What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

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Drew Goin
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#201 Post by Drew Goin » February 15th, 2018, 7:12 pm

From a social media post by Mr Hardy Wallace (of Dirty & Rowdy Family Wines) from a visit to Domaine de la Tour du Bon in Bandol.
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Vineyards at Domaine de la Tour du Bon
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Domaine de la Tour du Bon
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Hardy Wallace and Agnés Henry
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Drew Goin
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#202 Post by Drew Goin » February 16th, 2018, 10:39 pm

The website Wine Writing posted these explorations of the Bandol region over the years:

"France - Bandol: Mourvèdre madness! Trips & tastings 2003-2004:
'Macho Mourvèdre', 'Bandol Fête du Millésime', 'Vendanges du Rond-Point des Mourvèdres'. Château Sainte Anne & Château Tournier Guilhem (2012)..."


“There’s a big difference between Mourvèdre on acidic and chalky soils; on chalk it gives more structure and elegance.”
- Eric de Saint Victor, Ch de Pibarnon

Wineries Highlighted in "'Macho Mourvèdre...' Bandol day trip April 2003"

Moulin des Costes (Domaine Bunan):
• Moulin des Costes, located in La Cadière, covers some 25 hectares (60 acres) of steep, very stoney terraces with clay-chalk soils; Moulin des Costes rests on a hill made up of "very old soils" laden with flat rectangular stones; a little further beyond here the soil contains more clay
• Château la Rouvière and Mas de la Rouvière are two neighbouring but distinct plots across the other side of the valley near the village of Le Castellet; Both are composed of limestone, sandstone and marl
• Château la Rouvière red, their top of the range, is typically enriched with over 90% Mourvèdre, which grows on old walled terraces where there are fewer stones and the soil is shallower.

Château de Pibarnon:
• Pibarnon’s vineyards lie on some of the appellation's highest slopes at 300 metres above the town of Bandol; Up here "the climate is very Mediterranean; 20 km inland it’s much more continental."
• The soils are composed of rocky clay and chalk but particularly chalky here (18-33%), which they believe helps to tame Mourvèdre that makes up +90% of their red wine. As Eric put it: “It’s very macho, on this soil we manage to make something quite fine.”
• In 1989-90, the Saint Victors rebuilt the terraces recreating a kind of amphitheatre facing south-east, quite sheltered from the powerful Mistral winds
• The Château is surrounded by several unique parcels; the cuvées from each are kept separate until later, while some are only used for rosé:
- 2001 ‘Bel Air’ (from cask) was tighter, less obviously fruity, quite firm but elegant too. 2001 ‘barrique’ showed spice and vanilla but concentration and firm textured tannins, in fact more so
- The 2002 ‘Gd. Haut’ (from vat) was very fruity and aromatic, actually has a lot of tannin but not aggressive displaying nice fruit v structure
- The 2002 ‘Pointes Blanches’ - the spot "at the limit" in terms of chalk content, otherwise chlorosis can be a problem (where the chalk interferes with the plant's iron uptake leading to anaemic leaves and sometimes drastically reduced photosynthesis) - had deeper colour, less aromatic fruit, more weight and structure with power and grip (‘wow’ in fact)
- ‘Jourdan’ was more elegant with tangy fruit; and finally the 2002 press wine was pretty decent, not too tannic surprisingly
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Pibarnon Vine
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Domaine Tempier:
• A lower-lying estate located in Le Plan du Castellet; the Domaine extends to 30 ha, mostly owned but with two sites under fermage
• The 2001s: in terms of phenolic (tannin/colour) ripeness, it was one of the best of recent vintages along with 1998; Daniel Ravier recalled 2002 being the longest and hardest vintage in 15 years, and at this stage seemed pretty good and more forward
• The Domaine Tempier Bandol red (according to Ravier): “I don’t want a forceful extraction. We don’t get the finesse of Pibarnon but do keep the balance.” This blend has less Mourvèdre and is aged in used 50 hl wooden vats
• The ‘Cuvée Classique’ also originates from quite young vines but is richer and more structured; it’s aged in 16 hl new foudres
• ‘la Migoua’, a single vineyard located at over 200m higher than here to the south, comprising 50% Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache. This is typically “wilder” than ‘la Tourtine’, made up of 80% Mourvèdre and very structured & concentrated
• ‘la Tourtine’*
• 'Cabassaou'‡

You may read more about the wines of Bandol at:
Wine Writing on Mourvedre. I may summarize/plagiarize/cut-and-paste from the other posts in the future. :P

* As the article did not explore the Domaine Tempier ‘la Tourtine’ or 'Cabassaou' red wines, here is what the Kermit Lynch website says:

"La Tourtine sits just above Cabassaou. The soil here is more homogeneous, with rich clay. La Tourtine produces powerful, tannic wines with gorgeous fruit character."

‡ "Since Cabassaou sits lower on this hillside, it is protected from the strength of the Mistral, enjoying temperate breezes and maximum sunshine. There is ripeness, density and power in these wines."

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#203 Post by Drew Goin » February 20th, 2018, 4:36 am

According to Mr Patrick Comiskey's American Rhone, the book Wines of the Rhone Valley: A Guide to Origins (1987) by Mr Robert Mayberry played a significant role in the development of modern American winemaking's use of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, etc.


According to Chapter 3: "Southern Climate & Cépages":


"Mourvèdre (apparently planted in California under its Catalonian name Mataro) is the most reserved, aristocratic cépage of the south...It was the Mourvèdre, in particular, according to the judicial committee of experts appointed define the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation, that lost its former place there to overplantation of Grenache. Documents show that it was also strongly planted at Rochegude (Drôme) before phylloxera.

"Somewhat the opposite of Syrah, then, Mourvèdre is a distinctly southern cépage, the cépage of Bandol, for example. It is a late mid-season ripener, after Grenache, but its reputation as such comes partly from the early post- phylloxera era, when there was difficulty in finding the right rootstock on which to graft it. Most agree...that it does best in more southerly parts of the southern Rhone, especially with the heat of a westward exposure and when planted in clay soil with cobblestones on top to conserve the moisture below.

"A vine of low productivity when planted in infertile soil, Mourvèdre produces a wine that, when young, is dark red, firm, clean, and concentrated rather than thick...While the fragrance is at first unforthcoming, one can liberate from it a red-plum or red cherry fruit and the scent of lavender or broomflower by swirling the glass."




Three wines recommended in the book as strong recommendations of Mourvèdre from the Rhône Valley:

• CDR-Villages St-Gervais Domaine Ste-Anne 1983 - 70% Mourvèdre :o

• CDR-Villages Rasteau Château de Trignon - "Is regularly 50% Grenache and 50% Mourvèdre, by contrast to the same producer's CDR-Villages Sablet at 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault."

• Châteauneuf du Pape Château de Beaucastel - "Following the sequence of vintages here will show the effect of increasing the proportion of Mourvèdre. The composition in 1949 was 90% GR; in 1972, 75% GR, 15% SY; in 1973-74, 55% GR, 10% MR, 15% SY, 10% CS; in 1978, 50% GR, 15% MR, 15% SY, 3-4% CS; in 1980, 50% GR, 20% MR, 10% SY, 10% CS; and in 1984, 30% GR, 30% MR, 20% SY, 5% CS."

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#204 Post by Drew Goin » February 25th, 2018, 6:30 am

Metrick Wines' website has brought to my attention a method of trellising Mourvedre vines implemented by the regional superstar Mr Ron Mansfield. I have not seen this technique used in any images or literature I have previously encountered.
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Futernick Mourvedre Vine
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From the Metrick website details on the 2015 Mourvèdre "Futernick Vineyard" El Dorado AVA:

"The Futernick Vineyard, directly up slope from the Fenaughty Vineyard and frequented by bears, deer, coyotes and mountain lion, is managed by El Dorado's Ron Mansfield, who has the vines trained to his own trellising system (see photo)--essentially vertical cordons that somewhat mimic head training. This creates airy, healthy canopies while providing moderate sun exposure, in this high altitude, warmer region."

https://www.metrickwines.com/wine-shop- ... -p71649495

Has anyone else seen this method of emulating the natural bush vine appearance of Mourvedre in a trellising method?
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Futernick Mourvedre trellised vine up close
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I understand the logic behind the process, but I have not heard of it being done. Wouldn't pruning a certain way early in the growing season encourage the canopy to open up in the same manner as the year progresses?

I don't know much about trellising methods, and I have been researching the cultivation of Mourvedre in the El Dorado AVA. I can say with confidence that Ron Mansfield plays a prominent role in the upsurge of Rhone variety plantings in the region.
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#205 Post by Drew Goin » March 5th, 2018, 7:47 pm

Here are two interviews with Ryan and Nicole Pease of Paix Sur Terre from "The Wine Write" blog:


"Meet the Peases of Paix Sur Terre"
September 13, 2012


"The Wine Write: What's your winemaking philosophy?

"Ryan: The focus for our label is Rhone varietals with an emphasis on Mourvedre. The first vintage of Paix Sur Terre is 2010 and we produced 2 wines. Our grapes come from 3 vineyards; Glenrose, La Vista and Alta Colina, all of which are located in the Paso Robles AVA. The intention of our label is to make the best expression of Mourvedre in Paso Robles and not necessarily to make a wine that needs a tradition or a style. This simply means purchasing the best fruit from the best vineyards and fermenting it in a way that allows for those characteristics to be expressed.

The Wine Write: Why Paso Robles/Central Coast? What makes this area special in your opinion?

Ryan: Paso Robles has the best soils for growing premium Rhone and Zinfandel grapes of any place in the United States. Most people do not realize the best wines coming out of Paso come from vineyards that are only 4-15 years old, yet we are making world class wines. It will be amazing to see what Paso does over the next 10-15 years as the average vine age creeps toward that 20 year mark. I think you will see Paso Robles really come into balance with vineyard maturity along with winemakers getting a better sense of how to achieve balance and age-ability."

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Paix Sur Terre
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"Catching Up With Paix Sur Terre"
January 13, 2014


"Ryan: With the 2012 vintage both "The Other One' and 'Either Side of the Hill' return to our lineup.

"'The Other One' is 100% Glenrose Vineyard Mourvedre, 85% whole cluster.
'Either Side of the Hill' is 70% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre...the same blend as for the 2011.
'Songs of Its Own' is our new baby. It's Grenache-based and intended to be a Chateauneuf style blend...Grenache and Mourvedre, all Glenrose Vineyard fruit.

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2012 PsT "The Other One" label
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"...Nicole: 2013 is the best fruit Ryan has seen since he started in 2007. Despite the drought, it was a completely ideal growing season. The freshness, color and minerality are really impressive early on. 'The Other One', 'Either Side of the Hill' and 'Songs of Its Own' will all return, along with 'Comes a Time' which we were unable to produce from 2012. The 2013s will be blended in January, 2014 and put to sleep in all neutral oak."

Paix Sur Terre Website

Paix Sur Terre currently offers three 100% Mourvedre wines:

• "The Other One" Glenrose Vineyard
• "Comes a Time" Alta Collina Vineyard
• "The Golden Road" Yankowski-Weeks Vineyard (Spanish Monastrell clone)

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#206 Post by Ken Zinns » March 6th, 2018, 8:04 am

Ryan is making some really good wines at Paix Sur Terre. I've visited with him a couple of times in recent years.

Visit to Paix Sur Terre, January 2015
Visit to Paix Sur Terre, April 2016

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ITB, Harrington Wines & Eno Wines, and Grape-Nutz.com

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#207 Post by Drew Goin » March 6th, 2018, 9:02 am

Thanks for the heads up, Ken!!!

