What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#251 Post by AD Northup » August 14th, 2018, 10:41 am

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

I will have to check that out! Thanks!!

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

Doesn’t appear to be a ton of info out there around this grape
Andrew Northup
CT: adnorthup

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Drew Goin
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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#252 Post by Drew Goin » August 14th, 2018, 12:05 pm

Antonio Santofamia, area manager of Bodegas Hijos de Juan Gil in the Jumilla region of Spain, sent this collection of responses to my Monastrell/Mourvèdre questions.

Note: all answers were provided in Spanish & English.



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


AS: "En nuestro caso, estamos usando clones autóctonos de Jumilla, obtenidos de viñedos muy viejos, están muy aclimatados y funcionan perfectamente en nuestra tierra, tenemos nuestro propio vivero donde los reproducimos para las nuevas plantaciones. La diferencias con otros clones importados por viveros comerciales es abismal, normalmente funcionan definitivamente mucho peor."

AS: "In our case, we are using native clones of Jumilla, obtained from very old vineyards, they are very acclimated and they work perfectly in our land, we have our own nursery where we reproduce them for the new plantations. The differences with other clones imported by commercial nurseries is abysmal, normally they work definitely much worse."


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


AS: "Tenemos unas 750 hectáreas en propiedad en Jumilla, de ellas unas 500 hectáreas son de la variedad Monastrell, desde viñedos muy viejos de 90 años de edad a viñedos muy jóvenes plantados recientemente. La calidad de los viñedos viejos es muy superior, producen mucho menos y la concentración de la fruta es mucho mayor que las de los viñedos jóvenes, que son mucho más productivos, creemos por la experiencia, que la produccion es la única razón de la calidad si los viñedos, tanto el joven como el viejo, están situados sobre suelos de las mismas características y sometidos a una climatología similar, si conseguimos que la produccion de los viñedos jóvenes esté muy controlada, es decir seis racimos, dos por brazo, y una media que no llegue a 1 kg por cepa, obtenemos vinos de calidades realmente altas a pesar de la juventud del viñedo, el coste de esta regulación es altísimo, la ventaja de los viñedos muy viejos es que obtienen esta produccion limitada y muy equilibrada por si solos sin prácticamente intervenir en su cultivo."

AS: "We own about 750 hectares in Jumilla, of which about 500 hectares are of the Monastrell variety, from very old vineyards, 90 years of age, to very young vines planted recently. Of Course, the quality of the old vineyards is much higher, they produce much less and the concentration of the fruit is much higher than those of the young vineyards, which are much more productive.

"Based in our experience;

- If the vineyards, both the young and the old, are located on soils of the same characteristics and subjected to a similar climate, and if we get that the production of the young vineyards is very controlled, that is to say, six bunches, two per arm, and on average does not reach 1 kg per vine.

- We obtain wines of really high quality despite the youth of the vineyard. Therefore, even though that, the cost of this regulation is very high. we believe that a controlled production is the only reason for the quality.

- The advantage of the very old vineyards is that, they obtain this limited and very balanced production by themselves, without practically intervening in their cultivation."


_DSC4728.jpg
Bodegas Juan Gil Monastrell Vineyard, Jumilla

• What special factors in geology, climate, etc, do you find help make Mourvèdre a viable grape for your Jumilla vineyards?


AS: "Jumilla por su especial climatología, altitud y composición de sus suelos, es especialmente adecuada para el cultivo de la variedad Monastrell, sobre todo los clones autóctonos arraigados desde hace siglos en estas tierras. Lluvias muy escasas, 300 litros por metro cuadrado y año, suelos muy pobres en nutrientes y muy calizos, viñedos de secano, sin irrigación, hacen que la variedad Monastrell sea de las pocas resistentes dando además unos frutos de calidad realmente alta."

AS: "Jumilla for its special climate, altitude and composition of its soils, is especially suitable for the cultivation of the Monastrell variety, especially the native clones rooted for centuries in these lands. Very few rains, 300 liters per square meter per year, soils very poor in nutrients and very limy, rainfed vineyards, without irrigation, make the Monastrell variety one of the few to be resistant, giving also fruits of really high quality."


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


AS: "Es una buena pregunta, quizás un poco complicada de responder para mi, pero hablaré según mi experiencia en Jumilla, entiendo que en otras zonas sería diferente. Los vinos GSM tienen un algo que a mi me apasiona, facilidad en la cata, son vinos amables en boca con mucho recorrido y un largo y amable final, la Syrah aporta mucha fruta y notas florales de las que carecen las otras dos variedades, además de una acidez viva que aporta una gran durabilidad a la mezcla, la garnacha da una entrada de boca muy aterciopelada y se complementa perfectamente con la variedad Monastrell, dando unos toques de frutas rojas tanto en nariz como en boca, el conjunto es complejo y potente, sin duda son tres variedades en donde si se coupagean adecuadamente la suma de las partes da mucho más que cada una por separado."

AS: "It is a good question, perhaps a bit complicated to answer for me, but I will speak according to my experience in Jumilla, I understand that in other areas it would be different. GSM wines have something that I love, easy drinking, they are pleasant wines in the mouth with lasting flavors and a long and gentle finish. The Syrah brings a lot of fruit and floral notes that the other two varieties lack, additionally a live acidity that brings a great durability to the mixture. The grenache gives a very velvety mouthfeel and it perfectly complements with the Monastrell variety, giving, a touch of red fruits, on both nose and mouth. The ensemble is complex and powerful, undoubtedly there are three varieties where, if they are properly combined, the sum of the parts gives much more than each one separately."


• 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?


AS: "La variedad Monastrell solo se comporta bien en suelos pobres, a una altitud adecuada, los excesos de produccion con clones a su vez productivos producen uvas difíciles de madurar. Se trata de que el viñedo este adecuadamente ubicado, con clones adecuados y su cultivo muy regulado, no todas las variedades se pueden plantar en todos los sitios. Hay que elegir adecuadamente. La variedad monastrell es muy noble, pero si no se le trata adecuadamente puede convertirse en una variedad demasiado salvaje."

AS: "The Monastrell variety only behaves well in poor soils, at an adequate altitude. The excess production, with productive clones, produce grapes that are difficult to mature. It is about that, the vineyard is properly located, with adequate clones and its cultivation is highly regulated, not all varieties can be planted in all sites. You have to choose properly. The Monastrell variety is very noble, but if it is not treated properly, it can become too wild of a variety."


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


AS: "Como siempre en estos casos, para cualquier variedad de que se trate, lo más importante es conseguir cuidar el viñedo para obtener uva sana, con una maduración optima y de mucha calidad, es importante realizar una vinificación respetuosa con la fruta para no estropearla en el proceso, si consigues todo esto, obtienes un vino realmente grande y de una personalidad muy acentuada, vinos que por su tanino dulce y su facilidad en la cata, gusta a todo el mundo en cualquier parte del mundo, incluso a los consumidores más profanos."

AS: "As always in these cases, for any variety in question, the most important thing is to take care of the vineyard to obtain healthy grapes, with an optimal maturation and high quality. It is important to make a respectful winemaking with the fruit so as not to spoil it in the process. If you get all this, you get a really great wine and a very accentuated personality. Wines that, for their sweet tannins and their easy drinking, are liked and enjoyed by everyone in any part of the world, even the most profane consumers."


Bodegas Hijos de Juan Gil website: https://bodegasjuangil.com/en/


Juan Gil wines available for purchase in the United States: https://www.wine-searcher.com/producer- ... s-juan-gil

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#253 Post by Drew Goin » August 16th, 2018, 5:42 pm

I have been familiar with the Mounts Family Winery - by name only - for a few years, and have not had any of the wines they produce as of this point in time.

A recent search on CellarTracker revealed that the winery has released a Dry Creek AVA Mourvèdre wine under the Verdah label in the past.

After sending an email to the estate, I was fortunate in receiving a quick message back from Mr David Mounts, the winery's owner and winemaker.

Note: Due to the conversational flow of the responses to my usual Mourvèdre queries, I have omitted the standard question/answer format:



"I have 1.5 acres planted of French ENTAV Clone 450 on a devigorating rootstock 101-14. It was planted in 2012, so the vines are younger. This Clone was selected in France for its smaller berries and cluster size. I’ve worked also with ENTAV 233, which has a larger berry and cluster size. You can probably guess which one is better for wine quality.

"It matters more where on your vineyard and on what rootstock that will determine vine, cluster, and berry size. Our vines are planted on very shallow hillsides, tight vine spacing. 101-14 is a devigorating rootstock and, thereforth, I call it my 'high maintence' rootstock. Meaning, it is not very drought-tolerant like 110R or 1103P and, therefore, the leaves and vines are sensitve to heat stress and lack of water, so we irrigate.

"In retrospect, I knock myself for not planting a more vigorous roostock. But, then again, would all the 'maintenance' I lovingly put into it pay off in high quality fruit? Perhaps but, on the flip side, the vines and berries may have ended up too large for good wine quality. This devigoration causes an undersized vine to bear undersized fruit. See my point?


mounts.jpg
Mounts Family Winery vineyards - photo from SonomaMag

"Vine age can be important but an old vine in the wrong soil will still make bad wine. I tell people the right site is most important, but I actually like the first 5 years of a vine. The structure of the plant is not large enough and the plant has to struggle to set a miniscule crop, keeping the clusters and berries small, ergo, wine quality high.

"The soil is red - iron-rich - very similar to the soils of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, expecially on the benches of 'La Crau'.

"Climate is important. We have warm days in the 90’s and cool nights in the 50’s, helping to retain good acidity and get ripeness up to 26/27 brix, which gives me about a 15.5% alc. Late ripener, usually into October (not as late as Counoise!)

"I thought when I first made MV it would have this 'meat juice' character. Not the case for me. Our Mourvèdre has a intense minerality in the nose and great red-and-blue-fruit characters on the palate. The color is always dark.

"Winemaking: I do small lot ferments, native yeast, one month total skin-contact. I also have adopted a French traditional practice and do all-stem-inclusion in my ferments. The French believe strongly that stems play an important role in the structure of a wine. It is similar to how barrel salesman tell you how new, thousand-dollar barrels are important for structure in high quality wines, which is true but, in this case, it is with the grapes' natural wood tannins rather than that of an oak tree. The results make for a very long spicy finish, indicitive of a long-aged wine. I conduct this practice on my Grenache, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Counoise as well - and Zin now, too - with great success. I finally understand what 'Garrigue' means. Some say it refers to countryside, other books refer to it as live oak smells, which I got both from using the stems back in my Zin plus the back-end structure. The one step I do differently is I de-stem my fruit first then I lay out my stems for 18-20-hours on my crush pad to allow about half of the stem to dry and lignify. Then I punch them back in to the bins, usually 1/2 -to-3/4 of the stems or until I’m beat physically! This way, it allows any green notes to vaporize off, but with just enough within the stem to add that needed structure into the wine. Lets face it, hasn’t everbody had a Pinot where the winery says they used 30% whole cluster and all you can smell is green?

