Every so often a wine comes along that blows people away. They’ve never had anything quite like it. This is definitely one of those wines.
The inspiration began many years ago with Brandlin Vineyard—home to my flagship Zinfandel, as well as a handful of Mourvèdre vines, or as they referred to it in the old days, “Mataro.” Over the years I produced two vintages from Brandlin, and they became some of my most sought after wines. Enter Red Hills Lake County, a site I always thought had much in common with Mount Veeder, at an even higher elevation. A tiny crop—too small to bottle on its own--in 2012 made us optimistic, but 2013 delivered big time!
For those not all that familiar with variety, Mourvèdre is widely planted in Spain—thought to have originated there in fact—as well as in southern France. Unless planted in the proper areas it can be prolific, hard, and not terribly appealing. When planted in the right location, it is magically transformed.
Fore Family Vineyard is a spectacular property, situated at 3000 feet elevation. Soils are thin in the Red Hills and drain instantly. The elevation places vines well above the hot summer heat trapped in the valleys below, and aligns them in the path of cool westerly Pacific breezes. At the same time, there is paradoxically greater solar intensity that has some inexplicable effect on the grapes. Because of the high elevation, the differential between day and night time temperatures is dramatic, resulting in intensely flavored grapes.
After the marvelous 2012 vintage, we were rewarded again in 2013, with a nearly perfect growing season, and a long ripening period as well. I refer to it a “leisurely” harvest, not forced to pick for fear of rain or extreme heat. When the winemaker is relaxed, so is the wine!
The 2013 Mourvèdre is unique, sultry, and exotic. Dark ruby in color, it offers floral, elusive, and perfumed aromas of pink peppercorn, wild raspberry, anise, and cardamom. Similar flavors explode on the palate with a velvety and balanced mouth-feel supported by a lively structure. The finish goes on and on. This is definitely a wine with a personality all its own.
We are pleased and excited to offer the very first Mourvèdre from this outstanding vineyard.