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#208 Post by Jayson Cohen » March 6th, 2018, 2:37 pm

I used to buy Domaine Ste. Anne St. Gervais and one of the other CDR bottling on release as they were available at Village Corner in Ann Arbor every vintage when I was a local. I still have one 1998 and two 2004. The former is in my wine fridge at home for consumption. I’m now curious on the blend as I didn’t recall the Mourvèdre content being so high.

These are some of the last Southern Rhône wines I have left.

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#209 Post by Drew Goin » March 6th, 2018, 8:10 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:I used to buy Domaine Ste. Anne St. Gervais and one of the other CDR bottling on release...

These are some of the last Southern Rhône wines I have left.
Any particular reason why you don't buy Southern Rhone wines any longer? :|

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#210 Post by Drew Goin » March 8th, 2018, 7:26 pm

From the Neyers Vineyards email announcing its release of the 2016 "Evangelho Vineyard" Contra Costa Mourvedre:
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Domaine Tempier Vineyards
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"2016 Mourvèdre ‘Evangelho Vineyard’ – A Tale of Discovery"
By Bruce Neyers

"I may have known a little bit about Mourvèdre in 1980 when I first visited Domaine Tempier, but if I did it was buried pretty deep in my subconscious. Kermit Lynch had begun to import Bandol from Tempier about then – by law Bandol is from 50% to 100% Mourvèdre -- and I tried it on several occasions, at the suggestion of their biggest fan, Alice Waters. I was puzzled. The wine had an unfamiliar aroma and the flavors were foreign to me. Still, I kept tasting, hoping to figure it out. I worked for Joe Phelps at the time, and for my fifth anniversary I was given a trip to France as a bonus. It was to be an equipment research and production fact-finding trip, and I’d set up an ambitious schedule, with stops in Champagne, Burgundy, and the northern Rhône. The last was to be a visit at Domaine Tempier, where Alice had arranged for us to have lunch with Lulu and Lucien Peyraud, a couple known for their great love story, and their warm hospitality.

"We arrived in Paris where we’d selected a restaurant named l’Olympe, about which there was a significant industry buzz. It was terrific and was made all the better when the manager suggested we try a bottle of 1962 Domaine Tempier Bandol. The wine was brilliant, a huge success in every way, and I began to think that my original judgments had been a bit harsh. A few days later we were in Beaune, excited about tasting great Burgundy. At our first meal, though, we were served a bottle of Domaine Tempier Bandol. Our host bought wine regularly from Tempier, and thought we might want a change from Pinot Noir. A few days later we were in Avignon, and dined at a two star restaurant named Hiély-Lucullus – another suggestion from Alice. By then we were traveling with a chef from Chez Panisse, and he insisted on buying us a rare magnum of Domaine Tempier. The list was stocked with many great old wines, but when I drank the Tempier, I was blown away by it. The classic wines on the list seemed to matter less and less.

"What’s going on, I asked myself?

"I still hadn’t answered that question when two days later we showed up for lunch at Domaine Tempier in Bandol. Alice had arranged for the Chez Panisse chef to join us, as he could serve as translator. The meal was simply extraordinary. Lulu prepared a first course of her famous Mediterranean fish soup, then followed it with a leg of spring lamb roasted over vine cuttings in her wood burning oven. The lamb was suspended above the coals on a string, and as it slowly rotated from the convection of the oven’s heat, it was basted with a mix of olive oil, garlic and lemon juice applied with a sprig of thyme. With the soup, Lucien served three magnums of Bandol Rouge – I have the vintages written down someplace. Then with the leg of lamb, three more magnums were opened and decanted. The last was the 1959 Bandol Rouge, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a finer bottle of red wine. The meal continued on into the night with friends and neighbors dropping by, each of them bringing a bottle of wine as homage to Lucien, exchanging local gossip, and meeting the Americans who made wine in California. Meanwhile, I kept looking at that empty bottle of 1959 Bandol. What a memory. As the evening drew to a close, I turned to Lucien and with the help of my translator told him I thought the wines had all been delicious. He shrugged aside the compliment. It was nothing, he said -- simply the magic of Mourvèdre.

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Lucien & Lulu - Then
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"I’ve been crazy about the magic of Mourvèdre ever since, and I’m not alone. There isn’t much Mourvèdre planted in California, but when we find some, we buy it. In 2016 we produced one of our finest bottlings of varietal Mourvèdre to date, a wine made from fruit off the 125 year-old vines at Frank Evangelho’s vineyard just outside of Oakley, in northeastern Contra Costa County. The yields from this dry, sandy soil are low, but the quality is high. The wine displays a magnificent combination of rustic earthiness coupled with exotic wild cherry flavor. Perhaps its greatest quality is the youthful exuberance that brings the wine into balance while young. Still, it’s a wine that will age with dignity for many years. We bottled 145 cases."[/i]

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Lucien & Lulu - Later
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Drew Goin
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#211 Post by Drew Goin » March 27th, 2018, 1:51 pm

I obviously have a strong affinity for old-vine fruit sources in wine, especially since one of my top two grapes (Carignan) almost requires 50+-years of vine age to produce quality juice.

The case of my personal love for older plantings of Mourvèdre, rests on a different argument.
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FPS Mourvèdre Image
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I have been told by more than one American vintner that the Mataro/Mourvèdre Clone(s) planted prior to the introduction of the Beaucastel-sourced* "Tablas" Clones are not up to par with the newer ones.

My introduction to US Mourvèdre wines involved fruit solely from old Contra Costa County (blends and 100% Mourvèdre) vines. My early experiences with the grape also included early-2000's Tablas Creek bottlings which, at the time, did not hold a candle to my preferred wines. Of course, some of the TC wines needed cellaring, plus I loved more bombastic reds back in those days...

________________________________________________________________


Over the years, I encountered more and more Mourvèdre-based wines (Zaca Mesa's "Z" reds and Adelaida's 2004 "Version" Rhône-style red blend, for example) that were absolutely delicious. My Dirty & Rowdy epiphany also revealed that no one needs to be dogmatic in his/her preference for one style of Mourvèdre wine.

So, as I approach a point to my diatribe, I have come to acknowledge that Washington, California, and other American Mourvèdre wines can be delightful. A wine lover does not have to pick sides in what represents the true domestic expression of the grape.

While I may still have a subconscious preference for vineyards planted decades ago from vine materials pre-dating the introduction of the newer ENTAV Clones, I must be open-minded what the winemaker has done with the grape. After all, there is a reason why I still enjoy the red wines from Antioch and Oakley.

________________________________________________________________


I am of the firm belief that Mourvèdre has a tremendous capacity to express its source - be it calcareous rock, volcanic slopes, or sandy dunes.

I wish to explore the lands that my favorite grape variety thrives upon across the world. Am I going to be responsible for identifying the best foundation for Mourvèdre to show all of its glory? Nope. I am selfishly in pursuit of sensory pleasure. :P

I have been trying to reach out to vineyard owners/farmers, viticulturalists, and winemakers in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, the Sierra Foothills, and even Mendocino for insight into the specific attributes each location offers in the production of quality Mourvèdre. Sadly, the responses have been minimal.


I appreciate any helpful information on these areas (and beyond)!!!


* Are ALL ENTAV Mourvèdre Clones from the Perrin Family? Second, my readings have revealed that, post-phylloxera, the Beaucastel estate used Mourvèdre vine material from Bandol's Domaine Tempier. I wonder if anyone can provide an exception.

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#212 Post by Drew Goin » March 31st, 2018, 11:20 pm


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#213 Post by Drew Goin » April 12th, 2018, 9:13 am

Back in the 21st Century, Larry's Tercero Wines features a new vintage of his ever-popular Rosé!
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Tercero Wines 2017 Mourvèdre Rosé
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2017 Tercero Wines Mourvèdre Rosé

"My 2017 Mourvedre Rose may very well be my best yet! It's the lightest color of any of my roses to date, and the aromatics are simply intoxicating. It's surprisingly texture-filled and best enjoyed somewhere between cellar and a cool room temperature - not really chilled as most people tend to enjoy their roses these days. And this is a fabulous 'food' rose - it pairs wonderfully with earthy foods, with olives and charcuterie, with roast chicken . . . After bringing the grapes in, I foot stomped each 1/2 ton bin of fruit, allowed the juice to sit on the with the skins for about an hour, then whole cluster pressed everything. The subsequent juice was then transferred to a stainless steel tank, where it fermented at cool temperatures for about 5 weeks, ensuring that I retained some wonderful 'tropical' aromas. The wine was then aged for 4 months in a combination of stainless steel and 6+ year old French oak barrels for 4 months prior to bottling. Enjoy now - or over the next 2-3 years. Seriously."


From the email:

"In addition, I still have a small supply of my 2016 Mourvedre Rose left, and I’ve gotta say that it’s drinking better now than ever before. AND I’ve lowered the price on the website for these to $25!"


2016 Tercero Wines Mourvèdre Rosé

"The grapes were hand harvested early in the morning and arrived at the winery still cold. I foot stomped the grapes, allowing about an hour of skin contact to extract just a touch of color and some tannins, etc, and then dumped the grapes, juice and stems into the press. The subsequent juice was cold fermented in stainless steel at cooler temperatures to hold onto the aromas, and then aged in a combination of stainless steel and older French oak barrels for 4 months prior to bottling in mid-March. Don't be afraid to serve wine closer to room temperature - you'll find the aromatics will be much more enhanced, as will the texture of this light colored wine. And don't afraid to age a few bottles - it really is getting better with bottle age."

Video of the 2015 vintage's Tercero Rosé creation (for general reference):

[youtube]NMqb8B8nWUs[/youtube]


Tercero Wines Homepage

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#214 Post by Drew Goin » April 20th, 2018, 7:12 am

In all honesty, I have not tasted many of the Mourvèdre wines produced in Washington. The handful that I have tried were excellent, and each offered a full-bodied, earthy red that exhibited tremendous balance - perhaps indicating great potential for the variety in the state's different grape-growing regions.


The Herald
"Washington’s Mourvèdre: A Red Wine Worth Exploring"
By Eric Degerman & Andy Perdue
May 8, 2014


"Last year, Washington wineries crushed 800 tons of Mourvèdre, putting it on the radar of consumers and winemakers alike.

"Here are a few delicious examples worth exploring. They are made in small amounts, so ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.

Knight Hill Winery 2011 Mourvèdre, Wahluke Slope, $28

Bunnell Family Cellar 2008 Mourvèdre, Wahluke Slope, $36

Daven Lore Winery 2011 Arthur’s Vineyard Mourvèdre, Yakima Valley, $35

Milbrandt Vineyards 2010 Vineyard Series Mourvèdre, Wahluke Slope, $28

Eleven Winery 2011 Sugarloaf Vineyard Mourvèdre, Yakima Valley, $35

Airfield Estates Winery 2012 Mourvèdre, Yakima Valley, $28

Coyote Canyon Winery 2009 H/H Estates Robert Andrews Reserve Mourvèdre, Horse Heaven Hills, $38"

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#215 Post by Drew Goin » May 15th, 2018, 4:12 pm

I received an email from James & Poppie Mantone of Washington's Syncline Winery. The following are their replies to my questions regarding their work with Mourvédre:


• What Mourvédre Clone/selection is used for your vineyard source, and why have you chosen that particular one?


J&P: "We use primarily the Davis heritage clones. Have used the Tablas selection but they were prone to jaminess and raisining."


• Have you worked with different Mourvédre sites? What insights have you developed towards the ideal location for desirable Mourvédre grapes?


