Mourvèdre. There’s nothing quite like it, and if you’re looking for a different wine experience, here it is!
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.
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.
As drought conditions continue in 2022, it’s hard to believe that 2019 began with ample winter rainfall resulting in happy vines! Spring conditions allowed excellent fruit set producing an abundant crop. Summer saw few extremes with moderate temperatures throughout the growing season. Harvest began in a more normal timeframe, and without extreme weather we were able to harvest at our leisure when grapes were precisely ripe. As its predecessor, the 2019 is one of the finest vintages of the decade..
Like its predecessors, the 2019 Mourvèdre is sultry and exotic with a personality all its own. Medium ruby in color, it offers effusive aromas of rose petal, white pepper, raspberry, anise, and orange peel. Similar flavors develop on the palate with a wonderful mouth-feel supported by a lively structure. The weight and structure are similar to rich Pinot Noir, and as in fine Pinot, it is the nose that entices and draws you in.
I love this delicious wine! It beckons me back, again and again……nothing quite like it