"MV adds great tension in a GSM wine. On one hand, it has some of that red minerality like Grenache but, also, that dark richness that Syrah displays, so it adds seamless balance. I do about a 40% GR, 25% MV, 25% SY, and 10% Counsoise for my Verah blend. MV doesn’t get overly ripe like GR and SY can, so it adds alcoholic balance as well.

"In Question 5, I don’t think MV has had less success with growers than Grenache or Syrah: it’s just not been a grape that wineries, or consumers, have demanded. A grower is going to plant what he can sell, so old-timers tend to plant the safe bet. Syrah looked like the safe bet, but when the wine market bottomed out on that, growers were still left with vines. It is hard to pull a vineyard out right away to replace a variety with something else when you have so much time and effort invested.

"I guess it depends what you consider 'successful' in regard to all 3 varieties. Grenache and MV should absolutely be grown in warmer climates, similar to France. Syrah: maybe not so much, but there is a lot of it planted in warm climates. In France, the most expressive Syrahs come from Northern Rhône, which is much colder. It is, by its ripening cycle, an earlier-maturing grape. So colder climates are better, like Sonoma Coast areas. GR and MV are, by their nature, late ripeners and, therefore, make that mature 'finish line' at the appropriate time. Which is why I believe Paso Robles and Nor Cal are better suited to them.

"I think I described most best practices for a Mourvèdre-dominant blend above but, keeping yields low, berry size small, having rich structure, and proper ripeness levels are all key components. I do tend to use more new French oak on my MV, similar to the French. It has more stucture that can use the softening and complexity.



Image


"I have been enjoying more MV in my Zin blends lately. The two share strong similarities in terms of wine flavors, although MV has much tougher skins and isn't as susceptible to Botrytis as Zinfandel. Another variety we just planted this summer is Tempranillo. I’m thrilled to see its contrasts to Zin and MV. I hope all of this helps. Let me know if something sounds confusing or you can’t follow my ramblings.


Cheers!

David Mounts
Owner/Winemaker
Mounts Family Winery
http://www.mountswinery.com
707-292-9034
'In Grenache we Trust!'"

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#254 Post by Drew Goin » August 16th, 2018, 11:24 pm

The website below includes a great overview of the latest Mourvèdre from Tercero Wines:

Tercero-2013-Mourvedre-e1508197346181.jpg
Tercero 2013 "SBC" Mourvèdre - from Briscoe Bites website

Briscoe Bites
"Tercero Wines 2013 Mourvèdre"
October 25, 2017


According to the article's author, Tercero's 2013 Mourvèdre was sourced from the following Santa Barbara County sites:

• "Larner Vineyard"
• "Thompson Vineyard"
• "Camp 4 Vineyard"
• "El Camino Real Vineyard"

The fruit was all destemmed, with the exception of that from "Thompson Vineyard" (whole-cluster pressed). The components were aged in on their lees for almost 3 years (!) before the final blend was bottled.


A fascinating practice pointed out in the Briscoe Bites piece:

"When asked about the decision of extended barrel time for this vintage of Mourvèdre, Larry says, 'In all honesty, I dig how wines like I make develop in older oak, especially since I do not rack them until just before bottling.' He explains that this method keeps the wine, in a way, 'younger' for longer in that the actual aging process is slowed down a bit. And so it is that Larry’s hearty reds have fantastic aging potential, and yet such beauty in their youth."


Tercero Wines website: http://www.tercerowines.com

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#255 Post by Drew Goin » August 17th, 2018, 11:05 pm

The Wine Economics Research Center in Australia has some fascinating data on the statistics for top varieties by nation, as well as other reports.

"Database of Regional, National and Global Winegrape Bearing Areas by Variety, 2000 and 2010":

https://www.adelaide.edu.au/wine-econ/d ... inegrapes/


Most nations' top 45 wine grape varieties are listed in the downloadable content. Mourvèdre is referred to as "Monastrell". Zinfandel is called..."Tribidrag"!

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#256 Post by Drew Goin » August 19th, 2018, 5:16 am

I have been fascinated by the Rhône Rangers events of past years, and am a little irked that it remains difficult to find reports or videos of the presentations highlighting the different topics discussed at each gathering. I was very happy to find this article on one of the previous seminars - especially since it was centered around Mourvèdre!!



Pull That Cork
"Mourvèdre: A Rising Star in the World of American Rhônes"
by Peter
April 3, 2013


"This is the second seminar we attended as part of the San Francisco Weekend Celebration of American Rhone Wines, which was sponsored by The Rhone Rangers. This seminar was intended to showcase Mourvèdre. Seven winemakers presented and talked about their wines. The seminar was moderated by Jon Bonné, Wine Editor, San Francisco Chronicle."

RR-Panel-2.jpg
Rhône Rangers Panel - Mourvèdre Seminar - photo from Pop That Cork

The line-up of American Mourvèdre-based wines from this event included the following bottles:

• 2012 Tercero Santa Barbara County Rosé of Mourvèdre

• 2010 Holly’s Hill El Dorado "Petit Patriarche"

• 2010 Folin Cellars Rogue Valley, OR, Mourvèdre

• 2010 David Girard Vineyards Sierra Foothills Mourvèdre

• 2009 Kenneth Volk Vineyards Mourvèdre "Enz Vineyard", Lime Kiln Valley

• 2010 Villa Creek Paso Robles "Damas Noir" Mourvedre

• 2010 Tablas Creek Vineyard Vin de Paille, "Sacrérouge" Dessert Wine

"...This group of Mourvèdre all had some common flavors. Many had earthy, loamy flavors along with spice and black pepper. Fruit flavors ranged from berries to dark fruit and plums. Tannins in all of these wines were perceptible but well-integrated.

"...Now I know why winemakers bother with this difficult variety. Well done winemakers!"

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#257 Post by Drew Goin » August 19th, 2018, 2:54 pm

I have been reading about the cool-climate threshold for Mourvèdre.

I hope to better understand why one might see a Syrah vineyard along the Sonoma Coast, or Grenache planted in areas where Mourvèdre couldn't attain sufficient levels of ripeness.

Sure, Mourvèdre is a later ripener and buds after most other wine grape varieties. Is this enough to exclude it from being planted in any colder area? So began my search for a deeper grasp of the limitations of Mourvèdre's cultivation.


One of the best sources of data surprised me: Washington State University's Viticulture & Enology Department. The state's wine research associations have collaborated with WSU to monitor colder parts of the state and compare them with the climatic threshold of different wine grapes.

1718Mourvedre.gif
Differential Thermal Analysis ('17-'18) of Mourvèdre collected from buds and canes (node positions 4-7) on mature vines - WSU site

"BUD10 is the temperature at which 10% of the primary buds will be killed; BUD50 and BUD90 refer to 50% and 90% bud damage, respectively. PHL10 is the temperature at which 10% of the phloem (bark) is damaged or when cane damage is starting. XYL10 is when phloem damage is complete and xylem (wood) damage is starting. This would be considered severe cane damage. Grapevines can survive more than 50% phloem damage and still be productive. When xylem becomes damaged, grapevine productivity and survival can be compromised.

"If the temperature lines in the graph (top two blue lines) cross over the critical temperature lines for buds, then damage has likely occurred...."


http://wine.wsu.edu/extension/weather/cold-hardiness/

The above info was gathered at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (5 miles north of Prosser, WA) and from nearby commercial vineyards.

The website provides a tool to help individuals gather weather site data for other locations and utilize it to perform similar geographically specific determinations of wine grape variety suitability. I think it's amazing!


What causes me to believe that seemingly incompatible locations could support Mourvèdre cultivation is that temperature is not the sole variable in the fruit-ripening equation. Yes, a vine will die if it cannot bear freezing temperatures. The practice of burying vines under the soil has been adopted in places as far away as China (and as close as Washington state) during freezing winters; mature grapes still are harvested in the autumns where this is done. Optimal vineyard placement also relies on soil type, optimal accumulation of sunlight via row orientation, etc.



I probably never would have wondered about this problem if two facts had not captured my imagination:

• In Robert Mayberry's book on the Rhône Valley, the French (and vignerons around the world) embrace the idea that Syrah and other varieties unlock their utmost potential for great wines when grown at the limits of where the grapes can ripen.

He then states that Mourvèdre is different: most wine lovers consider Bandol, well south of the geographical boundary of maturity, to be the best location for its cultivation. This "Goldilocks" approach runs contrary to the prior consideration.

Halcón Vineyards in Mendocino County's Yorkville Highlands has added to its Mourvèdre plantings, despite the fact that the cool, high-elevation, Southern-facing rows struggle to consistently deliver adequately ripe fruit annually. There must be something good coming off that mountaintop!


As I continue to read about this matter, I will share my findings. I welcome any thoughts on the topic!!! [cheers.gif]

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#258 Post by Drew Goin » August 20th, 2018, 7:37 am

For comparison to the "differential thermal analysis" of Mourvèdre conducted by Washington State University's Viticulture & Enology Department:


1718-Grenache.gif
DFA of Grenache ('17-'18) by WSU

1718Syrah.gif
DFA of Syrah ('17-'18) by WSU

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#259 Post by Drew Goin » August 20th, 2018, 7:58 am

The USDA website's "Plant Hardiness Zone Map" for the entire United States:

http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/Default.aspx

Interactive US Map:

http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZM ... veMap.aspx#


The USDA website's "Plant Hardiness Zone Map" for Northern California*:


Image


The USDA website's "Plant Hardiness Zone Map" for Southern California:


Image



* Halcón Vineyards is located in Zone 9 (9a = 20°F-25°F; 9b = 25°F-30°F) Average Annual Temperature Extreme, 1976-2005.

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#260 Post by Drew Goin » August 20th, 2018, 9:53 am

A fascinating presentation that I found while searching online for the "Cool Climate Threshold for Mourvèdre" was the study "Sustainable Grape and Wine Production in the Context of Climate Change: Bordeaux, France", was published from the CLIMWINE 2016 International Symposium book of proceedings.

A vast number of wine grape varieties were planted in a test-plot for various study purposes, including evaluation for suitability in the region should the current dominant grapes prove unsustainable in future years.

"... Later ripening varieties and clones
can be the answer to higher temperatures and drought
resistant varieties and rootstocks to increased water
deficits. Most of these adaptations, which are studied
in the framework of the INRA metaprogram
LACCAVE (Long term impacts and Adaptations to
Climate ChAnge in Viticulture and Enology, Ollat
and Touzard, 2014), most likely have a cumulative
effect. This will allow to first implement those that
have a limited impact on wine quality and style. More
profound changes, like the introduction of non-local,
later ripening grapevine varieties might become
necessary in the second half of the XXIst century.
(118)"

Click to see spoiler:
Yes, Mourvèdre was one of the grapes tested.
_20180817_014355.JPG
Study of Varieties' Variability in Precocity (variability in timing of grape ripening) among Cultivars; Mourvèdre's performance is found in the middle) - VitAdapt project at the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin in Bordeaux, FR

While this study makes no assertion that Mourvèdre is fated to be an ingredient in Château Latour or the like, it is seriously contemplated that the late 21st Century may see a number of changes in the makeup of the wines of Bordeaux.