J&P: "We have worked with 6 Mourvédre vineyards. We have limited it down to the rockiest highest pH soils. With high calcium soils Mourvédre produces tiny intense berries with lower pH and ample color. It obviously needs to be warm, but Mourvédre can easily burn."


• What special factors in geology, climate, etc, do you find help make Mourvédre a viable grape for your fruit source?


J&P: "Same as above. Mourvédre is not a difficult grape to grow and ripens fairly easily where you can ripen Cab."
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Syncline Estate - photo by Syncline Winery
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• What thoughts do you have regarding the relationship between Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvédre; what makes these three so complementary?


J&P: "Grenache provides warmth and ripe fruits while lightening the palate. Syrah is color and shoulders. Mourvédre is spice and structure, longevity and complexity."


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


J&P: "Mourvédre has been much easier to produce high quality fruit in Washington than Grenache. Syrah as a southern Rhône blender is easy, but as a stand alone finesse wine Syrah is extremely challenging."


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


J&P: "Great site. Easy to get too ripe and push into jaminess. It can be a cool chameleon grape making everything from light finesse wines to black powerhouses."

Syncline Winery website

Syncline website's "Mourvédre" page

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#216 Post by Drew Goin » June 19th, 2018, 12:08 am

I received an email from Matt Naumann of Newfound Wines yesterday...


"Given that the site was a vision that Boz had when he purchased his property, I can only speak to his history with the varietal and intent when planting.


"Boz and his wife, Dominque, have been close friends with Kermit Lynch, Bruce Neyers, Alice Waters and the Berkeley food and wine scene for a number of years which should explain the initial inspiration behind the varietal mix they decided to plant. Boz recently regaled in a story about a visit that Lucien Peyraud paid to the Napa Valley in the 1980’s and his proclamation that Mt Veeder offered exceptional terroir for Mourvedre after tasting Steve Edmonds’ early bottlings. That was enough to convince him to begin his vineyard project."

Mourvedre 16 Ft-TTB.jpg
Newfound Wines "Scaggs Vineyard" Mt Veeder Mourvèdre
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• What Mourvédre Clone/selection have you worked with, and why have you chosen that particular one?


MN: "Boz sourced vine material from his friend Robert Haas at Tablas Creek for his 1-acre planting in 1998. This was a personal decision that had much to do with Boz’s friendship with Robert and the fact the Tablas was trailblazing California at the time with new scion material recently brought to the United States."


• What special factors in geology, climate, etc, do you find help make Mourvédre a viable grape for your Mt Veeder fruit source at the "Scaggs Vineyard"?


MN: "The 'Scaggs' site sits at roughly 1,250-ft above the valley floor at the northern most edge of Mt Veeder. It’s an eastern exposure and a relatively cool site that offers a tremendous amount of sunlight due to the elevation as it sits above the marine layer that typically blankets the valley floor during the early months of the growing season. Temperature swings are less extreme as the inversion layer during the summer months provides warmer nights and enough heat to ripen Mourvedre."


• What thoughts do you have regarding the relationship between Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvédre; what makes these three so complementary?


MN: "I believe the relationship between Gr, Sy & Mv is two-fold: having much to do with the location in which they thrive AND also juice chemistry in how they naturally compensate for each other’s shortcomings in a final blend. Grenache is much more acidic than Mourvedre and blending the two together is a very natural way stabilize a final wine without having to manipulate the chemistry with synthetic products. Understanding the long history that the varietals have together blending complimentary varietals is one way to offer balance to the final wine given that the modern winemaking is a more recent phenomenon."


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


MN: "Mourvedre is extremely late ripening and requires a site of moderate heat but plenty of sunlight and I feel that California offeres loads of potential for the varietal. Why the Napa Valley or other high profile warmer regions in CA are not planted with Mourvedre has more to do with economics and less to do with potential. Regarding vine growing, the grape can be a hog in the vineyard producing generous yields so the viticulture needs to be focused and on point in effort to obtain a solid level of ripeness before the season begins to take a turn."


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


MN: "For my project, I found that each varietal carried enough distinction to warrant a mono-cepage. I can’t speak for others, but specific to my tastes, I look for structure and balance. If those two are harmony with one another, I don’t find the need to blend as I find the purity of the varietal quite captivating. I tend to harvest on the earlier side as I do not use synthetic winemaking ingredients for chem adjustments SO maintaining moderate acidity is paramount to avoid the addition of tartaric acid. 'Scaggs' Mv tends to be fully ripe between 23-24deg and that allows the pH to be in check at those moderate levels. That said, if there was an imbalance, I’m not opposed to blending, I’ve just found that I have been quite impressed with the varietal wines on their own in my first couple of years working with the 'Scaggs' fruit. Most importantly, I try to keep an open mind with my winemaking by simply following the ultimate goal of showcasing time, place and variety. A cliché for sure, but one that provides me with a compass and vision."
wine3.jpg
Newfound Wines
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• If you have any other you have any other information, random thoughts, or photographs that you would like to share for the "Mourvèdre Appreciation Social Club" page and the Wine Berserkers forum, please feel free to share!!!


MN: "Drew, I really appreciate you reaching out and I hope that my answers are helpful for your forum. I look forward to keeping the conversation alive!


"My very best,

Matt Naumann"


Newfound Wines website


According to the winery website, a "Colombini Vineyard" Carignan from Mendocino County's Redwood Valley, & a "Yount Mill Vineyard" Semillon from Napa Valley are in the works.

"High View Vineyard", the future home of Newfound Wines in the Sierra Foothills, has been revitalized for new plantings.

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#217 Post by Drew Goin » June 19th, 2018, 2:00 pm

Pl@nt Grape website

"Catalogue of Vines Grown in France: Mourvèdre"

This website's profile for Mourvèdre includes interesting statistics like the grape's acreage in France over the years, genetic information, ampelographic characteristics, phenology, details about each of the 13 ENTAV clonal selections, etc.

The Clone Chart is a nerd's playground!

exportcepage.pdf
PlantGrape Mourvèdre Profile
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http://plantgrape.plantnet-project.org/ ... /Mourvèdre

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#218 Post by Drew Goin » June 27th, 2018, 6:48 am

In a ZinFest pre-event, around 60 individuals gathered to conduct a blind tasting of 4 grape varieties, each represented by 4 wines (including one bottling from the Lodi region of California): Grenache blanc, Sauvignon blanc/Fumé blanc, Tempranillo, and Mourvèdre.

In the fourth round of blind tasting sessions, a Lodi-grown/produced Mourvèdre was up for comparison against bottlings from all over the map.



Lodi Wine Grape Commission Blog
"16-Wine Blind Tasting: Exactly How Do Lodi Grown Wines Compare to the Rest of the World’s?"
by Randy Caparoso
May 23, 2018


"Exactly how do Lodi wines compare to not only those of the rest of California, but also to counterparts in France, Spain, New Zealand, or other wine regions of the world?

"This was the question addressed at our 16-wine blind tasting held last week Friday (May 18, 2018), as a ZinFest pre-event. The goal was not to find who makes the 'best' wines. As the classic British wine writer André Simon once put it: We can all have good taste, but not the same taste. Our purpose, rather, was to 'discover' sensory distinctions. What makes Lodi different – and in that sense, what makes Lodi wines worthwhile?

SL-Panelandaudience1.jpg
"Blind tasting in Wine & Roses Hotel Ballroom (photo by Suzanne Ledbetter)" from Lodi Wine Blog
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"...Round 4 – Mourvèdre

• 2014 Skinner Vineyards, El Dorado 'Estate' Mourvèdre

• 2015 Domaine Tempier, Bandol (Provence, France)

• 2016 Bokisch Vineyards, Sloughhouse-Lodi Monastrell (barrel sample)

• 2016 Neyers Vineyards, 'Evangelho Vineyard' Contra Costa County Mourvèdre
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"Mourvèdre bottles, following unveiling (Suzanne Ledbetter)" from Lodi Wine Blog
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"Chad Joseph [/i][Lodi based consulting winemaker (including the acclaimed Oak Farm Vineyards and Harney Lane Winery)]: There was considerable diversity in this line-up, although all the wines had a trace, yet still distinct, notes of gaminess in the fruit, for which Mourvèdre is well known. Still, I was totally shocked and pleased by the Bokisch Monastrell: Of all the wines, showing the most density of color, tannin and fruit – all very well balanced. I did not guess that it was from Lodi – I thought it was Spanish, for sure!

"Jeff Morgan
[Co-Proprietor of Covenant Winery (based in both Berkeley and Israel) as well as author of a dozen wine and culinary books, former West Coast Editor of Wine Spectator, and founding instructor at Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies (Culinary Institute of America Napa Valley)]: This flight was the biggest surprise for me. The Bokisch barrel sample was really nice, and I preferred it over the Skinner and Neyers. Where I was really off big-time was the Domaine Tempier, which I have visited but still found to be so big, fat, ripe and luscious (I loved it) that I assumed it was from California. I even went so far as to tell the room, 'French winemakers can only dream of getting their grapes ripe like this.' Nothing like being loud and wrong!

"Susan Manfull
[author of Provence WineZine] All the wines in this flight were exceptional; although differences in style – particularly Old World versus New World – were revealing. The Tempier expressed more personality than the others, with its terroir expression and integrated fruit and tannins, while the other three wines were more fruit forward. The Bokisch was impressive – elegant and earthy with notes of chocolate and tobacco – despite being made from very young vines. Imagine what the vines will produce as they mature!

"Keith Watts
[owner/grower of Lodi’s Keith Watts Vineyards]: The Bokisch was easily my favorite in this group.

"Ryan Sherman
[co-owner/winemaker, Fields Family Wines]: This was my favorite flight. Both the Bokisch and Neyers just killed it. Tempier was, well, Tempier, which is always great. But the Bokisch barrel sample was killer. The Neyers, which is in my wheelhouse, fooled several people sitting around me with its more whole-cluster Euro-leanings – super-tasty!

"Sue Tipton
[owner/grower/winemaker of Acquiesce Winery]: Hard to tell these wines apart! All were very well made and great examples of the grape.

"Mark Chandler
[Lodi City Councilman and former Executive Director of Lodi Winegrape Commission]: The Skinner was stunning – like a lot of Rhône reds coming out of El Dorado these days – and the Bokisch was nice and full-bodied, with a long, yummy fruity finish. There was none of the Bokisch left in my glass to dump out! The Neyers was also very nice; its lean, crisp acidity a testimony to the cooler Contra Costa climate. Although tasty, the Bandol was not quite as compelling for me.

"Scott Reesman
[sommelier, Wine & Roses Hotel’s Towne House Restaurant]: Like everyone else, I was very impressed by Bokisch’s Monastrell – can't wait to see where this wine goes from here!

"Suzanne Ledbetter
[Lodi based wine and culinary journalist also known as "The Fine Foodie Philanthropist", as well as member of the Ledbetter farming family who own Vino Farms]: The Skinner was impressive with its bright fruit, showy tannins and integrated Old World-ish brett. The Neyers was inky, and also had Old World qualities. The Bandol, with its complexity of ripe fruit, medium to heavy tannins and slight brett was another favorite. But the eye-opener was probably the Bokisch, described as having the best density of all the Mourvèdres.

"Dan Panella
[owner/winemaker, Lodi’s Oak Farm Vineyards]: The Skinner was a stand-out; with a little bit of raisin-like flavor, but masterfully done. I was less excited about the Bandol – hard to find Mourvèdre qualities through the Old World character. I was not surprised to find, after the wines were unveiled, that the Bokisch was a barrel sample, since it had new barrel aromatics – a toasted graham cracker quality, still not overpowering the grape character. I identified the Neyers as New World since it reminded me of Mourvèdre from another California vineyard; very minimal oak, lower alcohol, very pleasing."



