TN: 2011 Villa Creek - Mourvedre "Damas Noir" (USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles)

2011 Villa Creek Mourvedre Damas Noir - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (8/6/2015)
– poured into glass 30 min. before initial taste –
– tasted non-blind over 2 days; TN from Day 1 –
– 50% Luna Matta Vineyard Mourvèdre, 25% Denner Vineyard Mourvèdre, 25% James Berry Vineyard Mourvèdre –
– 70% whole cluster fermentation; 30% of the wine was aged in new French 500 liter puncheons, and the remainder of the wine was aged in second fill French puncheons –

NOSE: very savory; spicy; red-fruited (strawberry); raw beef; beef bouillon; hint of ballpoint ink.

BODY: garnet-violet color of medium-deep to deep depth; lots of superfine particulate matter present; medium bodied.

TASTE: lots of oaky tannins – quite drying; savory; medium+ acidity; some dried herbs on the finish, which is long and of medium-light intensity; 14.2% alc. not noticeable; tiny hint of brett-like funk emerged 1.5 hours after opening; medium-light to medium oak note; excellent wine; Villa Creek suggests this wine is best consumed in the 2015 – 2030 window, but I feel it’s drinking very well now, and the oak scares me a bit, so I think this is probably best for drinking in the near term.

50, 5, 13, 17, 8 = (93 pts.)

This is a very nice wine!

Thanks for the note. I am always interested in exploring new Mourvedres. I received the latest offer, but don’t think they offered me that wine.

I think the Damas Noir was part of the Spring release. If you’re looking for Mourvèdre, highly recommend cellaring some Tablas Creek Mourvèdre for 5-6+ years. There’s also Paix Sur Terre in Paso, which are larger and more accessible but very well made with some freshness. I like the Damas Noir but really think Cris Cherry’s style meshes well with the local Grenache. Curious to try the Maha Mourvèdre fruit given the exposures - but that won’t be for 2 or so years.

Any of you tried the Cline Ancient Vines Mourved? Just had a bottle of the 2012 which is gorgeous. Deep plummy fruit, mouth-filling flavor, nice length.

You can also head a bit more south and explore a few Mourvedres from Santa Barbara County.

I personally dig what Cris is doing with Mourvedre and feel that this may the best wine in his line up. I personally would love to see this with a bit less new oak (or none at all), but heck, what do I know?!?!?


Stopped buying/following these wines a few years ago and never did try this wine. Glad to hear this showed well, got any more?

no more, Robert. This was merely a singleton I took a flyer on. Purchased it at LAWC about one year ago.

I have an 09, 2- 10’s and 2- 11’s. Will check with Cris in a few weeks at the fall member party on availability of some older vintages.

i had an ‘09 recently and, though large in scale, it scratched the itch I had. but it seemed that VA got the better of it and we couldn’t finish the bottle. For what it’s worth, I think the High Road is Cris’ best wine.