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#261 Post by Drew Goin » August 20th, 2018, 2:14 pm

I received an email from Mr Bob Rawson of Urbano Cellars Winery in response to my Mourvèdre Appreciation questions. Urbano Cellars is based in Berkeley, CA, but its grapes are sourced from vineyards all over the place (Dry Creek Valley, Solano's Green Valley, Lodi,...). The winery has offered a "Cotes du Clements" Rhône-style blend and, when the weather cooperates, a varietally-bottled Mourvèdre. The "Bokides Ranch" is now known as the "Morales Vineyard".



• What special factors in geology, climate, etc, do you find help make Mourvèdre a viable grape for the "Bokides Ranch" vineyard(s) in particular?


BR: "We have been making Mourvedre from this vineyard since 2010. The vineyard is now the 'Morales Vineyard' as it was purchased from Bokides about 3 years ago. It is the only vineyard we have made Mourvedre from. The vineyard is located on E Harney Lane just to the east of Clements Road. I believe the vines are approximately 25 years old. This area is located in the Southeast part of Lodi in the Clements Hills AVA.

IMG_0476.JPG
"Morales Vineyard" in Clements Hills AVA, Lodi - photo from Urbano Cellars

"Clements Hills is distinguished by having different soils (loam and clay on top of granite and volcanic) with slightly less vigor, is generally warmer with cooler nights and receives more rainfall than the West side of Lodi. Compared to other vineyards we have worked with in Lodi, this particular vineyard tends have a distinct earthy quality compared to more mineral qualities seen from the other Lodi vineyards we have made wine from."[/I]


BR: "When we set out to produce a 'Rhone Style' blend, one of the goals was to have grapes from the same vineyard. This Mourvedre grows right next to the Syrah and the Grenache we use to produce our 'Rhone Style' blend which we call 'Cotes du Clements'. Only in the years 2010, 2016, and 2017 did we have enough Mourvedre to also produce a bottling of 100% Mourvedre."


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


BR: "Obviously we are not the first to blend Mourvedre, Syrah and Grenache together as they indeed compliment each other extremely well. We think the structure and color of the Mourvedre, as well as its full mid-palate, balances well with the brighter, more fresh fruitiness of the Grenache and the deeper, spicy, and richer berry flavors of the Syrah. The 'Cotes du Clements' blend has mostly been different each year, from relatively equal proportions to more Grenache-and-Mourvedre-based. It just all depends on finding that right balance that brings out the best of each grape. Our current releases: the 2014 is 59% Grenache, 34% Mourvedre, 5% Syrah, and 2% Viognier; the 2015 is 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, and 25% Syrah. The 2016 Mourvedre is not yet released."

IMG_0137.jpg
"Urbano Cellars Mourvèdre, 'Morales Vineyard' Clements Hills" - from Urbano Cellars

• 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?


BR: "We have not really had much problem getting full physiological ripeness from this vineyard, although it is always the last of the grapes we harvest - usually early-to-mid-October. This year it is probably a week or so later."

4.jpg
"Morales Vineyard" 2 - from Urbano Cellars

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


BR: "Our winemaking process is pretty straight-forward. The Mourvedre grapes are de-stemmed and cold-soaked for about 2 days before inoculating with a Rhone yeast isolate. It is fermented in open-top T-Bins. The grapes are punched by hand at least 2-3 times per day. Upon completion of fermentation, it is pressed and transferred to neutral French, American, and Hungarian barrels for about 18 months before bottling.

"If there is any additional information you would like, please let me know. Thank you.


Bob Rawson
Co-Owner/Winemaker
Urbano Cellars
http://www.urbanocellars.com
2323 B Fourth St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
bob@urbanocellars.com
"

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#262 Post by Drew Goin » August 20th, 2018, 3:21 pm

Continuing with my search for a better grasp of the ripening window, challenges, limitations, etc, of Mourvèdre:


Tablas Creek Blog
"Why Paso Robles is So Well-Suited to Late-Ripening Grapes"
by Jason Haas (?)
October 2, 2017


"...Over the last 15 years, we've averaged a last pick off the estate on October 29th, and our earliest-ever finish was October 7th in 2013. Six times in those 15 years we were still picking in November.

"...In essence, at cold temperatures, plants take in less CO² and are less efficient in turning the CO² that they do take in into the starches that fuel both plant growth and fruit ripening. Grapevine ripening proceeds most efficiently between 30°C and 35°C (86°F and 95°F). It drops dramatically below 25°C (77°F), and reaches zero at 10°C (50°F). A summary graph from a technical paper published in Plant, Cell, and the Environment shows the combined effects pretty clearly...


"...In general, the longer your grapes can stay on the vine before they get to the ripeness levels you want, the more complexity your wine has. That's why a generally accepted bit of wine wisdom says that the best examples of different grape varieties can be found at the northern limit of their ripening range.

"...Of course, at some point, you do need to get things ripe. Grapes that don't make it to good ripeness produce wines that are green and bitter: no one's idea of a pleasurable drink. But here too Paso Robles has an advantage: that we don't tend to get our first serious rain until mid-November. If we need to wait, we wait...."



Honestly, I recommend that those interested read the complete article. It is obviously another argument for the "greatness-at-the-fringe" camp, with a dash of the "Goldilocks" approach.


Once more, I have to wonder why there aren't any particular Mourvèdre-growing sites that are as exalted as Bandol IF this is true.


The Adelaida sub-appellation of Paso Robles, in my opinion, is not situated along the variety's threshold for ripeness: vintage after vintage, bottles of >13% abv Mourvèdre are produced in the region.


If I am overlooking an obvious error in my thoughts, please let me know!!! [help.gif]

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#263 Post by Drew Goin » August 21st, 2018, 10:10 am

In my search for cooler climate Mourvèdre plantings, I discovered the "Minick Vineyard", a site in the Yakima Valley of Washington state. I sent a message to one winery who bottles a single-vineyard Mourvèdre from this location, Descendent Cellars. Mr Mike Rupp, winemaker for the producer, responded almost immediately!


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


MR: "I honestly haven’t inquired with my vineyards as to which clones that are planted. Mourvèdre isn’t a widely planted grape here so most vineyards only plant one clone."


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


MR: "Most of the Mourvèdre vines are in the 10 yr old range. If Mourvèdre is anything like other varietals, I’d expect yields to drop and concentration to go up as the vines age."


• What special factors in geology, climate, etc, do you find help make Mourvèdre a viable grape for your vineyards? How does the fruit from the colder "Minick Vineyard" affect the final flavors of your vineyard-designate Mourvèdre?


MR: "In terms of being a viable grape, it’s mostly climate driven. Being a late ripening grape, Mourvèdre needs plenty of heat to become fully ripe. As of last year, I sourced Mourvèdre from 'Heart of the Hill Vineyard' on Red Mountain, 'Minick Vineyard' in the Yakima Valley, and 'Alder Ridge Vineyard' from the Horse Heaven Hills. Red Mtn and HHH are both warm sites and the resulting wines tend to be blue fruit driven along with spice notes. The Yakima Valley is cooler than the other two and the wine ends up being more of a red fruit & wet gravel profile."


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


MR: "For me, it tends to be the yin / yang relationship between the Grenache and the other two. Grenache is an oxidative grape and Syrah & Mourvèdre are reductive grapes. Grenache complements the Mourvèdre by helping to open up the tightly wound Mourvèdre. One of the shortcomings of Mourvèdre is that it has a quick finish. It’s kind of counter intuitive, but the much lighter Grenache helps to add finish on the back end of Mourvèdre."


• 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?


MR: "In Washington State, it’s purely climate driven. In our warmer regions like Red Mountain and the Horse Heaven Hills, we have no problem getting Mourvèdre ripe. Our cooler regions like some parts of the Yakima Valley can struggle to get Mourvèdre ripe in cool vintages. 2017 was a cooler vintage and we ended up harvesting our 'Minick Vineyard' Mourvèdre in early November and it was just barely ripe."


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


MR: "I firmly believe that good wine is made in the vineyard. If the fruit is picked at the right level of ripeness, it’s the winemakers job to not screw it up. I use partial whole cluster fermentation with all of my Rhône varietals. I tend to keep it to around 10% with Mourvèdre whereas I’ll go up to 75% on Grenache and Syrah.


Thanks,

Mike Rupp
Winemaker
Descendant Cellars
www.descendantcellars.com
www.facebook.com/descendantcellars
"

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#264 Post by jnbrown » August 21st, 2018, 8:16 pm

I loved the Koehler 2014 Mouvedre, just had the 2015 and I think it is even better. Somewhat lighter as the 2014 was a brute.
Classic Mourvedre profile with great focus and purity, good acid balance.
Joel

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#265 Post by Drew Goin » August 24th, 2018, 5:36 pm

jnbrown wrote:
August 21st, 2018, 8:16 pm
I loved the Koehler 2014 Mouvedre, just had the 2015 and I think it is even better. Somewhat lighter as the 2014 was a brute.
Classic Mourvedre profile with great focus and purity, good acid balance.

Thanks for the tasting note, JNBrown!!! [cheers.gif]


I have heard only great things about Koehler's Mourvèdre! I will have to double-check and see if I ever emailed my "Mourvèdre Appreciation" interview questions to the winery...

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#266 Post by Drew Goin » August 24th, 2018, 6:24 pm

While STiRM Winery specializes in Rieslings, the producer also bottles Rose, red blends, white blends, nouveau-style wines, and even an old-vine Mourvèdre!


GrapeLive

"2016 Los Chuchaquis by Stirm Wine Co., Old Vine Mataro, San Benito County"
March 23, 2018


"...The 2016 Chuchaqui Old Vine Mataro is vibrant, spicy and has a nice array of spice, mineral and earthy tones that you’d expect from this grape with layers of vivid black raspberry, plum and candied cherry fruit that come across at first as crisply focused, but gains density and firm structure with air which balances the up front expressiveness of this red, and even though it doesn’t quite get the full mouth feel or richness of a Bandol or some of the better and more complex Mourvedre offerings in the state, like Sandlands, Alban, Tablas Creek, Ian Brand, who’s Enz Vineyard version is one of my personal favorites as is Randall Grahm’s 'Old Telegram' and/or Ridge’s 'Lytton Springs' single-varietal bottling, to name a few I’ve loved recently as I really love this grape, while (This Chuchaqui) still being a fun and well made wine, and it really grew on me when it’s full presence come through in the glass. It’s dark garnet/purple color is exciting and when enjoyed with food it is allowed to deliver it’s best qualities which include hints of lavender, dusty stones, a touch of primary red peach and blood orange is the only hint at it’s naturalness as well as minty herb, anise, flinty/pepper and lingering cinnamon, cedar, dried flowers and tangy currant/mulberry. This wine shows lots of promise, it has a lot of admirable character...."