While I could state that fishing for complimentary comments across a gathering of sixty tasters (many of whom apparently live and/or work in the same area as the featured Lodi wines) allowed the author to cherry-pick the crowd for desired outcomes, I am more excited by the idea of expanded plantings of Mourvèdre vines and the production of Lodi wines that embrace an adventurous spirit.


http://www.lodiwine.com/blog/Exactly-ho ... e-world-s-

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#219 Post by Tran Bronstein » June 27th, 2018, 7:58 am

I just tried a Chateau Ott Bandol and was blown away. Mostly Mourvedre it was lighter and fruitier than Grenache and Tempranillo but plenty of structure as evident by the tannins. Consider me a MAD convert.

Sadly, there is little Mourvedre based Bandol or even Spanish Monastrell available at the SAQ or LCBO. :(
Tran's the smart one!- M Grammer

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#220 Post by larry schaffer » June 27th, 2018, 9:05 am

Tran Bronstein wrote:I just tried a Chateau Ott Bandol and was blown away. Mostly Mourvedre it was lighter and fruitier than Grenache and Tempranillo but plenty of structure as evident by the tannins. Consider me a MAD convert.

Sadly, there is little Mourvedre based Bandol or even Spanish Monastrell available at the SAQ or LCBO. :(
Welcome, my friend [snort.gif]

Yep, Mourvedre makes a very interesting and textural rose for sure - wish I could get mine up there. Maybe one of these days . . .

Cheers.
larry schaffer
tercero wines

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#221 Post by Drew Goin » June 28th, 2018, 12:57 pm

While trying to dig up some information for the "Contra Costa Wine Heritage" thread, I stumbled across a 2016 email reply from Shauna Rosenblum of Rock Wall Wine Company.

Please keep in mind that her comments are in response to my past search for any historical links between the ancient Mataro grapevines found in Antioch and Oakley in Contra Costa County and those located in San Benito County.



"...I am very familiar with the 'old-school' plantings of Mataro grapes in Contra Costa County, but I am not as familiar with the Mourvedre Vineyards of San Benito County.

"Mataro is interplanted throughout California in centenarian vineyards. My story behind that choice of our ancestors is that they weren’t concerned with bringing the fruit in, making wine and then blending it. Blending came first...in the field. Blending happened in their choice of what to plant. The tiny Mataro berries along with the red fleshed Alicante Bouschet and intense Carignane are present in almost every vineyard that is around 100 years old. These three varietals seem to be the most consistent 'back-up singers’ to Zinfandel plantings throughout California, and particularly in Contra Costa County. I have a source of 88-year old Mourvedre in Oakley that is the best I have ever worked with and it’s in a dude's front yard.

"I think Mataro adds complexity to Zinfandel. Zin is awesome on it’s own, but it can often run the gamut of being one-dimensional if there isn’t a couple % Petite, Mataro, Carignane or AB in it.

"Anyway, I don’t know if that was helpful or not, but good luck on your quest...sounds fun!

"Let me know if you are ever in our area, I’d be happy to taste you on my wines that have Mataro in them.


Cheers!!!
Shauna Rosenblum
Winemaker
Rock Wall Wine Co."

Rockwall3 1187-Edit.jpg
Father & Daughter
Rockwall3 1187-Edit.jpg (27.03 KiB) Viewed 808 times
Rock Wall Wine Company Homepage

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#222 Post by Drew Goin » June 30th, 2018, 12:52 pm

I have sent an email to the folks at Ridge Vineyards in hopes of gaining an understanding of the winery's intermittent relationship with the grape known as Mataro/Mourvèdre.

From the Ridge website, the following wines include Mourvèdre (or "Mataro", in the parlance of the winery's literature) either as a varietally-bottled wine or as a large component in a blend:


1990 "Evangelo Vineyard" Mataro (90% Mataro, 5% Zinfandel, 5% Alicante Bouschet)*

1993 "Evangelo Vineyard" Mataro (100% Mataro)*

1995 "Pagani Ranch" Mataro (75% Mataro, 25% Zinfandel)

1996 "Pagani Ranch" Mataro (75% Mataro, 25% Zinfandel)

1997 "Pagani Ranch" Mataro (77% Mataro, 23% Zinfandel)

2003 "Pato Vineyard" Mataro
(95% Mataro, 5% Petite Sirah)

2013 "Lytton Estate" Grenache/Mataro (40% Grenache, 40% Mataro, 15% Zinfandel, 5% Carignane)

2014 "Lytton Springs" Syrah/Grenache/Mataro (47% Syrah, 27% Grenache, 26% Mataro)

2015 "Lytton Springs" Syrah/Grenache/Mataro (35% Syrah, 23% Grenache, 42% Mataro)

[youtube]zcz2jPGU9rA[/youtube]


* For unknown reasons, the Ridge 1990 & '93 Mourvèdre wines were labelled as "Evangelo Vineyard", while the proper spelling of the property is "Evangelo".

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#223 Post by Drew Goin » July 3rd, 2018, 11:06 am

Mr Alex Russan of Metrick Wines has responded to my email interview questions. Metrick Wines produces a single-vineyard El Dorado Mourvedre from the "Futurnick Vineyard".

1216701.jpg
"Metrick 2015 'Futurnick Vineyard' Mourvèdre" - from Metrick Wines website
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• What Mourvedre Clone/selection is used for your vineyard source, and why have you chosen that particular one?


AR: "It is Tablas Clone C or D. I chose the vineyard and manager over the clone (buying grapes, rather than land I own), but was happy to find out that they are the tables clones, as many of the older clones I’ve tasted in CA seem to be less complex. If it were my own vineyard, I would do a Tablas clone, or a Spanish clone."


• Have you worked with different Mourvedre sites? What insights have you developed towards the ideal location for desirable Mourvedre grapes?


AR: "I have only worked with the Futernick Mourvedre. Unique things about this site are, the wines are particularly aromatic and particularly low in tannin. 2017 I did an extended maceration to try and pull some tannin out, and others have tried various degrees of stem inclusion. Still, the resulting wines are light and aromatic—not a bad thing at all, but I think if you wanted more tannin structure, you would have to blend. Luckily, Mourvedre is a particularly age worthy grape—perhaps owing to other antioxidants present in the skins—so the wines should be longer lived than other wines of such light structure. Mourvedre’s pH also goes quickly once the berries are nearly fully colored, so, to keep the wine in a microbial safe pH range (3.9 or lower), acidulating or blending is necessary."
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Futurnick Vineyard Mourvèdre Vine Training
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• What thoughts do you have regarding the relationship between Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre; what makes these three so complementary?


AR: " I don’t do GSM’s, and am by no means an expert on these types of wines. My interest in Mourvedre came from my work importing them from Spain for my Alexander Jules Import Company (http://www.alexander-jules), the Casa Los Frailes wines that I import, as well as the Primitivo Quiles wines of Alicante (which I do not) inspired me. Syrah aside, I think it it is difficult to have a 'complete' wine with a Mourvedre or Grenache, and I think they can often temper each others aggressive components, or fill in each other’s potential blanks, to make a complete and, at least, accessible, at most, magnificent, wine."


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


AR: "I think a lot has to do with marketability and demand. I’m seeing more and more growers plant Mourvedre, and more and more winemakers creating single vineyard bottlings. Prior to phylloxera, Mourvedre was a widely planted grape in Spain and southern France, it’s fall from grace was due to it’s difficult grafting onto early rootstocks, which is what lead to Grenache’s rise in popularity. So, I don’t think there is necessarily anything inherently less valuable about Mourvedre vs S and G, although I do think it is probably the most difficult to make a complete and exceptional wine from, at least for what the market overall market is looking for."


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


AR: "Planting in a site where the grapes will better retain acidity into ripening, unless you do not mind acidulating—I prefer not to, but do when the wine is at a microbially unsafe level. A good amount of oxygen during fermentation and shortly after (as it’s prone to reduction). Not a whole lot else, I think people are more scared of this grape than it warrants."
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Futurnick Vineyard Mourvèdre Fruit
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Metrick Wines website:
http://www.metrickwines.com/

Metrick Wines Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MetrickWines/

California Garagistes Interview with Metrick Wines' Alex Russan

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#224 Post by Drew Goin » July 4th, 2018, 11:08 am

Alex from Metrick Wines sent me a little extra information on the Mourvèdre vines of the winery's El Dorado AVA vineyard source:

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"Futernick Vineyard, El Dorado AVA 1" - from Alex Russan
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"Ron Mansfield, who manages the vineyard, has a really unique 'vertical cordon' system, which gives really nice dappled sunlight, and lots of air, to the clusters (looks like a mess, but is very organized)—VSP would give a lot more sun exposure, and at 2800 feet, you’d lose a lot of delicacy in the grapes, as well as acid, a lot quicker. I’m actually not a fan of VSP from a quality perspective for California in general, too much light intensity relative to more northern areas."
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"Futernick Vineyard, El Dorado AVA 2" - from Alex Russan
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Mourvèdre Fruit from the tank:
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"Mourvèdre Fruit from the tank" - from Alex Russan
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From the California Garagistes interview with Alex of Metrick Wines:

Q: "What vineyards do you source from? Why?"

AR: "My Mourvedre comes from the Futernick vineyard in El Dorado (just up slope from the better known Fennaughty Vineyard). I initially wanted to work with Gamay (I’m still on the waiting list!), but really liked Ron Mansfield, “the man” for grapes in El Dorado, and the area itself. Deep volcanic soils that they’re able to dry farm in most years, Tablas clones, north facing slope (to mitigate the warm climate some), all sounded great to me."

__________________________________________________________________

Sacramento Bee
"Dunne on Wine: Farmer Ron Mansfield’s at the Root of El Dorado’s Wine Success"
by Mike Dunne
March 18, 2014


"...Let’s catch up with Ron Mansfield, who farms 300 acres of wine grapes on and about Apple Hill in El Dorado County.

"Most of the vineyards Mansfield tends are owned by people who under management agreements relinquish their long-term care to his stewardship.

"His relationship with property owners has been especially successful in his development and care of Fenaughty Vineyard, close by Mansfield’s own vineyard and orchards, Goldbud Farms.

"Grapes from Fenaughty Vineyard are grabbed each harvest by more than a dozen winemakers near and far, many of whom recognize the growing stature of the plot by including its name on their labels. Wineries that receive steady recognition for wines from Fenaughty Vineyard include Edmunds St. John and Donkey & Goat in Berkeley, Keplinger in Napa Valley, Lavender Ridge and Hatcher in Calaveras County, and David Girard, Holly’s Hill, Windwalker and Skinner in El Dorado County.

"... More and more, his attention is devoted to wine grapes, including the 30 acres of Fenaughty Vineyard, planted almost entirely to such Rhone Valley grape varieties as syrah, grenache and mourvedre.

"...Three principal natural factors help account for the popularity of the grapes grown at Fenaughty, Mansfield explains. By facing north, and by being below the ridgetop, the vineyard is relatively cool even during the summer, allowing grapes to mature slowly and evenly, intensifying their flavor.

"Secondly, the patch is given over entirely to well-drained soils that capture enough moisture so that vines rarely need to be irrigated. 'This is really nice soil to farm,' says Mansfield of its mix of Aiken clay loam, volcanic debris and traces of granite. 'It has a high water-holding capacity, but at the same time it’s well-drained. That allows the vine to carry its crop load without any stress during the (growing) season,' he notes.

