

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#303 Post by Drew Goin » January 15th, 2019, 5:00 am

Ms Megan Bell of Margins Wine responded to my email last week.

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Megan Bell of Margins Wine

Margins offers a single-vineyard Mourvèdre. Is there a particular story behind your choice of making a wine from this variety?


MB: "Margins specializes in wines made from lesser known varietals grown from only organic vineyards. It is pretty difficult to find fruit that fits both of these categories, so when someone lets me know about vineyards I usually jump on the opportunity. I had never made Mourvedre before, but I had a last minute opportunity to start working with the Sattler family in 2017 and I took it. Their backyard organic vineyard is planted to 90% Mourvedre."


• What special factors in geology, climate, etc, do you find help make Mourvèdre a viable grape for the Santa Clara area, specifically the "Sattler's Vineyard"?


MB: "This part of the Santa Clara Valley has very hot days and cool nights due to proximity to the ocean. Mourved is difficult to ripen! Even a place that I consider too hot to live (where the vineyard is) can't ripen Mourved to the desired brix every year. Just like any quality grapegrowing region, I think cool nights are key for retaining acidity."


• What Mourvèdre Clone(s)/selection have you worked with, and why have you chosen that particular one (or those)? Have you been able to observe any distinct qualities from the vine material distinct from the Santa Clara vineyard's location/climate?


MB: "I don't think in these kind of terms. I'm more of a 'you get what you get' kind of winemaker. I really don't care at all what clone something is. The fruit is on the vine, I will pick it, and I will make wine from it.

"The most distinct part of this vineyard is how stressed the vines look. The vines crop nicely, and by looking at them you would think they wouldn't be able to support all of their clusters, but they manage to grow beautiful fruit."



• Do you believe that vine age offers any tangible benefits in Mourvèdre grapes?


MB: "Just like any varietal, absolutely. We can't pinpoint these benefits without a study, but in all circumstances (people, plants) I think the same lifestyle concepts apply.

"You start out young and inconsistent, you reach a mature prime that lasts throughout most of your lifetime, and ultimately when you're an expert with many years of experience you begin to slow down. Every vineyard is different, but I believe the plants express their best selves in terms of balance (sugar, acid, tannin) when they are more mature."



• Why do you think so many winegrowers have had success growing Grenache and Syrah, whereas Mourvèdre often has proven more challenging in getting mature fruit?


MB: "Because Mourved takes longer/more heat to ripen."


• What special considerations do you think are necessary to produce a 100% (or Mourvèdre-dominant) wine from this grape in particular?


MB: "Owning your anti-blending tendencies."


I feel like I might have been trolled there. [scratch.gif]

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#304 Post by Drew Goin » February 2nd, 2019, 4:35 am

In my email Q&A with Ms. Megan Bell of Margins Wine, I accidentally sent a couple of questions with the wrong content to her. Here is... the rest of the story:


Margins bottles a varietal Mourvèdre from the "Sattler's Vineyard". The only other winery I know of that has produced a vineyard-designated Mourvèdre from this site is Fernwood (2011 vintage). Can you please share a little bit of information about this vineyard - planting date, trellising style?


MB: "The vineyard has a VSP trellis and was planted in 2009. It is a 2.3 acre backyard vineyard farmed by the owners and a small crew. One edit from my former reply: this vineyard is farmed sustainably (not organically yet), with the goal of achieving organic."

IMG-8956.JPG.jpeg
Megan Bell - from Margins Wine website

• It appears many of California's emerging producers are sourcing grapes via word-of-mouth, and that the resulting wines, out of necessity, come from everywhere. A winery may offer a Contra Costa Mourvèdre one vintage and an El Dorado Barbera the next. Even though my interests focus on specific grape varieties and regions of the West Coast, I would love to know more about your work and what you have in the pipeline!


MB: "Yes, it is definitely true that financially it is not possible for most of us to make wines with grapes from only one area, especially if that area is expensive. However I think it is important to have some throughline goal guiding your grape purchase decisions--'I buy from everywhere because I have to' is not a strong foundation for a brand.

"I buy organic fruit from only lesser known varietals or regions (except in the case of the vineyard that I farm myself). There are rarely grapes available to me that fit these restrictions, so I tend to take whatever fruit I can get.

"In addition to Chenin, Sangio, Cab Franc, and Mourved, in 2018 I added Contra Costa Muscat, Santa Cruz Mtns Pinot noir & Merlot (farmed by the owner and me), and Santa Cruz Mtns Barbera to the lineup."



Margins Wine website:
https://www.marginswine.com


The next release of wines from Margins is scheduled for March, 2019.

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#305 Post by Drew Goin » February 2nd, 2019, 6:46 am

"Mourvèdre Appreciation Social Club" Facebook post (from 10/28/18) by Mr Mike Rupp of Descendant Cellars:


"Yesterday, we finally picked our 'Alder Ridge' and 'Heart of the Hill' Mourvèdres. Every year, we struggle to get these grapes to ripen before the rains come in the end of October. These were picked an hour before the rains came.