2016StirmMataro.jpg
STiRM/Los Chuchaquis "Old Vine" Mataro "Enz Vineyard" - photo from GrapeLive

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#267 Post by Drew Goin » August 24th, 2018, 8:59 pm

Levi Dalton's excellent podcast "I'll Drink to That" is now available for listening on YouTube. In this episode (#396, December 14, 2016), he sits down with Mr Hardy Wallace of Dirty & Rowdy Family Wines



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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#268 Post by Drew Goin » August 24th, 2018, 9:19 pm

The "Old Garden" Mourvèdre from Hewitson in the Barossa Valley of Australia is claimed to be the oldest extant vineyard of this grape variety, planted in 1853, with 7 generations of ownership by a single family.

Thinking-Drinking Blog
"Hewitson 'Old Garden Mourvedre' (Barossa, Australia)"
Erin Scala
March 12, 2013


The author provides tasting notes on a vertical flight - from 1998 through 2012 - in this concise, poetic entry.

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#269 Post by Drew Goin » August 26th, 2018, 2:34 pm

I love the concept of wine experts from different parts of the world gathering together and enjoying the regional expressions of grape varieties.

At the 9th International Symposium of Masters of Wine, hosted in Logroño, Spain, hundreds of such individuals under the same roof compared Spanish and Australian interpretations of Tempranillo, Mencía, Monastrell/Mataro, Garnacha/Grenache, Graciano, and Carignan/Cariñena.



"Microbes, Flamenco and an Open-Minded Look at Spanish Wines""
by Amaya Cervera
June 26th, 2018


"The greatest concentration of Masters of Wine ever seen in Spain went somewhat unnoticed for the national press. After all, the IMW symposium, which was attended by some 450 wine professionals, is an internal event held every four years in a different country. Although we met several producers and members of the Spanish wine trade, the bulk of the attendants were MWs, WSET trainers and students and MW candidates.

"...Logroño’s nomination was led by the Foundation for the Culture of Wine and supported by the national and regional governments, ICEX] and Rioja’s Regulatory Council. Spanish wine expert Sarah Jane Evans, who was at the helm of the Institute between 2014 and 2016 and co-organized the symposium, played an important role on the choice of Spain as host country. 'Spain is the most exciting country in Europe for wine, with exceptional wines and winemakers,' tweeted Evans, who has just published her book The Wines from Northern Spain.


321_0_MW_Jane_Masters.jpg
2018 IMW Symposium in Logroño - MC, Sarah Jane Evans, MW

"...Mediterranean Grape Varieties All Over the World

"I really enjoyed trying Spanish grape varieties produced in other countries, notably Australia. At the tasting of wines made by MWs...Andrew Caillard MW, author of a new book about Marqués de Riscal, brought a Mataró (Monastrell) from Barossa Valley featuring the classical ripeness of this sun-drenched region..."



Foods & Wines from Spain (ICEX)
"Diary of a Winelover: Spain at the 9th International Symposium of Masters of Wine"
by Almudena Martín Rueda
June 28, 2018


"...We also had the opportunity to taste the Australian wines made with our native varieties of Monastrell – although there they call it Mataró– in Barossa Valley and the Mencía and Tempranillo wines in Adelaide Hills."

img2018792309.png
"The 9th International Symposium of Masters of Wine, held at the Rioja Forum, Logroño, Spain" - photo from ICEX
img2018792309.png (136.4 KiB) Viewed 1105 times


*Off-topic Details also Discussed at this Awesome Event*
Click to see spoiler:
Old and rare bottles from wineries' cellars were poured for the 450 attendees, and specialists presented intriguing studies and scientific findings.

• Dr Laura Catena discussed soil microbiology, explaining that additional work should be done to discover how "bacteria and microorganisms act on vines, what they transmit to them and ultimately to wine. Research conducted at Catena Institute of Wine has proved, for instance, that neighbouring vineyards can have completely different microbiota."

• South Africa's old vineyard preservation/inventory specialist Rosa Kruger presented information on best practices in soil management. In addition to securing special labeling for her nation's ancient grapevines, Kruger stated that, “Old vines have more roots and give sweeter, berries that can attract birds so that they can reproduce themselves despite their old age.”

• Marco Simonit, an Italian vine-pruning expert, discussed the risks to the lifespans of grapevines improper pruning poses. By showing very detailed, up-close photo imagery, Simonit revealed the ways that incorrect pruning approaches create access for deadly bacteria and diseases.

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#270 Post by Drew Goin » August 26th, 2018, 3:11 pm

I always enjoy reading Isaac James Baker's wine blog, especially when it reminds me that I have a bottle of 2012 Two Shepherds RRV Mourvèdre somewhere!



Reading, Writing & Wine
"Delicious, Meaty Mourvedre from California"
by Isaac James Baker
August 21, 2018

dnr.jpg
Dirty & Rowdy Mourvèdre wines - from IJB's Reading, Writing, & Wine Blog
dnr.jpg (33.03 KiB) Viewed 1102 times

"I don't think I pay enough attention to the Mourvèdre grape. I do love me some reds and pink wines from Bandol, the Mourvedre grape's ancestral stomping grounds. But there's so much more out there to explore. California is home to some excellent Mourvedre, when planted in the right spots and crafted by the right winemakers...."


Mourvèdre-based Wines Tasted in this article:

• 2014 Two Shepherds Mourvedre - California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado

twosheps.jpg
Two Shepherds '14 Mourvèdre Sierra Foothills - from IJB's Reading, Writing, & Wine Blog
twosheps.jpg (11.97 KiB) Viewed 1102 times

• 2016 Dirty and Rowdy Mourvedre "Old Vine" "Enz Vineyard" - California, Central Coast, Lime Kiln Valley

• 2016 Dirty and Rowdy Mourvedre "Shake Ridge Ranch" - California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County

• 2016 Dirty and Rowdy "MSG" Chalone - California, Central Coast, Chalone

• 2014 La Bastide Blanche Bandol - France, Provence, Bandol



Reading, Writing, & Wine Blog website:
http://isaacjamesbaker.blogspot.com/

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#271 Post by Drew Goin » August 28th, 2018, 2:29 pm

I wish someone would have written as thorough an exploration of the history, viticultural practices, growing areas (soil, sunlight, elevation, etc), international winemaking interpretations/stylistic differences, genetics, Clone evaluations - all with great graphs and such - about Mourvèdre, and not GRENACHE:

"Grenache: Best Practices and Potential for South Africa"
Dissertation by Martin Gomez Fernandez (July, 2014)


Google Link to Download Insanely Detailed Work on GRENACHE

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#272 Post by Drew Goin » August 28th, 2018, 2:55 pm

A few years ago, FPS hosted a series of presentations from various wine experts on different topics. This year, they re-discovered the videos and uploaded them to the website for our viewing pleasure! Please keep in mind that these hour+ speeches (w/PowerPoint presentations) are a little dated. The speakers are all experts in their fields, and I strongly recommend that you check them out!!!. [cheers.gif]

Foundation Plant Services: Variety Focus, "Rhône Varieties":

http://fps.ucdavis.edu/varietyfocusrhone.cfm



• "RHÔNE VARIETALS AROUND THE WORLD: CHALLENGES IN THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW VARIETIES":

"Remington Norman, author of 'Rhone Renaissance: The Finest Rhone and Rhone Style Wines from France and the New World’ describes the burgeoning interest in Rhône varietals and aspects surrounding their likely worldwide spread; also discussion of general problems involved in introducing new varieties, achieving wine quality, site specificity, and dealing with market perceptions and stylistic considerations."


• "RHÔNE VARIETALS AND CLONES: COMING SOON TO A LOCATION NEAR YOU":

"Dr. Deborah Golino, director of Foundation Plant Services, UC Davis, talks about the availability of Rhône varieties in the United States and a new project—a joint venture between Tablas Creek and FPS to import additional Rhone varieties."


• "THE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE VARIETIES AT CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL":

"François Perrin has a unique background in this area, as a Perrin family member and a partner in the Tablas Creek project in California. The Perrin family is in its fifth generation of ownership at Château de Beaucastel, widely recognized as one of Châteauneuf-du-Pape's finest domaines. He talks about the performance of the 13 Châteauneuf-du-Pape varieties at Château de Beaucastel."


• "OBSERVATIONS FROM TRIALS OF SELECTED RHÔNE WINEGRAPE CULTIVARS AND CLONES IN CALIFORNIA":

"Glenn McGourty, UC grape farm advisor for Lake and Mendicino counties, presents data and shares observations from his trials with Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsaut, Marsanne and Viognier, and a Syrah clonal trial. He speaks about his experiences working with these cultivars in terms of their strengths and quirks, presenting vine performance data for 3 years at the Red Hills Trial in Lake County, and 5 years from UC Hopland Research and Extension Center."


• "SYRAH (SHIRAZ) DOWN UNDER—THE SAVII VINE SELECTION PROGRAM":

"Wayne Farquhar, Executive Officer, South Australian Vine Improvement Incorporated (SAVII) discusses the Australian Shiraz (Syrah) vine selection program and the performance of some Australian Shiraz clones now available in California. Syrah is one of the most important of the Rhône varieties and one which is gaining tremendous popularity in the international market. At SAVII, he has been responsible for the development of a rapid multiplication grape vine nursery and the establishment of a clean stock program for the Australian Wine Industry, as well as project leader of the SAVII grapevine variety selection and improvement program."


A ROSÉ BY ANY OTHER NAME":

"John Buechsenstein, winemaker, wine educator, and Rhône Ranger, describes vinification schemes for the production of rosé with Rhône varieties. He is well known for his courses on sensory evaluation and descriptive analysis of wine."


• "A TALK AND TASTING OF WINES FEATURING RHÔNE VARIETIES":

"Robert Haas, General Partner, Tablas Creek Vineyard, is an experienced importer, vintner, and member and past president of the Académie Internationale du Vin. He discusses Rhône varieties available in California, their appropriateness for our climate and soils, and the reasons for blending several varieties into a single wine along with the marketing questions this practice poses."



More from this series of video presentations:

http://fps.ucdavis.edu/varietyfocus.cfm

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#273 Post by Drew Goin » September 5th, 2018, 6:24 am

I am most envious of the 28-bottle tasting line-up involved in this older bog entry, especially as many are Australian bottlings that are not available in the US!


Brad Hickey's Wine Odyssey blog
"2010 Global Mataro Conference avec Porchetta"
by Brad Hickey
May 5, 2010


"...The results were varied, and it was difficult to sense any singular theme. Lighter wines were borne from lighter vintages in Blewitt Springs, while burly wines were made at Rudderless and RBJ in hotter years tipping the 16% alc levels. Two of the Bandols, the French region near Marseilles, the Tardieu Laurent and Gros' Nore were bretty, but I thought the third, the old guard of mourvedre, the 2004 Domaine Tempier Bandol, was the wine of the day: rock solid tannins, pure, a bit coarse, and gamey in a good way. My favorite Aussie wines were the Turkey Flat and 'Old Garden' from Hewitson, apparently the Earth's oldest mataro vineyard planted in the 1850's, and Torbreck's $200AU 'Pict'.