"And at 2,850 feet above the American River, the vineyard is caressed by gentle, steady breezes cooling grapes and helping them dry out after rain.

"Also contributing to the vineyard’s stature is Mansfield’s labor-intensive cultural practices, which involve such painstaking tasks as multiple pruning and crop-thinning.

"...Berkeley winemaker Steve Edmunds, however, tasted some of the syrah Mansfield had cultivated and liked it so much he urged him to concentrate on developing more plots of Rhone Valley grape varieties.

"Meanwhile, Mansfield’s own taste for Rhone Valley wines was growing. In 2002, he, Edmunds and fellow El Dorado County vintner David Girard toured the Rhone Valley. 'That trip gave me more confidence for growing Rhones in this area.'

"Mansfield and his son Chuck already have launched their own nascent label, Four Fields, and plan to build a winery within the next couple of years...."

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#225 Post by Sean_S » July 8th, 2018, 10:01 pm

IMG_1097.JPG
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Something new and exciting in the space. Was tasting mighty fine this mornin..

'16 Flywheel Mourvedre. Boer Vineyard, Chalone, AVA.

'16 Flywheel Mourvedre.
CT: Seanwsmithm3
Summit Rd, Redwood Estates, CA

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#226 Post by Drew Goin » July 8th, 2018, 10:50 pm

Thanks for the information, Sean!!! :)

I received an email response from Scott about the winery's prior work with Mourvèdre in January.

I am not able to get any of the Flywheel Mourvèdre where I live, but I am always excited about the growth of the variety's presence in California and beyond!

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#227 Post by Drew Goin » July 9th, 2018, 12:32 pm

I received an email from Mr Noel Diaz at Purity Wine, who has bottled a diverse range of wines from all over California! Here are some of his thoughts on Mourvèdre...
noel-diaz-purity_profile-e1490743361537.jpg
Noel Diaz - from MC²
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• What Mourvèdre Clones/selections have you worked with, and have you observed any particular strengths or weaknesses among them?


ND: "Mourvèdre is a part of the oeuvre, my oeuvre, I hope that doesn’t sound pompous.

"I don’t know what the clones are that I work with, and I don’t really care because I have what I have. Since I’ve never had the luxury of picking out the clones, I haven’t really been very interested in the splitting of hairs of the particular differentiations, or subtleties thereof. This can get a little too esoteric for me, there are so many combinations of things that lead to the end result. Also, when you talk to growers, they rarely seem to know much about the clones.

"Now when you talk to Pinot growers, you get more information, they seem to know a lot about the different nuances of the different clones. Also, my understanding of clones is that over the long haul differences begin to loose their obviousness. Do you ever buy Pinot with the intention of 'let’s see who produces the best triple 7 or let’s see the difference between Dijon 115 and 114'? At this point, it’s mental masturbation in esoterica. I hope I’m not losing you here, and honestly I’m not trying to offend you, but I think this question, unless you’re looking to plant Mourvèdre, overlooks the big picture. But I could be wrong, please continue reading...

purity-wine-silvaspoons-vineyard-mourvedre-alta-mesa-usa-10931868.jpg
Purity Wine 2015 "Silvaspoons Vineyard" Mourvèdre - from WineSearcher.com
purity-wine-silvaspoons-vineyard-mourvedre-alta-mesa-usa-10931868.jpg (16.71 KiB) Viewed 682 times
"Now, along with the second part of the question, yes. I have made wine from Mourvèdre from 3 different locations and each wine has been different, quite different, but they have also been different vintage to vintage, and I have seen the same thing happen with the Syrahs I've worked with. I worked with a Santa Ynez Syrah that made a spectacular wine, far from perfect, but distinctive as could be, and I’ve only seen glimpses of that wine from other sources. It really does get complicated. I’m sure you’ve heard about the butterfly in Costa Rica that sets off a hurricane in New York… We understand specific processes, but understanding the myriad influences and relationships under spontaneous other reactions is unfathomable, that is why we will likely never be able to truly understand exactly how any give wine comes to be. Do you think a lottery number is truly arbitrary? Is anything truly arbitrary, or just beyond our understanding…."[/i][/b]


•On average, how old are the vines that you source your Mourvèdre fruit? Have you any thoughts on whether there exist advantages of working with older vineyards vs younger ones?


ND: "Regarding vine age, I guess 15-20 years is average, I think that once a vine gets to 7 or so years, there’s perhaps more reliability in what it can produce. I like old vines, old vineyards, but more for aesthetic reasons. I’m a romantic. Just as, much as I’m dubious of the superiority of own rooted vines, it would be my preference to work with them, all else being equal. No, old or young, most important is the person who’s caring for the vineyard. I haven’t worked with much in the way of young vines, so can’t really comment on that, but I don’t think I would hesitate to work with young vines."


• What special factors in geology, climate, etc, do you find help make Mourvèdre a viable grape for your many recent fruit sources: "Coufos Vineyard" (Nevada County), "Joshua's Starry Night Vineyard" (Calaveras), and the "Silvaspoons Vineyard" (Lodi)?


ND: "Geology, my preference is for mountain fruit, I like elevation, I like granite.

"Calaveras has a very interesting geology, it’s very mixed with clay soil, which is very common, on top of schist, quartz, granite, limestone, slate; it’s referred to as the 'Calaveras Complex' on the USGS website. I like that it is peculiar, dynamic. When you stand on one of the ridges leading up to the vineyard, you can see how the land has been churned up and around, that dynamic geologic mix is very compelling.

"As for Granite in Nevada County, I do believe that granite has this electric influence, think Beaujolais, very alive acidity. Every wine I make from the Nevada County vineyard I work with has crazy acidity.

"As for Lodi, I probably wouldn’t have worked with that fruit had I not lucked into it. I got some fruit by accident from a friend who over bought. It was Cinsault, and it was beautiful, but the pH was crazy high so it went into a blend, I wouldn’t do that again, it was so pretty. Anyway, the Barbera I made from there was super popular and I liked it a lot, the Mourvèdre also was very popular. It’s a Lodi Rules sustainable vineyard, and I’m trying to get the grower to cut some rows for me and not use glyphosate, I’m offering him 25% more plus the hopes that he sees he can work organically, and it can be commercially viable. The wines from there have proven themselves to me, I don’t really understand the geology enough to know why, I know it’s sedimentary, but I really don’t know what that means for the vine."



• What thoughts do you have regarding the relationship between Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre; what makes these three varieties so complementary?


ND: "Any time you see field blend, they usually have historical context. And that context is usually related to how and when the fruit ripens, and there should be harmony. But I don’t see why Tempranillo couldn’t be in the mix if it was handy and provided something the others didn’t. I generally prefer varieties as stand alones, varietals. This is philosophical. I have made lovely blends, but blending can get very complex, and I don’t necessarily believe it gets to an obviously superior end result."
lisarigby1-1494723566-ee7023c3444a.jpg
Purity Wine 2016 "Calaveras County" Rosé - from banquet/Flat Iron Wine & Spirits
lisarigby1-1494723566-ee7023c3444a.jpg (22.14 KiB) Viewed 682 times
• 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?


ND: "Yeah, Mourvèdre is finicky to grow, that’s one reason you don’t see it all over. Also, it’s known for making a very muscular wine, like Tannat, Petite Sirah, and Malbec. Syrah is popular because it’s considered noble, and it grows like crazy. Grenache can get ripe, it’s a bit of an oddball, but it too comes from a well regarded place, CNDP. It can build a high alc wine without a lot of tannin."


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


ND: "I haven’t produced a style of Mourvèdre different from lower alc and not super extracted, so that’s a difficult question to answer. My guess is that what people usually do, even in Bandol, is get the fruit ripe and extract the heck out of it, I’ve had aged Bandols that I didn’t really find very interesting, they get kind of a rubber tire reduction and tobacco-y, but not much delicacy like an aged Syrah or Nebbiolo. I hope I’m headed in the direction of making a Mourvèdre with more nuance as it ages. But I don’t know. I definitely like the wines I’ve produced from the grape. I find it rewarding to work with."


Purity Wine's website: https://www.puritywine.net

WineMC² Profile: "Noel Diaz of Purity Wine": http://www.winemc2.com/portfolio/noel-diaz-purity-wine

Grape-Nutz Wine Journal: "Open House at Kendric Vineyards, April 2016" (Includes brief on Noel and 5 Purity Wine TN's)[/u]: http://www.grape-nutz.com/kenz/16_kendric.html

Grape-Nutz Wine Review: "Brumaire – 1st Annual Grand Tasting, March 13, 2016" (Includes Purity Wine TN's): http://www.grape-nutz.com/kenz/16_brumaire.html

Grape-Nutz Wine Review: "Brumaire – Second Annual Grand Tasting, March 12, 2017" (Includes Purity Wine TN's): http://www.grape-nutz.com/kenz/17_brumaire.html

Grape-Nutz Wine Review: "Brumaire – Third Annual Grand Tasting, March 11, 2018" (Includes Purity Wine TN's): http://www.grape-nutz.com/kenz/18_brumaire.html

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#228 Post by Drew Goin » July 16th, 2018, 4:25 pm

From the Ridge Vineyards blog:

4488: A Ridge Blog
"Announcing Our First Ever Grenache-Mataro"
by Kurt DeLashmet, Retail Sales & Hospitality Lead
May 18, 2015


"...If you don’t recognize 'Mataro' from other Ridge bottlings (Lytton Springs, Geyserville, etc.), this is the same grape as Mourvedre and Monastrell, as it is otherwise known in France and Spain. Here Paul Draper talks a bit about the grape and its history…

[youtube]Wcl_k2dfqgU[/youtube]


"...Ridge has been involved with the production of Mataro since our first vintage of Geyserville in 1966, which has a small amount planted amongst its field blended vines. The varietal pops up in many of the field blend vineyards that we currently work with, adding a layer of earthy complexity to the wines. In our history, we have even produced several varietal Mataros from various vineyards including Pagani Ranch (Sonoma Valley), Bridgehead (Contra Costa), Pato (Contra Costa), Evangelho (Contra Costa) our very own Lytton Estate. Here is a humorous take on one of our early Mataro releases from winemaker Daryl Groom and the folks over at Jordan Winery…"



[youtube]17Ulr9Y0jo8[/youtube]

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#229 Post by Drew Goin » July 17th, 2018, 5:55 pm

Sean_S wrote:
IMG_1097.JPG
Something new and exciting in the space. Was tasting mighty fine this mornin..

'16 Flywheel Mourvedre. Boer Vineyard, Chalone, AVA.

'16 Flywheel Mourvedre.

I received a reply from Scott at Flywheel Wines about the single-vineyard, 100% Mourvèdre from his winery:


"We did indeed just bottle our 2016 'Boer' Mourvedre – fun that it got a post already!

Right now our current release is the 2014, but we way over-vintaged our 2016's to try to get them more ready for action a little earlier. Some of our earlier vintages were so tight early on that our 2013 'Brosseau' Pinot is our current release on that one (tasting great now, though).

"I’d be happy to answer your e-mail interview questions, and to talk about both the 2014 and 2016 if you like. How does it all work? I have to admit I’m just coming out of my bottling haze, and getting my bearings straight, so thanks for your patience!