"A couple interesting takeaways: the clusters and berries from both vineyards were noticeably smaller than the last several years. Normally, these clusters are massive and have big shoulders. This year they are just a tad bigger than the average Syrah cluster and the berry size is similar. Another thing I noticed is that the crushed fruit didn’t have the typical fruity, grapey smell to it. It had a savory herb and cured meat aroma. I can only assume that we went a little further along in terms of physiological ripeness.

"I’m super excited to see how these turn out."


FB_IMG_1540668307869.jpg
Descendant Cellars Washington Mourvèdre fruit - from Facebook post

Descendant Cellars website:
https://www.descendantcellars.com

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#306 Post by Drew Goin » February 5th, 2019, 3:08 pm

Halcón Vineyards included its 2017 varietally-bottled Mourvèdre during the recent Berserker Day X event. The wine is now being offered to consumers via the producer's 2019 Pre-Release. I am excited by the prospect of tasting a Mourvèdre from this high-latitude growing site.


"2017 Mourvèdre

"At times it feels like we have spent more time nurturing our one acre of Mourvèdre than the rest of our 15 acres combined. Halcón temperatures very closely match Côte Rôtie historical averages, meaning that we are on the very edge of ripeness for Mourvèdre. In order to ensure fruit maturity we have pruned our Mourvèdre vines back to 3-4 spurs per plant, typically leading to 8-12 clusters per plant.

"In 2017, we saw yields towards the higher end of this range. Given a light Grenache yield and a desire to keep the 'Esquisto' ratio at approximately 20% Mourvèdre, we were in the enviable position of producing a small bottling of 100% Mourvèdre. A very mature crop at just 22.1b was picked October 14th. We used 50% whole-cluster, aged in neutral French 500L puncheons and, like all our wines, fermented with native yeasts.

"This wine is nothing like the bigger Mourvèdre produced in Paso Robles or Southern Spain. There is an excellent density and texture - nothing superficial here. A very floral nose, bright red fruits, that leathery Mourvedre funk and lots of pepper. Medium bodied with great detail.

"For reference, Ken Zinns of GrapeNutz picked this as his wine of the day out of 200+ wines at the Garagiste Sonoma tasting in May, 2018. He described it as 'a standout, herbal red fruits, smoky, peppery, and floral, with notes of iron and game, a bright mouthfeel and fine tannins'. Just 70 cases produced. As always, bottled unfined and unfiltered. 12.5% alc."

images.jpeg
Halcón Wines - from Grape-Nutz 2018 Garagiste Tasting Report
images.jpeg (13.29 KiB) Viewed 230 times

My Q&A with Mr Paul Gordon is posted here.


Halcón Vineyards website:
http://halconvineyards.com

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#307 Post by Drew Goin » February 8th, 2019, 6:26 pm

According to Patrick Comission's American Rhône, the spark of interest in American Mourvèdre can be traced back to the 1980's, when a handful of entrepreneurial winemakers started crafting Rhône-style bottlings: Edmunds, Thackrey, Grahm, the Cline brothers, etc.

Here is one wine lover's experience with the variety, both his first impressions (via Pibarnon & Cline Cellars) as well as his tasting of a +25-year-old bottle of Edmunds St John "California" Mourvèdre...


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1988 Edmunds St. John Mourvèdre Photo credit: Eva Baughman

The Cook's Cook
"Music in the Mouth"
by JD Landis
July, 2018 (originally featured in 2016)


"...Like most of my odd bottles, this is the one bottle of the wine (in that vintage) that I bought. And so I kept it and kept it and could find no good excuse to open it until I realized that it had become, indeed, an odd bottle, worthy (I hoped) of writing about.

"...The one word I would best use to describe this Mourvèdre is vibrant. Not vibrant in the sense of vigorous, because the wine was too old for that. But vibrant in the sense of resonant, as if it were almost music in the mouth, keeping time with its own demise.

"...Drink Mourvèdre. And unlike the young me, know what you’re drinking...."



An Older Profile on Edmunds St John:

Wine Geeks
Wine of the Month: Edmunds St. John
By Ryan Snyder


Edmunds St John website:
http://edmundsstjohn.com

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#308 Post by EHeffner » February 9th, 2019, 8:06 am

Tried a Mourvedre from Austin Hope last night. Thought it was fantastic. I can almost still taste the long finish
Evan Heffner

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#309 Post by Jeff_D » February 9th, 2019, 10:11 am

Thanks Drew for the posts. I have signed up for mailing lists to find out more about some wineries you have posted about. I ordered from Sandlands, Dirty & Rowdy and Halcon in the past week to keep the stash growing.