"Hewitson was bold, brash and wild while the pricey 2004 Torbreck tasted surprisingly Old World. I do feel mataro in Oz should be a full bodied red wine, since it can take the heat like the nose cone of a rocket re-entering the atmosphere and it needs heat to ripen. It is a late ripener due to the time needed to mature the grape's dense seed pack and thick skin. I later learned Torbreck tips their hat to Bandol's Tempier, much like Thorpe Wines tips its hat to 'Grange'...The 2000 Beaucastel, predominately mourvedre, was soaring, and, unfortunately, it wasn't in a magnum, because there wasn't much to go around. I felt it was in a class by itself, even though the 30% mourvedre was cloned from Tempier.

"...The jury is still out, however, when it comes to blending this variety versus its ability/nobility to fly Han Solo as the reckless mercenary or as George Lucas puts it, as 'a loner who realizes the importance of being part of a group and helping for the common good.' I tend to think, due to its abrasive multiple personalities, that it plays better in blends, or as a talented bit player (think John Cazale as Fredo in 'The Godfather') rather than the leading man...."


OUCH!!! [pwn.gif]

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#274 Post by Drew Goin » September 5th, 2018, 6:50 am

In 2015, the Vinos Alicante DOP organization hosted a multinational "Monastrell Conference". Dave Brookes, Aussie wine writer, presented a Power Point-supported speech to the crowd, and various speeches were given. I know of no previous or following "Monastrell Conference" being held since then.


Vinos Alicante DOP
"Monastrell Alicante, Mediterranean Spain"

http://www.vinosalicantedop.org/monastr ... n/?lang=en


Meininger's Wine Business International
"A closer look at Monastrell"
by Dr Stephen Quinn
November 30, 2015
https://www.meininger.de/en/wine-busine ... monastrell


David Brookes' Presentation
"Mataro in Australia"
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... 0ii0X8gxwt


By the way, Australia, according to Brookes, has upwards of 95 synonyms for the grape variety; the most common (aside from "Mataro") are "Balzac" and "Esparte".

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#275 Post by Drew Goin » September 5th, 2018, 8:33 am

Ms Kristie Tacey of Tessier Winery posted the following on the Facebook "Mourvèdre Appreciation Social Club" page:


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


"I got my Mourvèdre from El Dorado AVA. It is a high elevation site, with volcanic, clay and granite soils."


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


"Personally, I do not do blends. My approach is let folks experience the varietal from the vineyard. I do a 'Fenaughty Vineyard' El Dorado Grenache and 'Goldbud Vineyard' El Dorado Mourvèdre.

"However, I can see why they are blended too. Grenache is fun, fruity with a lack of color and texture, where Syrah and Mourvèdre both have color, structure and body."



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


"That is why the El Dorado AVA is such a great spot for Rhone varietals. It is not an issue with ripening, sometimes we experience problems with fruit set and have some shatter, but that is all I have encountered so far."


• What special considerations do you think are necessary to produce a Mourvedre-dominant wine?


"My first attempt was in 2016, I did 20% whole cluster, picked at 23 brix, foot stomped and aged in neutral French oak. I'm happy with the way it turned out. I did the 2017 vintage with little changes--set to be released in September.

"A new addition to the Tessier garden of wines! Pick a bouquet of mulberry, sweet tart candies, and grilled meat. Meanwhile, the palate harvests plum, brown sugar, and baking spices. Still but a seed, this Mourvedre will evolve over the years, growing into something even more exquisite. 13.0% alc., 95 cases produced."



Tessier Winery website: https://www.tessierwinery.com

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#276 Post by Hank Victor » September 8th, 2018, 9:28 am

Anyone with experience with Swick Wines, Shill-ah-blay?

70% Mourvedre , 30% Counoise
P!
ITB

"Wine is, on the face of it, an utterly superfluous luxury. The majority of the world's population survive without it. It has negligible nutritional value, provides none of the basic needs of life, and those of us who drink it do so for essentially selfish reasons. So, cheers!"

H A N K V I C T O R B R 1 M 0

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#277 Post by Drew Goin » September 8th, 2018, 5:44 pm

Hank Victor wrote:
September 8th, 2018, 9:28 am
Anyone with experience with Swick Wines, Shill-ah-blay?

70% Mourvedre , 30% Counoise

I have not tasted anything from Swick, but I am sending them an email interview now. Almost no info on the "Shill-ah-blay" (Chillablé Hills) Red Wine was found on my quick search online.


From the Juice Imports portfolio:

"Swick Wines:

JOE+SWICK+WINES+MOURVEDRE.jpeg
Swick Wines 2016 Mourvèdre - from Juice Imports website

"2016 MOURVÈDRE

"'Conley Vineyard' is located at 1600 feet above sea level in North Western Yakima. Plenty of wind and cool nighttime temperatures help preserve acidity. The vines are head-trained. Whole clusters were gently crushed by foot. After 30 days on the skins the wine is gently pressed off into neutral barriques for nine months. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered with only a pinch of sulphur for transportation. 13.2% ABV
(160 Cases Produced)"



From Jenny & François Selections portfolio:


"Joe Swick
"Columbia Valley Mourvèdre


• Total Production: 1800 bottles
• Appellation: Columbia Valley
• Elevation: 1650 feet
• Age of Vines: 20 years
• Soil: Sandy/Loam
• Yield: 2 tons per acre

"Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested and whole bunches ferment semi-carbonically in 500 liter barrels with indigenous yeast and pigeage one to two times a day. The skins macerate for about 30 days before pressing. The wine goes into 500-liter 5-year-old barrels for about 9 months of elevage. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration and has a small addition of sulfur."

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#278 Post by Drew Goin » September 10th, 2018, 10:45 am

I am surprised that I never got around to posting this article...


Eater website
"Meet Mourvèdre: A Big, Bold Grape That’s Not Afraid of a Little Heat: Try Mourvèdre from these independent California winemakers"
by Rachel Signer
November 23, 2015


"...During the early 20th century, Domaine Tempier owner Lucien Peyraud worked to revitalize Mourvèdre, a thick-skinned, late-ripening red grape originally from Spain (where it’s called Monastrell), which suffered greatly from a common pest called phylloxera that demolished much of French grapevines in the mid-19th century. And it's thanks to Peyraud’s efforts a century later, to elevate the grape beyond a simple vin de table into elegant, age-worthy wines, that the appellation of Bandol was established.

"Through historical research, Peyraud learned that, pre-phylloxera, Bandol had mostly grown Mourvèdre. Peyraud spearheaded the grape's replanting around the area so that, over time, the appellation laws increased the percent of Mourvèdre required of Bandol wine. In this way, Domaine Tempier quite literally put Bandol on the map, and made it Mourvèdre’s home base.


mt4kX_Co-StrAGrpNodcfMsPCEhLQtvC8V4_GlHxhq8.0.0.jpeg
"Mourvèdre Bottles to Try" - photo by Alex Ulreich, Eater.com

"...'Mourvèdre loves heat, loves drought,' says Hardy Wallace, one-fourth of the Dirty & Rowdy winemaking team out of Santa Rosa. 'It is not a cool-climate grape'. Which means that, in California, where this year’s grape harvests have suffered greatly due to the serious drought, Mourvèdre has persevered.

"...In an urban winery in Berkeley, the husband-and-wife team Jared and Tracey Brandt at Donkey & Goat is making Mourvèdre in the style of the Rhône Valley, which they learned during a year working for the renowned natural winemaker Eric Texier.

"...He and Tracey approach the grape in a more gentle way, only de-stemming part of the harvest, and using just their feet to crush—which results in a more natural decomposition of the grape, occurring during the fermentation process.

"...La Clarine Farm, whose winery opened in 2008 in the El Dorado appellation, also produces a varietal Mourvèdre. Winemaker Hank Beckmeyer started his own winery after years of working for larger, more conventional Northern California producers.

"...For all of these producers, despite some minor stylistic differences, the goal is to let the Mourvèdre grape shine through as much as possible, and reflect the terroir."



Wines Recommend (w/extended Tasting Notes in the Article):

Dirty & Rowdy "Evangelho Vineyard" Old Vines Mourvèdre, 2014
La Clarine Farm Mourvèdre "Cedarville" 2014
Donkey & Goat "The Prospector" 2013
Terrebrune Bandol 2011
Domaine Tempier Bandol 2013

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#279 Post by Drew Goin » September 23rd, 2018, 12:18 pm

Mr Hardy Wallace of Dirty & Rowdy Family Wines posted these photos from the "Shake Ridge Vineyard" on Facebook...

FB_IMG_1537706937648.jpg
"Shake Ridge" Mourvèdre - from Hardy Wallace FB post
FB_IMG_1537706943748.jpg
"Shake Ridge Vineyard" - from Hardy Wallace FB post

Also, he uploaded this 9/13/18 video of taking pre-harvest fruit samples of "Shake Ridge" and the "Skinner Vineyard":


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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#280 Post by Drew Goin » September 24th, 2018, 1:48 pm

Indian Leap Wine is a new one for me! This Sonoma Valley-based producer grows Cabernet Sauvignon and Rhône grapes (Mourvèdre and Grenache). I am very grateful to Ms Michelle Leshner for her thoughtful answers to my questions:


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


ML: "All cuttings of Mourvèdre have their own potential pros and cons depending on the climate and the soil's carrying capacity. There are many clones out there that are used commonly, and the majority of them are vigorous and fruitful. Usually - nowadays - we prefer to use clones from the ENTAV family for our growing area with the cuttings coming from a similar climate and with moderate vigor: 247, 369, 450,1069, 1069.1. The original old plantings of the area most likely were propagated or grafted from wood that came from 'Whitton Ranch' or 'Old Patch'. So there is not an exact clone for that ranch.

"The important part with Mourvèdre is to balance the vine with the soil, and climate. The larger berry, larger cluster clones of Mourvèdre tend to need more heat and soil fertility to properly mature the fruit. The small cluster and smaller berry clones are better suited for cooler areas.

"The weakness of Mourvèdre is that it needs more care and management to achieve phenolic development in the grapes. With the grape variety being a late season ripener, you can be forced to harvest too early or, if too cool of a year, it can have a more animal-istic note to the wine. Instead of the elegant fruit-forward wine my family and I personally prefer. All clones have to be properly balanced with its surroundings and production to deliver an ultra-premium grape. Our rootstock is 110R."


IMG_1218.JPG
Indian Leap Estate Mourvèdre - from Michelle @ Indian Leap Winery

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


ML: "Vines are 14-years-old. No experience with younger or older."


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


ML: "We have a lot of sun."


