Pure Dry Creek Valley Mourvèdre
Have you ever had a pure varietal mourvèdre wine? I don’t think I had until this one.
Mourvèdre (a.k.a. Monastrell and Mataró) is a common grape in both Spanish blends (as Monastrell) and as a main ingredient in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and CdP-style wines (usually called “GSMs”). But finding it made as a pure 100% varietal wine is a bit more difficult.
I think, after tasting this, I know now where some of the rusticness of GSMs comes from: it’s the “M.” I’ve had plenty of 100% (or dominant 85%+) grenaches and syrahs, from all over the place (France, Spain, California, Washington, Australia) and not one ever felt “rustic” to me. Syrah is bold and powerful; grenache, supple and gorgeous—when done well, of course.
Mourvèdre, on the other hand, is rustic. It’s the Gerald McRaney to grenache’s Jameson Parker. Although McRaney was kind of like syrah, too. Whatever, this is a discussion for another time, anyway.
So, given mourvèdre’s usual place as a blending grape, what does a 100% mourvèdre taste like? Did I mention this is also a certified Biodynamic wine?
In the glass, the wine has a ruby red core that fades to pink edges. On the nose is that rusticness I was talking about: a hint of fruit (cherries and blueberries) but mostly earth, dirt, and chalk, with a hint of barnyard that some freaks like me enjoy, and some non-freaks (maybe like you) might not.
The wine is light-bodied, and crisper than its shade in the glass would lead you to believe. The wine is exceptionally balanced: a bit of biting acidity, some supple, soft tannins, and its not-low 14.7% ABV all come together to sit on a three-way playground see-saw, and no one falls down. The herby-vegetal cherry bush thing is here that I sometimes find in cabernet franc, but it’s nice and subtle. Way more cherry than bush, as it were.
I think I need to find more 100% mourvèdre.