"All the best,

Scott Shapley
Flywheel Wines
415-515-2081
scott@flywheelwines.com "




Needless to say, I am most excited to hear about this trend of bottling a straight Mourvèdre from Flywheel!!! :)

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#230 Post by Al Osterheld » July 17th, 2018, 6:11 pm

Saw this on FB, and it seems relevant to this thread. It turns out California growers who thought they were planting the Monastrell clone of Mourvedre, actually have Graciano vines.

https://www.winemag.com/2018/07/16/graciano/

-Al

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#231 Post by Ken Zinns » July 17th, 2018, 6:52 pm

Al Osterheld wrote:Saw this on FB, and it seems relevant to this thread. It turns out California growers who thought they were planting the Monastrell clone of Mourvedre, actually have Graciano vines.

https://www.winemag.com/2018/07/16/graciano/

-Al
Thanks for the heads-up on the article, Al. Matt Kettmann is a good writer and he seems to have covered all the bases well on this. The mix-up has been known for awhile, but this might be the first time the info has gotten out to the wider public.
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#232 Post by larry schaffer » July 17th, 2018, 6:54 pm

Agreed - and a letter is currently being prepped to send to all of those involved. This should be interesting . . . :-)
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#233 Post by Ken Zinns » July 17th, 2018, 7:04 pm

Drew Goin wrote:
Sean_S wrote:
The attachment IMG_1097.JPG is no longer available
Something new and exciting in the space. Was tasting mighty fine this mornin..

'16 Flywheel Mourvedre. Boer Vineyard, Chalone, AVA.

'16 Flywheel Mourvedre.

I received a reply from Scott at Flywheel Wines about the single-vineyard, 100% Mourvèdre from his winery:


"We did indeed just bottle our 2016 'Boer' Mourvedre – fun that it got a post already!

Right now our current release is the 2014, but we way over-vintaged our 2016's to try to get them more ready for action a little earlier. Some of our earlier vintages were so tight early on that our 2013 'Brosseau' Pinot is our current release on that one (tasting great now, though).

"I’d be happy to answer your e-mail interview questions, and to talk about both the 2014 and 2016 if you like. How does it all work? I have to admit I’m just coming out of my bottling haze, and getting my bearings straight, so thanks for your patience!


"All the best,

Scott Shapley
Flywheel Wines
415-515-2081
scott@flywheelwines.com "




Needless to say, I am most excited to hear about this trend of bottling a straight Mourvèdre from Flywheel!!! :)
I helped bottle this wine with Scott and got a taste of it just before it went into bottle - agree with Sean that it's really good stuff!
flywheel.jpg
flywheel.jpg (20.37 KiB) Viewed 634 times
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#234 Post by Drew Goin » July 17th, 2018, 10:51 pm

Al Osterheld wrote:Saw this on FB, and it seems relevant to this thread. It turns out California growers who thought they were planting the Monastrell clone of Mourvedre, actually have Graciano vines.

https://www.winemag.com/2018/07/16/graciano/

-Al
Thanks, Al!!!

I am definitely tempted to ask winemakers, "What's in your bottle?" :P

Someone's going to be p*ssed.

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#235 Post by Drew Goin » July 17th, 2018, 10:52 pm

Ken, I am always fascinated by your close interactions with such a broad group of wine folks! Thanks for the info!

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#236 Post by Drew Goin » July 17th, 2018, 11:03 pm

I am sharing this information from a separate thread. Who knows, in light of the recent news, the Spanish resources herein may prove useful to someone...


iMiDRA is an acronym for "Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario" (more or less, "Madrid Institute of Research and Rural Development, Agriculture and Nutrition" in English). I really must say that the Database is very broad in its scope, and I wish I had discovered its existence sooner! :o

The Collection: "The Collection of Grape Varieties of El Encín (El Encín's Vine Varieties Collection) is the biggest in Spain; it consists of 3,532 accesions. The aim of this collection is to research, preserve, identify and evaluate the genus 'Vitis'."

History: "Its origin dates back to 1893, at the Haro Viticulture and Enology Station (the Viti-culture and Oenology Center in Haro) .In 1950 the collection was moved to the El Encín Estate (Alcalá de Henares) and since 1984 it has come under Madrid's regional government."

The Data Base: "The database has information about the different vine varieties in the collection. It includes 207 bundles of paper from 1914, 670 descriptions made in 1956 and more than 3,000 accessions described and photo- graphed since 2000, including microsatellites."

iMiDRA website's Grape Data Base results for "Monastrell"
2220_foto2000.pdf
iMiDRA website Database photography record: "Monastrell (22 O 11), Número de accesión: BGVCAM 2220"
(73.84 KiB) Downloaded 6 times
iMiDRA website's Grape Data Base results for "Graciano"

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#237 Post by Drew Goin » July 17th, 2018, 11:22 pm

Wine Enthusiastic
"Embracing the Graciano Goof: Central Coast vintners who thought they were planting the 'Monastrell clone' of Mourvèdre just learned that they were instead harvesting an obscure grape from Rioja"
by Matt Kettmann
July 16, 2018


"...Like dozens of vineyard owners across the Central Coast, [Saxum/'James Berry Vineyard's' Justin] Smith purchased the 'Monastrell clone' of Mourvèdre from Sunridge Nurseries a few years ago. Catalogued at UC-Davis Foundation Plant Services (FPS) as 'Mourvèdre clone #571' until last week when the listing was changed to 'Graciano Clone #8', the vines were first identified and imported by Plansel, a Portuguese company.

"...The clone became 99% of the nursery’s Mourvèdre vine sales in a short period of time, says
[Sunridge Farms' Andrew] Jones. He explained that one grower planted it next to another type of Graciano, which looked quite different. Sunridge plans to send a letter to the growers who purchased the vines to let them know that they’re growing Graciano, not Mourvèdre.

"There’s concern that the mix-up could lead to lawsuits, especially for wineries that bank on Mourvèdre. But there doesn’t seem to be many angry vintners, not even in Ryan Pease, whose Paix Sur Terre label is based on Mourvèdre. He’s labeled one wine as Monastrell since 2015, but he will call it Graciano going forward.

"'I do remember when I fermented my first "Monastrell",' he says. 'During punch downs, I was thinking to myself, "There is no way this is Mourvèdre, but either way, it’s really good stuff." Graciano is very well suited to our climate, and it seems to be a pretty good mistake.'

Mourvedre_1_Nicole_Pease_Paix_Sur_Terre.jpg
"Graciano grapes at Pease Paix Sur Terre" - from WE article online
Mourvedre_1_Nicole_Pease_Paix_Sur_Terre.jpg (34.26 KiB) Viewed 620 times
"Pease also plans to plant more of the variety.

"How did this initial goof occur? Justin Smith of Saxum ran through a number of possibilities. One is grammatical: the Spanish word for Mourvèdre is 'Monastrell', while the French word for Graciano is 'Morrastel.'

"Smith says it’s likely that the cause lies more in Old World practices, where multiple varieties are interplanted. Some villages have different names for the same grapes and, more problematic, the same name for different grapes...."[/i]

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#238 Post by Drew Goin » July 17th, 2018, 11:25 pm

In other news, this thread will henceforth be known as "What, No Graciano Appreciation Delegation?" ;)

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#239 Post by Drew Goin » July 19th, 2018, 3:02 am

I still am reaching out to wineries and winemakers the West Coast of America in my pursuit of information on Mourvèdre/Monastrell/Mataro, but I have also been trying to assemble a list of international producers to email as well.

Any recommendations are most welcome!!
:)

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#240 Post by Drew Goin » July 19th, 2018, 5:06 am

As I mentioned in a separate thread, Agapito Rico was a, if not the, pivotal figure in putting the Jumilla DO and, in turn, Spanish Monastrell, on the international market. Here is a little bit more information about the man and the movement...


Wine Spectator
"Jumilla's Visionaries: In Southeastern Spain, Pioneering Winemakers are Producing Robust Reds"
by Bruce Schoenfeld
December 15, 2006


"...On the hillsides and in the valleys of this largely vacant countryside that gets less than a foot of rain annually, vines of ungrafted Monastrell planted in stone-covered soil produce wines the color of a moonless night. They have rich, meaty flavors and plenty of alcohol to match, but also, somewhat surprisingly, enough acidity to be refreshing when drunk young.

"...Just a decade ago, Jumilla was known almost exclusively for bulk wine. A decade before that, it scuttled more than 20 percent of its vines when a European governing board looking to alleviate a wine glut offered farmers more money to remove vines than they could earn selling grapes.

"The change has come because of a new appreciation for Monastrell. Grown everywhere from Provence and the Rhône Valley to California and Australia, and known as Mourvèdre, Mataro and Balzac, its origins have been traced to the grapegrowing areas around the coastal city of Valencia. In Jumilla, this thick-skinned grape, which thrives on heat and sunshine, disdains water and postpones its full maturity until the autumn, makes wines that are dense and compelling.

"...Bodega owner Agapito Rico, who started the movement toward export-friendly wines in the late 1980s, makes a varietal Syrah as lush and fragrant as any in Spain. In all, there are now 100,000 acres of vines in Jumilla today.

"Taken together, this combination of an area on the edge of viticultural cultivation and of varieties carefully fine-tuned to function under harsh conditions has created an appellation on the rise. 'It's all scrub and rock, nothing more,' Rico says. 'But for wines meant to be drunk young, at least, we've proven that it works.'

"Rico, 59, is a taciturn man who looks like he stepped out of a Wyoming general store. He has the stubborn, solitary mindset of a Western rancher to match. When he insisted on also giving his son the unusual name of Agapito, his wife had to later change it to the more innocuous Pedro. He seems an unlikely father of an appellation, but even those who aren't enamored of his quirks and complaints give him credit.

"After years spent in Madrid selling and distributing wine, Rico returned to his native Jumilla in 1985 with the idea of planting grapes. 'He saw what Alejandro Fernández had done in Ribera del Duero, and he decided to do the same with Jumilla,' says his friend Pedro Martínez, owner of Casa de la Ermita. At the time, subsistence grains and a few olive trees outnumbered the vines along the parched landscape. Rico found an abnormally fertile mountainside called El Carcho, a dot of green on a canvas of brown, and planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and, a decade later, Syrah. Mostly, though, he planted Monastrell there and elsewhere on his property.

"Rico believed that the appellation should be making fruity wines meant to be consumed young, when the freshness of the fruit is most evident. Beginning in 1990, he hired a winemaker and started putting his theories into practice. Much of that involved picking later, giving the Monastrell a chance to gain in strength and color as October loomed. Since the summer drought invariably continued through harvest, rain wasn't a risk. A long maceration period distanced the wines even further from the pale bulk product.

"...Now his bottlings have fruit that jumps from the glass, and they sell in some two dozen countries around the world. If you've tasted a Jumilla wine in Singapore or Sweden, it may well have been Rico's.

"Nevertheless, Rico believes that his efforts to create a worldwide brand are being undermined by the millions of liters of bulk wine made for local and regional consumption by the handful of large producers and dozens of small ones that still dominate Jumilla's output. Accordingly, he is tempted to remove the appellation name from his labels. He has also partnered with José Luis López de Lacalle of Rioja's Artadi to create El Seque, a successful bodega in neighboring Alicante.

"'He was the first to have the concept to bottle wines of high quality. He tried to change the image of the appellation, to fight for the name of Jumilla,' says Marcial Martínez. 'Now he thinks he failed. But I'm not at all in agreement with him. I think he succeeded.'

"'About eight of us are changing things little by little, but it has cost us a lot,' Rico says. 'Before the '90s, our image was like that of the Priorat—rough, bulk wines—but what happened? Priorat renovated nearly all of its production. In Jumilla, we make 60 to 70 million liters, and we've renovated only 10 percent. In the end, the word "Jumilla" turns out to be a negative. And it isn't going to change.'..."


The article continues, focusing on several other personalities of the area who have helped in spreading a higher quality product across the world. Needless to say, none of the remaining figures (Jorge Ordoñez, Pedro Martínez, Miguel Gil, & José María Vicente) agree with Rico's dejected pronouncements.