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


ML: "Actually I really don’t like Syrah, so we don’t use it. We make a blend ('Synergy') using just Grenache and Mourvedre, and we used to just a little Cinsault (less than 5%) , until this year where we added 26% Cinsault. I like the combination: the Grenache softens the Mourvedre a little. Mostly, we end up with a blend of approx. 65% MV and 35% Gr. However, some years we have also done a Grenache-leading blend, with 80% Gr and 20% Mourvedre."


• 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?


ML: "I think it’s down to the amount of sunshine. I have the Mourvedre planted almost on the top of a ridge, about 450 ft above sea-level, and on the East-side. Also the location is well drained."

unnamed.jpg
Indian Leap Estate Mourvèdre #2 - from Michelle @ Indian Leap Winery

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


ML: "I think Mourvedre alone can be a bit one-dimensional; at least ours is. Adding some Grenache helps add some complexity. We use a very standard process for making our wine, but we don’t use any oak. We do everything in SS tanks. I used to age in French Oak, but I didn’t think it really helped.


"Best,
Michelle
Indian Leap Winery

https://www.indianleapwinery.com

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#281 Post by Drew Goin » September 25th, 2018, 11:47 pm

As I continue to search for specific vineyards growing Mourvèdre in America and beyond, my fascination with the rapid changes and overall growth of Mourvèdre's presence in the Pacific Northwest increases.

Here is one of the older articles citing some highly-respected wines from Washington:
Drew Goin wrote:
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...

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"

In the post following the above article extract, I shared the "Mourvèdre Q&A" email responses from the folks at Syncline in Washington.


...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."


_________________________________________________________________________________


I just discovered a new (to me) vineyard that includes several Rhône natives in its rows, the "Spice Cabinet Vineyard" of Horse Heaven Hills.

"Spice Cabinet Vineyard" grows numerous varieties, including Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Counoise, & Carignan:

Spice-Cabinet.jpg
"Spicerack Vineyard" - Great Northwest
Spice-Cabinet.jpg (27.63 KiB) Viewed 888 times

Great Northwest Wine
"In Horse Heaven Hills, Mercer’s Spice Cabinet Leads the Way"
Andy Perdue
January 22, 2013


"...In 1972, the longtime agricultural family planted the first grapes in the Horse Heaven Hills at 'Mercer Ranch Vineyards', which later became 'Champoux Vineyards', now more than 170 acres in size.

"Don Mercer even launched a winery at the site...

"...In 2005, Mercer began planting in a bowl-shaped area just above the Columbia River in the southern Horse Heaven Hills. He called it 'Spice Cabinet'.

“...'It’s a pretty unique spot,' he said. 'Steep slopes, really warm area because most of it is south-facing and right on the river’s edge. We call it "Spice Cabinet" because we have a lot of different varieties that we’re playing with.'

"It is 18 acres in size with well-draining sandy soil and was planted with Grenache, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese, Mourvedre, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Mercer has now planted more Grenache, as well as Counoise, Cinsault, Carignan and a different clone of Syrah, all of which will be in production for the 2013 harvest."



Mercer Farms website: "Vineyards: 'Spice Rack Vineyard'"

cropped-SCV-from-Ranch-House-view-2014_blue_bog-610x193.jpg
"Spicerack Vineyard" - from Mercer Farms website
cropped-SCV-from-Ranch-House-view-2014_blue_bog-610x193.jpg (10.43 KiB) Viewed 888 times

"'Spice Cabinet Vineyard', a unique 18-acre site, sits adjacent to the Columbia River on the Mercer family farm. A deep sandy soil that has blown over the rock bluffs above & a steep south east aspect create site characteristics that are similar to areas in the Rhone.

• LOCATION: Alderdale Region (35 miles SW of Prosser, WA)

• APPELLATION: Horse Heaven Hills

• YEAR PLANTED: 2009-2010

• SIZE: 18 acres, 5 blocks

• ELEVATION: 450-500 ft.

• VARIETALS: Malbec 32%, Cabernet Sauvignon 29%, Grenache 10%, Petit Verdot 7%, Sangiovese 6%, Syrah 6%, Petit Syrah 5%, Merlot 4%, Mourvedre 2%

• SOIL SERIES: Quincy; generally associated with excessively drained, coarse textured soils on dune-like terraces. The parent material was windblown sand derived from granite, basalt and quartzite.

• MICRO-CLIMATE: Warm – Long Term Average GDD 3054. Semi-Arid – Annual rainfall averages 6-9 inches, primarily in the winter months

• AVERAGE YIELD: 4-5 tons per acre

• ASPECT: Row orientation adjusts according to slop; west to east and north to south

• UNIQUE ASPECTS: Proximity to the Columbia River ensures constant movement of airflow which provides the advantage of extra frost free days and lower mildew pressure"



It appears that the ↑↑above↑↑ roster of grape varieties grown at this site is incomplete, as the Great Northwest article and a recent email from Cairdeas Winery list additional Rhône grapes.


Cairdeas Winery is a fascinating operation, IMHO. The small-scale winery offers many uncommon reds and whites, including several composed of Rhône grapes (Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, Counoise, Carignan, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Roussane, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, etc.

http://cairdeaswinery.com

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#282 Post by Drew Goin » October 13th, 2018, 4:36 pm

The latest Mourvèdre additions to the Bokisch vineyards - in the Sloughhouse sub-appellation of Lodi - are the focus of the most recent LodiWine Blog article. The former site of the Bokisch Mourvèdre/Monastrell plantings was at the "Belle Colline Vineyard" in the Celements Hills sub-AVA; now, the winery and grower is testing this grape in the NE corner of Lodi...


Lodi Wine Commission blog
"Bokisch Vineyards Releases Groundbreaking Monastrell (a.k.a. Mourvèdre)"
by Randy Caparoso
October 11, 2018


"...When Markus and Liz established their brand in the late 1990s with the specific mission of becoming California’s leading grower and producer of Spanish varietals (which they have accomplished!), Monastrell was part of their portfolio. But early vintages of Bokisch Monastrell were sourced from a vineyard called Belle Colline, located in Lodi’s Clements Hills AVA and pulled out after the 2014 vintage. Belle Colline produced beautifully complex Monastrells with perfumes of fresh berries and kitchen herb spices; but, typical of many Lodi reds, the Belle Collines were always markedly soft, easy textured wines, with lower degrees of color and phenolic substance (particularly tannin).

"After crafting 2016 and 2017 Monastrells from Sheldon Hills Vineyard, Bokisch winemaker Elyse Egan Perry tells us: 'The Sheldon Hills Vineyard Monastrell is a totally different animal from the Belle Colline Monastrells. It is bigger, darker, more tannic – more of what I would consider a classic style of Mourvèdre; similar to what you find in Bandol or some of the Monastrells in Spain.'


Sloughhousesoil-SheldonHillsVineyard.jpg
"Close-up of rocky/cobbled volcanic soil (at 2-3-ft. depth) in Sheldon Hills Vineyard" - from Lodi Wine Commission blog
Sloughhousesoil-SheldonHillsVineyard.jpg (19.19 KiB) Viewed 837 times

"...Says Markus Bokisch himself: 'The reason we planted Monastrell at Sheldon Hills is because of two factors that are particular to this variety – its natural vigor and its late ripening (as of October 11, for instance, Bokisch’s 2018 Sheldon HIlls Monastrell grapes are still hanging on the vine). Sheldon Hills Vineyards is comprised of some very old, volcanic, mud flows (predominantly Redding Series soil). These orange-red soils have little nutrient value, and tend to mute the vegetative growth inherent to Monastrell.

"'Also, Sheldon Hills is located at the north-east corner of our Lodi AVA, within the Sloughhouse sub-AVA. Its remote location, furthest from the Delta breezes which define our region climatically, means that this site has enough heat to ripen this slow-maturing variety.' Yet at the same time, Sloughhouse vineyards experience slightly cooler night-time temperatures than most of the rest of Lodi.

"...'I first planted Monastrell because of a book I read many years ago, Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch, which exposed me to Domaine Tempier and their famous wine from Bandol. I immediately bought a bottle and marveled at what the Mourvèdre grape could do. I promised myself that, one day, it would be in my vineyard, and that I would make wine from it.


SheldonHillsMonastrell-vines.jpg
"Sheldon Hills Vineyard Monastrell on a foggy October morning in Lodi's Sloughhouse AVA" - from Lodi Wine Commission blog
SheldonHillsMonastrell-vines.jpg (20.09 KiB) Viewed 837 times

“'Today, my Monastrell is planted in a gently east-facing slope, corralled in between Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot blocks. It’s taken me four years to build up enough budwood to plant out all 10 acres. It’ll take another two years before the entire block ripens evenly. At the moment, I have five buyers – from Napa, Sonoma and Lodi, including Bokisch Vineyards – that source from this vineyard. The rest are on a waiting list.'..."


Bokisch website:
http://www.bokischvineyards.com

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#283 Post by Drew Goin » October 22nd, 2018, 2:18 pm

Yes, this is an old article. However, I have a great respect for the writer and I enjoyed reading his tasting impressions of the Mourvèdre-based wines.



Wine Anorak
"Spotlight on Mourvèdre: A Grape Variety on the Rise"
by Jamie Goode
"Wines tasted at La Vigneronne, shown by Liz Berry MW, 20 September 2001"


"...What are the flavour characteristics of Mourvèdre? Look for leathery, herby, spicy notes on the nose. In the new world there is often some sweetness, too. On the palate think savoury. Part of the reason that this has been so successful as a blending grape is that it provides a spicy, savoury structure that complements the richness of Grenache and Syrah grown in warm climates. It’s not an excessively fruity grape, and in some cases can contribute slightly gamey, almost animal-like flavours, especially in younger wines.

"...My three favourites were all from Provence, and two of these are from Bandol. The 1998 Lafran-Veyrolles Bandol 'Cuvée Longue Garde' is delicious now and will no doubt improve. Already with some bottle age, the 1994 Tempier 'Cabassaou' is beginning to show some lovely herby/spicy complexity, and will just keep getting better. The third wine is the wonderfully intense Domaine la Courtade, from a small island just off the Provençale coast; quite pricey at around £17, but worth it...."



Wines Tasted in the Article:

Domaine Rocalière Lirac 1998 Southern Rhône "(this is a special cuvee they make which is a varietal Mourvèdre, although they are not allowed to say this on the label)"

D’Arenberg Mourvèdre 1998 McLaren Vale, Australia

Domaine La Courtade 1999 Côtes de Provence

Jade Mountain Mourvèdre 1996, Mt Veeder, California

Bodegas San Isidro "Gémina" Reserva 1995, Jumilla, Spain

Domaine Lafran Veyrolles "Cuvée Longue Garde" 1998 Bandol

Ridge "Bridgehead" Mataro 1997 Santa Cruz Mountains, California*

Domaine Tempier "Cabassaou" 1994 Bandol

Bonny Doon "Old Telegram" 1998, California


Please visit the original website link to read the writer's tasting notes for each of the wines:

http://www.wineanorak.com/mourvedre.htm


* The Ridge "Bridgehead" Mataro is actually from the San Francisco Bay AVA (Contra Costa County).