Cheers,
————-
1L1B3RTO

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#310 Post by Drew Goin » February 10th, 2019, 2:11 am

EHeffner wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 8:06 am
Tried a Mourvedre from Austin Hope last night. Thought it was fantastic. I can almost still taste the long finish
I am going to have to send my Q&A email to them. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#311 Post by Drew Goin » February 10th, 2019, 2:16 am

Jeff_D wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 10:11 am
Thanks Drew for the posts. I have signed up for mailing lists to find out more about some wineries you have posted about. I ordered from Sandlands, Dirty & Rowdy and Halcon in the past week to keep the stash growing.

Cheers,

Thanks, Jeff!


I ordered the Halcón Mourvèdre/Rhône BD-X pack, the Sandlands "Contra Costa" & "San Benito" Mataro wines, and am doing some personal accounting to see if I can get the new vintage of Dirty & Rowdy's "Familiar" Mourvèdre.

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#312 Post by Drew Goin » February 11th, 2019, 6:02 am

Hidden in the archives of the internet are some excellent insights into the earlier days of the Rhône movement in America...


Chicago Tribune
"California Vintners Discover a Buried Treasure in Rhône Vareitals"
by Larry Stone
September 2, 1993

"Though California has had a long history in planting the grapes of the Rhone Valley, it is only over the last 10 years that their true potential has been realized.

"This development comes about because of U.S. interest in Mediterranean cooking that has evolved over the same period. With that interest we are beginning to appreciate the importance of the foods and wines of France's Rhone Valley and Provence regions

"...There are a few wines with the Provencal grape Mourvèdre as the base and these are often well-made, medium- to full-bodied wines that are like lighter Cabernets with black olive and raspberry notes, although Sean Thackrey makes a massively built example he calls 'Taurus'...."

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#313 Post by Drew Goin » February 11th, 2019, 10:14 pm

Lodi Growers
"Varietal Focus: Mourvèdre"
by Randy Caparoso
September 10, 2018


Mourvedre-Mettler-Family-Vineyards_preview-500x500.jpeg
Mettler Family Mourvèdre - photo by Randy Caparoso

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Drew Goin
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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#314 Post by Drew Goin » February 15th, 2019, 12:36 am

For those who enjoy reading older sources on wine grapes, here is one book that details many varieties found in California during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries:


Journals of the Legislature of the State of California, Volume 5 (1885)

• Entry for "Mataro"


Descriptive Catalogue of California Grapes
California Department of Agriculture (1922)

• Entry for "Mourvèdre", aka "Mataro"


Life Magazine
October 10, 1949

• Article: "California Grapes"


California Grape Grower, Volumes 2-3 (1920)

• All mentions in text of "Mataro"

• Article: "Descriptions of Popular Grape Varieties"


Grape Culture and Wine-making in California: A Practical Manual for the Grape-grower and Wine-maker (1888)
by George Husmann

• All mentions in text of "Mataro", including many contemporary growers' profiles

• Entry for "Mataro" in "What to Plant, Choice Varieties"


Report of the Viticultural Work: California Agricultural Experiment Station (1892)

• All mentions in text of "Mataro"

• All mentions in text of "Southern French Type", including Mataro


Report of the Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of California (1894)

• All mentions in text of "Mataro"

• Entries for "Southern French Type", including Mataro



I should point out that the above resources are only a few of numerous similar investigations, reports, etc, available via Google Books.

In fact, I found an unsubstantiated assertion from 1888 that Charles LeFranc was the individual who first planted Mourvèdre in California for the purpose of winegrowing (as well as Grenache, Charbono, as well as "the Cabernet").
Last edited by Drew Goin on February 19th, 2019, 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#315 Post by Drew Goin » February 19th, 2019, 1:44 pm

Imbibe Magazine
"Get to Know Mourvèdre Wine"
March 3, 2014

wine-pouring-iStock_9715115_Jill-Chen-386x580.jpg
Image from Imbibe Magazine article

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#316 Post by Drew Goin » February 21st, 2019, 5:28 am

xflow.jpg
Colin Murphy of Koehler Winery - from CWA website

California Winery Advisor
"Young Winemaker Interview : Colin Murphy of Koehler Winery"
by CWA Staff
May, 2017


"...CWA – 'Which of your current wines are you the most excited about?'

"CM - 'My 2014 Koehler Mourvedre, Santa Ynez Valley, is my favorite in our current line-up. I was very pleased with the 2013, but this particular vintage of Mourvedre shines. It speaks to my desire for elegance, complexity, typicity, a sense of place, and a balance of earth and fruit. These may sound like buzz words, but when a wine is hitting the mark on all these points, it really sings. But don’t take my word for it.'..."



Koehler Winery website:
https://koehlerwinery.com

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#317 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » February 21st, 2019, 6:12 pm

This was showing very well tonight.
B45E8304-3F3C-4E2F-89CC-17CC26117C26.jpeg
David Bueker - Rieslingfan

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