The very fact that shelves in many American stores feature at least one Monastrell from the Region of Murcia (Bullas, Yecla, & Jumilla) testifies to the success of Agapito Rico's ground-breaking work.



Bodegas Agapito Rico Carchelo home page

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Denver Post
"Spanish Wines Getting Note"
by Tara Q. Thomas
November 3, 2008



TrendHunter
"The Agapito Rico Bottle is Covered in the Earth's Soil"
by Vittoria Natarelli
September 2, 2010
agapito-rico-bottle.jpeg
"Down to Earth: the Agapito Rico Art Bottle" - from TrendHunter
agapito-rico-bottle.jpeg (12.87 KiB) Viewed 602 times
"The Agapito Rico Bottle was designed to honor Agapito Rico. Rico was an important figure in the DO of Jumilla Spain because he was a pioneer in achieving quality wines in this region. Considering how the bottle is covered in dirt and soil, the piece emits a naturalistic feel.

"Designer Eduardo del Fraile obviously wanted Agapito Rico to be honored as a nature-loving winemaker because the Agapito Rico Bottle is definitely 'down to earth'."




El Mundo do Vino / The World of Wine
"Agapito Rico"


"There are those who travel a lot and, in discovering new lands and new people, forget their little country. For Jumilla, fortunately, this has not been the case with Agapito Rico, a Jumillano who has dedicated many years of work selling wines - predominantly to his country, but also...all over the world.

"Therefore, he did not lack knowledge...when he decided to start a wine project a decade ago...that he would collide with the prevailing mentality of his hometown.

"To begin with, he focused his efforts in his own vineyards - the 'Carche' and 'Fuente de Perdices' -, which were planted at that time with some 20 hectares of old vines from Monastrell - the emblematic grape of the area...adding, since 1986, Tempranillo, Cabernet, and Merlot, completing the current plantation of 90 Ha.

"After the 1989 harvest, the first wines were bottled, with Agapito counting on the advice and opinions of experts and friends who reassured the success of his chosen path. Of course, the foreign varieties that were incorporated in the wines were not authorized at that time, which prevented them from displaying the DO on labels.

"Several years later, the wines of Agapito Rico now enjoy the official approval of the Regulatory Council. However, this is not the most important thing; instead it is that they enjoy...the applause of the international public, where 80% of the production [is exported]."


Agapito Rico Wines Tasted/Rated by El Mundo do Vino

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#241 Post by Drew Goin » July 30th, 2018, 4:17 pm

Paso Robles Daily News
"Sip and Savor: Paso Robles Rhône Rangers Present Varietal Series"
by Mira Honeycutt
September 1, 2017


"'International Grenache Day' celebrated at Summerwood Winery, Mourvedre showcased at Epoch Estate

-The varietal night series program presented by Rhône Rangers of Paso Robles has become a popular event with local wine lovers as was evident recently with two tastings spotlighting the popular Rhône varieties of grenache and mourvedre.


"'International Grenache Day' was celebrated on Sept. 15 at Summerwood Winery followed few days later with a varietal tasting of 'Mourvedre & Obscure Red Rhône Wines' at Epoch Estate Wines on Sept. 19.

"The concept of creating this series was to introduce the many facets of Rhône variety grapes grown in Paso Robles. There are 14 Rhône varieties planted in Paso, according to Jason Haas, co-partner and general manager of Tablas Creek Vineyard. Besides the popular syrah, grenache, mourvedre, marsanne, roussanne and viognier, there are such obscure grapes as terret noir, picpoul, picardan, counois and cinsaut. Add to this two more – bourboulenc and vaccarese that are planted (but not yet in production) by Tablas Creek, Paso’s Rhône pioneers.

Amy.jpg
"Bastien Leduc of Seven Oxen and Amy Butler of Ranchero Cellars offered their wines at Epoch Estate tasting room" -
photo by Mira Honeycutt
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"Each varietal series event showcases a specific Rhône variety grape. 'So the consumers can come and taste the different styles of the same variety,' said winemaker Amy Butler of Ranchero Cellars. Not only does this experience introduce attendees to try the varied styles of Paso winemakers but also different expressions of the grape from Paso’s 13 appellations from eastside to westside.

"At Summerwood’s grenache-themed tasting some 20 fellow Rangers gathered to pour delicious variations of this grape (both noir and blanc). I noticed that not all the wines were 100 percent grenache. There were a few GSM blends (grenache, syrah and mourvedre), and this being Paso, a bit of zinfandel sneaked in with grenache, syrah and petire sirah in the 2014 blend of 'Editor' from Guyomar Wine Cellars.

"...Following the varietal night bandwagon, the mourvedre-themed tasting was held at Epoch’s stunning estate in the tucked away York Mountain region. Among the 22 participants, there were several mourvedre-driven blends, from wineries such as Sculpterra, Kukkula, Brecon, Caliza, Seven Oxen, Tablas Creek and Alta Colina.

"The 100-percent mourvedre wines were offered by Clautiere, Anglim, Summerwood, Lone Madrone, Adelaida, Cass, Epoch and Ventoux where I noticed a wine called 'Raucous', which turned about to be an obscure blend of grenache, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir. This is Paso after all, and winemakers are nothing but adventurous!


"Originally from Spain, mourvedre is a popular grape of France’s Provence and southern Rhône regions. Its popularity grew in California in the 2000's, yet a mere 650 acres of this variety are planted in the state.

"So what’s the profile of Paso mourvedre, I asked Ted Plemmons of Cass Winery. 'It’s earthy with white pepper,' he replied, pouring a splash of the 2015 Cass 100% mourvedre from Paso’s eastern Geneseo region. The wine Plemmons called 'vineyard in a glass' was redolent with spice and red fruits. 'It’s made for food,' he affirmed.

"Conversely, Glenn Mitton of Adelaida Vineyard and Winery described the 2014 Adeilada mourvedre as silky, sexy and velvety. From the westside’s Adelaida district, the wine showed spicy and savory notes as well as hints of chocolate and blue fruits.


"...While all the wines showed exceptional qualities of mourvedre crafted in different styles and from various regions, Epoch’s 2014 'Creativity' was a standout. The 100-percent mourvedre produced from 'Paderewski Vineyard' atop a limestone hill in Willow Creek district was a symphony of lavender perfume and earthiness singing with lush cherry and plum notes. A brilliant rosé was served alongside the red wine, the salmon-hued 2015 blend of mourvedre, grenache, syrah evoked the essence of St. Tropez and the beaches of southern France.
Evelyne-450x600.jpg
"Evelyne Fodor of Tablas Creek Vineyard" - photo by Mira Honeycutt
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"Championed by Haas, the Paso Robles chapter of Rhône Rangers was established in 2007 with 30 members now grown to 50. Upcoming events include spotlighting red Rhône blends at ONX Winery on Nov. 7 and the holiday dinner at Tooth & Nail Winery on Dec. 5 featuring Library and Reserve wines."[/i]

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Drew Goin
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#242 Post by Drew Goin » July 30th, 2018, 10:54 pm

Napa Valley Register
"Allison Levine, Please The Palate: Six Wines from Napa Valley That are Not Cabernet Sauvignon"
by Allison Levine
June 14, 2018


"According to the Napa Valley Vintners, there are 45,000 acres under cultivation in Napa Valley. There are more than 34 different wine grape varieties grown in Napa County, and 23% of the vineyards are planted to white wine grapes and 77% to red wine grapes.

"Forty-seven percent of the grapes planted are Cabernet Sauvignon, with Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel making up another 41% of the total grape production. That leaves 12% of the grapes planted to other grapes and here are six of the grapes to look out for.

"...MourvedreNewfound 2016 'Scaggs Vineyard' Mourvedre, Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley ($35).

"In 2010, there were 21 tons of Mourvedre produced in Napa Valley but in 2017, only 158 tons was produced. The 'Scaggs Vineyard' was planted by musician Boz Scaggs and his wife in 1998 to Rhône varieties. They transitioned the vineyard over to Newfound, founded by Matt Naumann, Jonathan Sykes & Audra Chapman, in 2016. Winemaker Matt Naumann who has worked at Failla Wines, is a minimalist when it comes to winemaking. The Mourvedre is whole-cluster pressed and fermented and aged in amphorae and demi-muid (neutral vessels). The medium-bodied wine has elevated fruit and floral notes and spice with integrated soft tannins and great texture...."



Newfound Wines website: https://www.newfoundwines.com

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Drew Goin
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#243 Post by Drew Goin » August 1st, 2018, 4:50 pm

I received an email from Mr Bryan Cass, the General Manager of Paso Robles-area Cass Winery & Vineyards.

Cass Winery & Vineyards recently won the "Best Overall Red", 3 "Best in Class" medals, a "Double Gold", and 6 "Gold" medals in the Central Coast Wine Competition, attaining (for the second time) the status of "Best Winery"! This is incredibly exciting news.
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Harvest at Cass Winery & Vineyards - from Paso Robles Wineries site
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Below are Mr Bryan's answers to my Mourvèdre-related questions:


• What Mourvèdre Clones/selections have you worked with, and have you observed any particular strengths or weaknesses among them?


BC: "We have always only used one clone, that was recommended to us by our original vineyard manager, Clone 233 and haven't had any major problems with it."


• On average, how old are the vines you farm for your Mourvèdre fruit? Have you any thoughts on whether there exist advantages of working with older vineyards vs younger ones?


BC: "Our vineyard was planted in 2001, so most of the Mourvedre vines are just under 20 years old. In regards to old vs. new vines, I feel like the newer genetic material in grapevines these days is superior to older genetic material due to the work that has been done to only breed the best plants. I think that the newest clones are the ones that are most likely to be resistant to disease, have the highest yield etc."


• What special factors in geology, climate, etc, do you find help make Mourvèdre a viable grape for your Paso Robles fruit source?


BC: "I think that the extreme heat we have here coupled with cold nights is the biggest factor that makes Mourvedre a grape that grows so well here. It is always the last grape to ripen on our vineyard, so it takes a lot of heat to fully ripen. In eastern Paso Robles where we we are, it is extremely hot during the growing season, so we never have a problem fully ripening it, although some years it doesn't come in until the end of October. So in those years, cooler areas may have trouble ripening it fully..."
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Cass Mourvèdre bottle/label
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• What thoughts do you have regarding the relationship between Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre; what makes these three varieties so complementary?


BC: "I personally think that they each provide something different that compliments the other one, the Grenache provides the red fruit flavor of strawberry and cherry, the Syrah provides the tannins needed for structure and aging as well as the dark fruit flavors of blackberry and plum....the Mourvedre adds a peppery component and also has a really unique flavor that for me is really hard to describe, something like cranberry, and pomegranate. When they're all combined together nothing really sticks out in particular but you get really nice nuances of each."


• 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?


BC: "I think this boils down to the heat needed to ripen it."


• What special considerations do you think are necessary to produce a varietal (or Mourvèdre-dominant) wine in the winemaking process?


BC: "I think that having really good fruit is key in making a stand-alone Mourvedre, getting it to ripen properly. If the fruit comes in at the sugar level required but only because it was left to hang to dehydrate berries to gain sugar content, because full ripeness couldn't be achieved....then you get raisin flavors which are not desirable. Also not overpowering the fruit with oak since it is a medium-full-bodied varietal.