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#284 Post by M. Dildine » October 22nd, 2018, 6:14 pm

Had an incredible ‘15 Sandlands “CC” tonight.
Cheers,

Mike

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#285 Post by Drew Goin » October 24th, 2018, 6:46 am

M. Dildine wrote:
October 22nd, 2018, 6:14 pm
Had an incredible ‘15 Sandlands “CC” tonight.

Are you going to make me beg for a tasting note, Mike???

[truce.gif]

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#286 Post by Drew Goin » November 9th, 2018, 9:06 am

Mr Ken Zinns posted the following images and Information on the"Mourvèdre Appreciation Social Club" FB page on October 22nd:


"A few photos of this year's Mourvèdre from 'Sumu Kaw Vineyard' in El Dorado County for Harrington Wines in San Francisco.

FB_IMG_1541768485643.jpg
Harrington Wines Sumu Kaw' Mourvèdre #1 - from Facebook post by Mr Ken Zinns

"It all starts with great growers, Sheila & David Bush. They farm using organic methods at their site in the Pleasant Valley region of El Dorado, 3,000-foot elevation with 20+ year-old vines in volcanic and granitic soil.

FB_IMG_1541768492536.jpg
Harrington Wines Sumu Kaw' Mourvèdre #2 - from Facebook post by Mr Ken Zinns

"The Harrington Mourvèdre is fermented with native yeast using 100% foot-stomped whole-cluster fruit, with most of the fruit fermented in a concrete tank. After pressing, most of the wine goes right back into concrete for aging. The combination of whole-cluster fermentation and the concrete tank really suit the Mourvèdre from 'Sumu Kaw' well.

FB_IMG_1541768501539.jpg
Harrington Wines Sumu Kaw' Mourvèdre #3 - from Facebook post by Mr Ken Zinns

"We make a 100% varietal Mourvèdre as well as a blend with 'Sumu Kaw' Syrah and Grenache."


Harrington Wines website:
http://www.harringtonwine.com

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#287 Post by Dave McCloskey » November 9th, 2018, 11:06 am

This week I took delivery of 3 bottles of 2013 Chateau de Pibarnon from Bandol. It wasn't the vintage I was looking for, but I thought I'd give it a try.

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#288 Post by Drew Goin » November 13th, 2018, 1:48 am

Dave McCloskey wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 11:06 am
This week I took delivery of 3 bottles of 2013 [thankyou.gif] Chateau de Pibarnon from Bandol. It wasn't the vintage I was looking for, but I thought I'd give it a try.

Thanks for the heads up, Dave!!!

Please do share your thoughts when you pop one open (I imagine it'll be a while)!

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#289 Post by Drew Goin » November 13th, 2018, 2:04 am

I wanted to pass along a bit of information for our fellow Mourvèdre lovers from Mr Alex Russan of Metrick:



"2015 Metrick Mourvedre, Futernick Vineyard, El Dorado AVA

Metrick_Mourvedre.jpg
Metrick Mourvèdre label

"Mountain grown Mourvedre from 2800 feet. Dry farmed in the deep, volcanic clay soils in El Dorado in the Sierra Foothills. An early picked Mourvèdre, concrete aged, full of freshness, bright fruit and some volcanic funk, and the perfect pairing for holiday fare. Light on its feet, explore the delicate side of what this grape can do. Only 115 cases made.

IMG_7415.JPG
Futernick Vineyard, El Dorado AVA

Holiday deal: Normally $28.00/bottle, get 15% off on 3+ bottles, use code TG2018 at check out, or, 15% off and free case shipping on any mix of my wines, code TG18CASE."


https://www.metrickwines.com/wine-shop-1

IMG_7498.jpg
Metrick Mourvèdre

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#290 Post by P Intag » November 13th, 2018, 1:47 pm

Crazy good Tercero Mourvedre that I recently popped. I don't often (ever?) give out crazy high scores on CT, but this blew me away and I could find no reason that this should be any less.

2010 Tercero Mourvedre Larner Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (10/27/2018)
Spectacular.
Nose was a little shy, but opened up with air and was lovely and intriguing, with savory meat, blood, iron, and some floral notes.
On the palate, this was amazing. A beautiful cacophony of flavors, matching the nose in character, focused and pure, with depth and length and a great energetic acidic flare. Fantastic on its own and, later, with grilled ribeye and drumsticks.
Absolutely loved this. This has come together completely over the last few years, but this should drink well for a long while to come.
Screw cap. 14.5% abc. (96 pts.)
Paul

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#291 Post by Dave McCloskey » November 15th, 2018, 10:00 am

Drew Goin wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 1:48 am
Dave McCloskey wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 11:06 am
This week I took delivery of 3 bottles of 2013 [thankyou.gif] Chateau de Pibarnon from Bandol. It wasn't the vintage I was looking for, but I thought I'd give it a try.

Thanks for the heads up, Dave!!!

Please do share your thoughts when you pop one open (I imagine it'll be a while)!
I recently had a 2015 and it was very nice indeed... rich complex nose, balanced on the palate with good acidity and a smooth lingering finish. Wonderful wine for the price.

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#292 Post by Drew Goin » November 16th, 2018, 12:07 pm

Dave McCloskey wrote:
November 15th, 2018, 10:00 am
I recently had a 2015 and it was very nice indeed... rich complex nose, balanced on the palate with good acidity and a smooth lingering finish. Wonderful wine for the price.


Thanks for the tasting impressions on the 2015 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rouge, Dave!! [cheers.gif]


I have had a couple of experiences with the 2001 vintage (~2005, 2009?). On both occasions, the wine was phenomenal! I might not have tried many different Bandol wines, but Pibarnon is easily my favorite of those that I have sampled.

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#293 Post by Drew Goin » November 16th, 2018, 12:14 pm

P Intag wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 1:47 pm
Crazy good Tercero Mourvedre that I recently popped. I don't often (ever?) give out crazy high scores on CT, but this blew me away and I could find no reason that this should be any less.

2010 Tercero Mourvedre Larner Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (10/27/2018)
Spectacular.

Nose was a little shy, but opened up with air and was lovely and intriguing, with savory meat, blood, iron, and some floral notes.

On the palate, this was amazing. A beautiful cacophony of flavors, matching the nose in character, focused and pure, with depth and length and a great energetic acidic flare. Fantastic on its own and, later, with grilled ribeye and drumsticks.

Absolutely loved this. This has come together completely over the last few years, but this should drink well for a long while to come.

Screw cap. 14.5% abc. (96 pts.)

WOW!! Excellent tasting note, P Intag!!! [berserker.gif]

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Larry's "Larner Vineyard" Mourvèdre! It certainly is a board favorite. I still need to pop my 2011 "Santa Barbara County" Mourvèdre...


Tercero Wines website:
https://www.tercerowines.com

ClydeUnderwood
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#294 Post by ClydeUnderwood » November 16th, 2018, 12:28 pm

Drew Goin wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 8:33 am
Ms Kristie Tacey of Tessier Winery posted the following on the Facebook "Mourvèdre Appreciation Social Club" page:


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


"I got my Mourvèdre from El Dorado AVA. It is a high elevation site, with volcanic, clay and granite soils."


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


"Personally, I do not do blends. My approach is let folks experience the varietal from the vineyard. I do a 'Fenaughty Vineyard' El Dorado Grenache and 'Goldbud Vineyard' El Dorado Mourvèdre.

"However, I can see why they are blended too. Grenache is fun, fruity with a lack of color and texture, where Syrah and Mourvèdre both have color, structure and body."



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


"That is why the El Dorado AVA is such a great spot for Rhone varietals. It is not an issue with ripening, sometimes we experience problems with fruit set and have some shatter, but that is all I have encountered so far."


• What special considerations do you think are necessary to produce a Mourvedre-dominant wine?


"My first attempt was in 2016, I did 20% whole cluster, picked at 23 brix, foot stomped and aged in neutral French oak. I'm happy with the way it turned out. I did the 2017 vintage with little changes--set to be released in September.

"A new addition to the Tessier garden of wines! Pick a bouquet of mulberry, sweet tart candies, and grilled meat. Meanwhile, the palate harvests plum, brown sugar, and baking spices. Still but a seed, this Mourvedre will evolve over the years, growing into something even more exquisite. 13.0% alc., 95 cases produced."



Tessier Winery website: https://www.tessierwinery.com

Rhone Rangers had a small tasting in Windsor a few months ago and I thought Kristie's 2016 Fenaughty Grenache was a standout. Available at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa for ~ $26.

P Intag
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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#295 Post by P Intag » November 16th, 2018, 12:51 pm

Drew Goin wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 12:14 pm
P Intag wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 1:47 pm
Crazy good Tercero Mourvedre that I recently popped. I don't often (ever?) give out crazy high scores on CT, but this blew me away and I could find no reason that this should be any less.

2010 Tercero Mourvedre Larner Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (10/27/2018)
Spectacular.

Nose was a little shy, but opened up with air and was lovely and intriguing, with savory meat, blood, iron, and some floral notes.

On the palate, this was amazing. A beautiful cacophony of flavors, matching the nose in character, focused and pure, with depth and length and a great energetic acidic flare. Fantastic on its own and, later, with grilled ribeye and drumsticks.

Absolutely loved this. This has come together completely over the last few years, but this should drink well for a long while to come.

Screw cap. 14.5% abc. (96 pts.)

WOW!! Excellent tasting note, P Intag!!! [berserker.gif]

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Larry's "Larner Vineyard" Mourvèdre! It certainly is a board favorite. I still need to pop my 2011 "Santa Barbara County" Mourvèdre...


Tercero Wines website:
https://www.tercerowines.com
You're welcome, Drew! I'm usually not particularly creative when writing tasting notes, but this wine inspired me!

Enjoy the 2011 SBC - I've had several bottles of it, and really liked it, but it was not in the same league as the 2010 Larner.
Paul

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Drew Goin
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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#296 Post by Drew Goin » November 23rd, 2018, 12:52 pm

I sent a few questions to Halcón's Paul Gordon regarding the fact that this winery's Mourvèdre vineyards are potentially growing in the coolest climatic setting in California, if not the world.

2.jpg
Halcón Vineyards - from winery website

Here are some of my comments from an email to Mr Gordon made prior to inquiring about Halcon's experiences with Mourvèdre:


"In 2017, Halcón's vineyards yielded a sufficient quantity of Mourvèdre - of satisfactory quality, to boot - to bottle a small amount of varietal wine. This incredibly exciting!! I am fascinated by growers/winemakers who, for one reason or another, are not able to produce a Mourvèdre in many years. Those instances when all the factors align to make such wines possible helps me to better understand certain facets of this grape variety.