"Bryan Cass
General Manager
Cass Winery
(805) 239-1730 (ext #103)
http://www.casswines.com
"



Cass Winery & Vineyards website: http://www.casswines.com

Promotional Video:
https://vimeo.com/200897091

"2018 Central Coast Wine Competition:
• Gold, Best of Class, Best Red - 2016 Mourvedre
• Double Gold, Best of Class - 2017 Marsanne
• Gold, Best of Class - 2015 GSM
• Gold - 2017 'Mr Blanc'
• Gold - 2014 'Backbone' Syrah
• Gold - 2015 'Rockin' One' Red
• Gold - 2015 'Rockin' Ted'"

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Drew Goin
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#244 Post by Drew Goin » August 5th, 2018, 9:16 pm

Special thanks to TomHill for sharing this article on a separate thread:


SF Gate
"Mislabeled Vines Cause Stir Among Wineries"
by Esther Mobley
August 5, 2018


"Call it a case of viticultural identity theft.

"Beginning in 2012, a newly available grapevine — Monastrell, a Spanish clone of the grape variety most commonly known as Mourvedre — surged in popularity among Paso Robles wine growers. More than 200,000 Monastrell vines were sold, the equivalent of about 200 acres. It’s not known how much wine those vines have produced, but if you’ve drunk Central Coast Mourvedre from the last few vintages, there’s a chance those Sunridge Monastrell vines were its source.

"'The consensus was that it was a good selection,' says Andrew Jones of Sunridge Nurseries, which sold the Monastrell vines. 'People liked it better than other selections of Mourvedre — it had better color, better flavors.' The Monastrell became 90 percent of all Sunridge’s Mourvedre sales.

"Only it wasn’t Monastrell at all.
It wasn’t even a clone of Mourvedre.

"As Jones informed his clients in a letter in July, the vines sold as Monastrell were actually Graciano — a minor grape variety from Spain’s Rioja region.

“'It’s a pretty awkward thing,' Jones admits.

"...Yet despite the availability of precise genetic testing, wine grape mix-ups are not unprecedented.

"Throughout history, Monastrell and Graciano have frequently been mistaken for each other. Spain has done it; Italy has done it.

"...Luckily for Sunridge and Jones — who is also a winemaker, and owns the labels Field Recordings, Fiction and the Alloy line of canned wines — Paso Robles vintners seem willing to roll with the misunderstanding. No one has threatened to take legal action against Sunridge, which has offered to replace the vines for free. (Any wines bottled and labeled after receipt of Jones’ letter must identify the variety as Graciano, but earlier bottlings can still say Monastrell or Mourvedre.)

"...From the beginning, something seemed off. 'Early on, I called Andrew up and I was like, "This is not Mourvedre,"' says Justin Smith, Saxum’s owner-winemaker. 'We were growing it side by side with regular Mourvedre, and it just looked like a different plant.'

"'Where Mourvedre is always moderate sugar and moderate acid, this came in high sugar, high acid, high tannin,' says Cris Cherry, owner of Villa Creek Cellars, who planted the Monastrell grapes after learning about them from Smith.

920x920.jpg
"Andrew Jones holds a cluster of Graciano grapes (left) and one of Mourvedre grapes. Some winemakers suspected the vines they had planted might not be Mourvedre clone Monastrell" - photo by Patrick Tehan
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"But Jones told Smith he was confident the vines were Mourvedre. First of all, he’d bought the cuttings from a reputable source: the Portuguese company Plansel, which has supplied Sunridge with many cuttings of Iberian grape varieties over the years. Once Sunridge imported the cuttings from Plansel, it sent them — as it always does — to UC Davis, where the vines went through a requisite quarantine program, to ensure that they would not bring any virus or disease into U.S. vineyards.

"That quarantine process doesn’t include genetic testing, but it does involve some inspection of veracity*. 'They are looking to see how it looks in the field, checking that it looks true to type,' Jones explains. Davis released the material back to Sunridge, christening the new selection Mourvedre clone #571.

"...Word started to spread. 'Whisperings had been going around during the ’16 vintage,' [winemaker at Epoch Estate Jordan] Fiorentini says.

"...But it wasn’t until a group of Spanish winemakers visited Saxum in 2017 that Smith took any action. 'They said, "That doesn’t look like Monastrell — but it does look like Graciano,"' Smith recalls. He sent cuttings to UC Davis for proper genetic testing, and sure enough, they were an exact match for Graciano.
rawImage.jpg
"Winemaker Justin Smith at Saxum Vineyards has planted both Mourvedre (left) and Graciano vines" - photo by Patrick Tehan
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"Davis has since bestowed a new name on Mourvedre clone #571: Graciano clone #8.

"...'You hear about all these grapes and how they’ve evolved and bred over time — fuzzy Tempranillo, pink Clairette,' Cherry says. 'They acclimate to their surroundings, they reproduce, it’s a natural process.'..."[/i]

* "Clonal Selection in Vineyard Plantings"
FPS.jpg
"Source: Deborah Golino presentation on source of Cabernet Sauvignon clones, UCD course, 5/15/2008" - from mowse.blogspot.com
FPS.jpg (16.25 KiB) Viewed 509 times
As indicated by the above FPS flowchart, the "Professional Variety Confirmation ID" appears to be a step in approving new Clone Selections. I encourage FPS @ UC Davis to increase the scrutiny of this process in the future via more frequent genetic testing.


I believe that to allow a number of pre-existing vintage bottlings of misidentified Graciano to remain incorrectly representative of Monastrell/Mourvèdre may be unethical. I am happy to see that growers haven't suffered dramatically due to the errors made by Sunridge and its Portuguese vine material supplier.

I do believe, however, that the greatest mistake is the fact that that there appears to be minimal accountability on the part of the nursey or its supplier. UC Davis should have mandatory genetic identity testing of batches or random selections. The institution's credibility is threatened when state-of-the-art viticultural safety screening protocols fail to identify imported grapes correctly.

An absence of consequences can easily make way for lax scrutiny in the confirmation of a product's veracity, increasing errors of identity, and minimized corrective action. That worries me!

I appreciate your thoughts...

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Drew Goin
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#245 Post by Drew Goin » August 5th, 2018, 9:20 pm

Show some love for the real thing!

I-want-different-mourvedre.jpg
"I Want Different...but It Still Needs to be Mourvèdre"
I-want-different-mourvedre.jpg (26.68 KiB) Viewed 508 times

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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#246 Post by Dave McCloskey » August 6th, 2018, 10:27 am

Drew Goin wrote:I received an email from Matt Naumann of Newfound Wines yesterday...


"Given that the site was a vision that Boz had when he purchased his property, I can only speak to his history with the varietal and intent when planting.


"Boz and his wife, Dominque, have been close friends with Kermit Lynch, Bruce Neyers, Alice Waters and the Berkeley food and wine scene for a number of years which should explain the initial inspiration behind the varietal mix they decided to plant. Boz recently regaled in a story about a visit that Lucien Peyraud paid to the Napa Valley in the 1980’s and his proclamation that Mt Veeder offered exceptional terroir for Mourvedre after tasting Steve Edmonds’ early bottlings. That was enough to convince him to begin his vineyard project."

Mourvedre 16 Ft-TTB.jpg
• What Mourvédre Clone/selection have you worked with, and why have you chosen that particular one?


MN: "Boz sourced vine material from his friend Robert Haas at Tablas Creek for his 1-acre planting in 1998. This was a personal decision that had much to do with Boz’s friendship with Robert and the fact the Tablas was trailblazing California at the time with new scion material recently brought to the United States."


• What special factors in geology, climate, etc, do you find help make Mourvédre a viable grape for your Mt Veeder fruit source at the "Scaggs Vineyard"?


MN: "The 'Scaggs' site sits at roughly 1,250-ft above the valley floor at the northern most edge of Mt Veeder. It’s an eastern exposure and a relatively cool site that offers a tremendous amount of sunlight due to the elevation as it sits above the marine layer that typically blankets the valley floor during the early months of the growing season. Temperature swings are less extreme as the inversion layer during the summer months provides warmer nights and enough heat to ripen Mourvedre."


• What thoughts do you have regarding the relationship between Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvédre; what makes these three so complementary?


MN: "I believe the relationship between Gr, Sy & Mv is two-fold: having much to do with the location in which they thrive AND also juice chemistry in how they naturally compensate for each other’s shortcomings in a final blend. Grenache is much more acidic than Mourvedre and blending the two together is a very natural way stabilize a final wine without having to manipulate the chemistry with synthetic products. Understanding the long history that the varietals have together blending complimentary varietals is one way to offer balance to the final wine given that the modern winemaking is a more recent phenomenon."


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


MN: "Mourvedre is extremely late ripening and requires a site of moderate heat but plenty of sunlight and I feel that California offeres loads of potential for the varietal. Why the Napa Valley or other high profile warmer regions in CA are not planted with Mourvedre has more to do with economics and less to do with potential. Regarding vine growing, the grape can be a hog in the vineyard producing generous yields so the viticulture needs to be focused and on point in effort to obtain a solid level of ripeness before the season begins to take a turn."


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


MN: "For my project, I found that each varietal carried enough distinction to warrant a mono-cepage. I can’t speak for others, but specific to my tastes, I look for structure and balance. If those two are harmony with one another, I don’t find the need to blend as I find the purity of the varietal quite captivating. I tend to harvest on the earlier side as I do not use synthetic winemaking ingredients for chem adjustments SO maintaining moderate acidity is paramount to avoid the addition of tartaric acid. 'Scaggs' Mv tends to be fully ripe between 23-24deg and that allows the pH to be in check at those moderate levels. That said, if there was an imbalance, I’m not opposed to blending, I’ve just found that I have been quite impressed with the varietal wines on their own in my first couple of years working with the 'Scaggs' fruit. Most importantly, I try to keep an open mind with my winemaking by simply following the ultimate goal of showcasing time, place and variety. A cliché for sure, but one that provides me with a compass and vision."
wine3.jpg
• If you have any other you have any other information, random thoughts, or photographs that you would like to share for the "Mourvèdre Appreciation Social Club" page and the Wine Berserkers forum, please feel free to share!!!


MN: "Drew, I really appreciate you reaching out and I hope that my answers are helpful for your forum. I look forward to keeping the conversation alive!


"My very best,

Matt Naumann"


Newfound Wines website


According to the winery website, a "Colombini Vineyard" Carignan from Mendocino County's Redwood Valley, & a "Yount Mill Vineyard" Semillon from Napa Valley are in the works.

"High View Vineyard", the future home of Newfound Wines in the Sierra Foothills, has been revitalized for new plantings.
Bravo, thank for posting! FWIW, I've tried and have stored a couple bottles of the 2015 Domaine Tempier. It's quite good. champagne.gif

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Drew Goin
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#247 Post by Drew Goin » August 6th, 2018, 8:31 pm

Drew Goin wrote:
Al Osterheld wrote:Saw this on FB, and it seems relevant to this thread. It turns out California growers who thought they were planting the Monastrell clone of Mourvedre, actually have Graciano vines.

https://www.winemag.com/2018/07/16/graciano/

-Al
Thanks, Al!!!

I am definitely tempted to ask winemakers, "What's in your bottle?" :P

Someone's going to be p*ssed.

As I indicated in TomHill's post on Ms Esther Mobley's recent SF Gate article, the fact is that this mix-up was pointed out by a member of the forum in October of 2017 on a separate thread:


https://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vi ... l#p2362751

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Drew Goin
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What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#248 Post by Drew Goin » August 6th, 2018, 8:34 pm

Dave, thanks for the kind words!!!


I have not heard much on the last few vintages of the Bandol region. Are the 2015 wines particularly special?

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#249 Post by AD Northup » 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
Andrew Northup
CT: adnorthup

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Drew Goin
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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#250 Post by Drew Goin » 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?

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