"Halcón Vineyards is located in the Yorkville Highlands of Mendocino County. I am not thoroughly familiar with this sub-appellation, unfortunately. You previously have explained that your vineyards are too cool for a grape like Mourvèdre. However, Halcón specializes in cool-climate Syrah and successfully grows Grenache with regularity. There is an oft-repeated maxim that certain varieties produce some of the very best wines when grown at the climatic fringes where maturity is possible. To my knowledge, I have tasted no Mourvèdre from such a location.

"Many wine lovers cherish California's coastal Pinot Noirs, Syrahs, etc. The Northern Rhône frequently is exalted as home of the finest Syrah-based wines. There is little doubt that wines from cooler regions exhibit different characteristics than those sourced from warmer areas. Mountain-grown grapes typically yield flavors and textures unlike those harvested from fertile valley floors. I DID find a pretty interesting PowerPoint presentation from Daniel Roberts, a gentleman who helps design vineyards:

"Cool Climate - Sonoma County Vineyard Technical Group (PDF download) sonomavintech.com › 2017-meetings"

"You have planted a variety that shares some similarities with both Syrah and Grenache, yet retains enough individuality to stand distinctly on its own. Mourvèdre needs water, but good drainage. It almost universally is found in warmer climes, and requires a long growing season. Unlike Grenache, it is reductive and, therefore, possesses a majestic capacity for age-worthiness as a varietally-bottled wine. It is not as at risk of runaway alcohol levels as Grenache, betraying the need for the sunlight and time that probably limits its success in your vineyards. However, the final product can share a little of Grenache's red fruit as well as Syrah's gravitas and, dare I say, earthy funkiness. The pepper-spice and darker fruits found in Syrah can be found in Mourvèdre, yet you don't find it planted along the Pacific Coast. Mr Chris Lymon doesn't have a column of his blog devoted to 'C-C' Mourvèdre: the site is SoloSyrah.

"I cannot understate the importance of your work with Mourvèdre at Halcón. I am ecstatic to know that you have another opportunity to showcase a varietal Mourvèdre in 2017. The fact that Halcón is putting more vines in the ground is heart-warming. Your vote of confidence in the potential greatness, the ability to take a great risk and essentially pioneer the borderlands of the grape might very well show the world of wine a new side to an underdog, long relegated to the safety net of Mediterranean climates. The Yorkville Highlands AVA should fund the effort; so should UC Davis! At the very least, a second edition of Patrick Comiskey's American Rhône ought to dedicate a few lines to Halcón's 'new' Mourvèdre."

31.jpg
Aerial View of the Vineyards - from Halcón website

Interview Q&A with Mr Paul Gordon of Halcón Vineyards:

• The first time Halcón Vineyards bottled a varietal Mourvèdre was the 2010 vintage. I don't know much about the vintage's effects in Mendocino, but Sonoma and Napa experienced heat waves. Can you please share some details about the decision-making process that led you to try a 100% Mourvèdre, rather than blending or selling off the juice?


Paul - "2010 was a cool year in Mendo, especially at our elevation. We had frankly given up on the Mourvedre, planning not to harvest - the fruit was not mature enough in late October, seeds green and rain coming. I was walking thru the vineyard just before Thanksgiving and happen to taste the Mourvedre fruit. The fruit had matured. So we went ahead and picked it. Unfortunately, our custom crush was no longer accepting fruit, so Steve Lagier agreed to process at his place in Napa."


• What do such seemingly disparate vintages as 2010 and 2017 have in common that led to the yields which made a Halcón Vineyards Mourvèdre a possibility?


Paul - "Yields on our Mourvèdre had been very low 2009-2016, generally around 1t per acre. What changed in 2017 was the pruning."

"Common knowledge is Mourvèdre is a late bud-break that is not susceptible to frost. This was confirmed in 2008 when the Mourvèdre was the only variety to give us any meaningful yield. So I would pruned the Mourvèdre early, typically in January, while the Syrah was pruned in late Feb/early March. I came to realize that, though the Mourvèdre was not experiencing catastrophic effects from our cold, often snowy early-mid Aprils, it was enough to restrain the yield. So, in 2016 we started pruning at the same time as the Syrah.

"In addition to pruning timing, we also changed the way we pruned the Mourvèdre. We took the vines back to at head-trained style with 3-5 spurs per plant. Note we have 2200 plants per acre, 3ft by 2m spacing. The reduced number of spurs/shoots leads to a lesser number of, but stronger, more fruitful, shoots."



• How did you even decide to establish a high-elevation vineyard on the border of the Yorkville Highlands and the cool Anderson Valley, then plant Mourvèdre and Grenache among your Syrah vines?


Paul - "It was always a risky proposition. We knew that that we would be on the edge for ripening of southern Rhône varieties, but thought it worth the risk to create some unique wines. We planted just two acres of Grenache and one acre of Mourvèdre, all on sheltered South-facing slopes."


• What specific Clone/selection did you decide to plant in the South-facing Mourvèdre vineyards originally, and which did you choose for the newer Mourvèdre additions? What led to this specific decision?


Paul - "We use the Tablas Creek (Beaucastel) selection. We have yet to expand the original Mourvèdre planting but are considering budding over 1/2 acre of 174 Clone Syrah to Mourvèdre this Spring. I would continue to use the Tablas Creek selection as I am concerned that heritage CA Mourvèdre selections (which are typically from the Sacramento Delta region) have morphed to adapt to the warm CA climate."


• Compared to Mourvèdre from warmer, Mediterranean climate sites, what kinds of flavors are you detecting in the wines produced by Halcón's Mourvèdre fermentations?


Paul - "We definitely have a more floral, herbal, red-fruited profile. Using (50%) stems also accentuates that."


• Do you consider your location to be at the climatic threshold for successful maturity of Mourvèdre fruit? How strongly do the elevation and vines' South-facing exposure ameliorate the colder location of the estate's Grenache and Mourvèdre vineyards?


Paul - "Yes. We picked at 22.6b on November 1st this year. I do expect that we will not get mature fruit in cold years. In 2011, we managed to pick just 1/2 ton in early November, but it was really on the edge of ripeness. Any greater amount and it would have been left on the vine."


• Have you found anyone else following in your footsteps? Are you inspired by some other grower's similar efforts?


Paul - "Still early days for inspiring others ;-). And, to be honest, there were no others doing very cool-climate Mourvèdre at the time. I do like what Hardy (Wallace of Dirty & Rowdy) has done recently."


• Do you aim to bottle more varietal wines from Mourvèdre, or is your plan to create more blends from the newer acreage of Mourvèdre?


Paul - "This year we had three different fermentation tanks of Southern Rhone varieties - a 100% Mourvèdre, a blend of 65% Grenache/20% Syrah/15% Mourvèdre, and a 100% Grenache. We will likely bottle three wines (though there maybe some tweaking of blends)."


• The newer plantings will obviously take some time before they can find their way into bottles. Have you been documenting the performance of the existing Mourvèdre vines? What kinds of things do you look at in order to make determinations of success or failure in this experiment?


Paul - "As I noted above, we have not yet expanded beyond the original single acre. For the planned bud-over of the 1/2 acre of Syrah to Mourvèdre, we will select buds from the most healthy of our current Mourvèdre vines."


Halcón Vineyards website:
http://halconvineyards.com

Ukiah Daily Journal
"John on Wine: Spotlight – Wines of Halcón Vineyards"
by John Cesano
November 11, 2015


"...Driving through the gate at Halcón Vineyards, at about 2,450 feet in elevation, I was met by Paul, Jackie Bracey, David Campbell and Cookie, the vineyard dog. Although the day was sunny, ever-present winds, which reached over 90 mph this year, keep things cool.

"Paul told me he believes he has 'probably the coolest Mourvèdre planting in the world,' and we toured vineyard blocks where the first rows were dried into near permanent dormancy by constant wind.

"The very cool climate of Halcón Vineyards in the Yorkville Highlands saw bud break come in March and April this year, a full month or more later than in other parts of Mendocino County. Halcon was planted 10 years ago, in four distinct blocks, in serpentine and schist 's*** soil,' with lots of elevation changes, and south-facing exposures...."

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#297 Post by Drew Goin » January 2nd, 2019, 8:40 am

Irene Wine bottles a Mourvèdre from the El Dorado area of California.

I reached out to Brian Jessen of Irene Wine Cellars, and he had this to say about his wine:


"...The vines are about 17-years-old and grafted to 3309C. This is the only Mourvèdre I have ever worked with, so my experience is extremely limited making your questions difficult to properly answer. I can tell you the variety is incredibly versatile. I ferment 100% whole cluster with native yeast, and the wine resembles more of a structured Beaujolais than a Bandol. If you're ever in Healdsburg please reach out and we can do a tasting.

Thanks,
Brian"



Irene Wine Cellars website:
http://www.irene.wine


IMG_1381.jpg
2017 "El Dorado" Mourvèdre - from Irene Wine Cellars website

Here is some additional information for the 2017 vintage of the Irene Wine Cellars "El Dorado" Mourvèdre:


"The 2017 Mourvedre is a testament to our efforts working with this variety for the last three years. We have continued to refine our handling of this fruit and the results have been rewarding. Ron Mansfield farms this vineyard in the Apple Hill region of El Dorado, sitting at 3000ft elevation with cooler nighttime temperatures to preserve acidity. The vines are head trained on a vertical cordon and dry farmed even in the warmest of years. The wine is a bright example of what can be done in a warm vintage with early phenolic ripeness.

"Foot-tread and fermented 100% whole cluster, this is a wine that is bottled early to be enjoyed during the summer months. Aromatics of Asian plum sauce with hints of dried strawberry in the background lead to a palate of bright red fruit and mouthwatering acidity. Drink Now."

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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#298 Post by Drew Goin » January 8th, 2019, 3:58 am

I have sent several Q&A emails out recently to wineries that feature varietal or Mourvèdre-dominant blends, and am awaiting responses (fingers crossed):


Saint K Wines

Hubba Wines

JC Cellars

Cana's Feast

Deux Punx

Penville Wine

Enkidu Wine

Kobza Wines

Birichino

Amista Vineyards

Forlorn Hope Wines


If any fellow Berserkers have an "in" with the above producers, or if you have any suggestions for other wineries that bottle a Mourvèdre, please let me know!!! [berserker.gif]

Sean Devaney
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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#299 Post by Sean Devaney » January 8th, 2019, 7:13 am

A winery to add to your list is Holly's Hill up in El Dorado County. They make a couple Mourvedre's and blends.

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Drew Goin
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Re: What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?

#300 Post by Drew Goin » January 9th, 2019, 1:27 am

Sean Devaney wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 7:13 am
A winery to add to your list is Holly's Hill up in El Dorado County. They make a couple Mourvedre's and blends.


Sean, thanks for the reminder!


I have reached out to them in the past (May, 2018) as Holly's Hill bottles two Mourvèdre-blends - "Patriarche " & "Petite Patriarche " - as well as an estate vineyard Carignan.

I will try again to get a response from them.

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