Posts Tagged ‘Mourvèdre’
The weekly review of Rhone wines as we count down to the the March 24-25 Rhone Rangers “Weekend Celebration of American Rhones” and the
April 26-28th20th anniversary of Hospice du Rhone, “the World’s Largest International Celebration of Rhone Variety Wines” in Paso Robles, continues.
David Girard Vineyards – El Dorado
This week I am sharing a gem wine, and winery in El Dorado, a region that is an emerging powerhouse of Rhone wines in Northern California: David Girard Vineyards.
I met owner David Girard, and winemaker Mari Wells Coyle just over a year ago when I visited. Mari was nice enough on a day off to come spend some quality time and geek out with me. I was won over by her wines and her warm personality.
Vineyard manager Ron Mansfield, whom I have also had the fortune to meet this year, is a quiet genius in Rhone vineyard management and wine growing. I am delighted to source grapes from him in 2011 for my own project. (See A new Mother Lode: vintners rediscover Sierra foothills by Jon Bonne’.)
you road trip there, or seek them out at the Rhone Rangers March 25th Grand Tasting at Ft Mason. Tell them William sent you.
Wine Review: 2009 Mourvèdre, El Dorado, Estate Vineyard
Mourvèdre is one of my favorite red wines. It can be hard to find as a single varietal, and even harder to find well made. Some Northern California vintners want to treat it like Cabernet and over oak it. This red Rhone grape has much to express if left alone from the clutches of New World Cabernet makers.
Mourvèdre is often known for its meatiness, slightly gamey profile, with notes of smoked meat & bacon. This Mourvedre is a bit of a departure from that, and a bit unlike most Mourvèdre I have had before. It also stood out in the 2011 Rhone Rangers ‘Mourvèdre On The Move’ seminar. It’s lighter, feminine, and more seductive than most you will come across – reminiscent of Pinot Noir in many ways.
To The Eye: A clear medium red, you can actually see through.
On The Nose: A floral nose of violets leap out of the glass, along with hints of spice, red berry, and tea.
In The Mouth: A wonderful combination of red fruits: Strawberry, pomegranate, cherry notes, with a hint of black tea. The wine dances across the palate and delivers completely front, mid and finish. The acidity is mouth watering, the finish lingering and pleasant. It’s silky and seductive in the mouth.
This wine may surprise you slightly if looking for “classic” Mourvèdre (whatever that might mean to viagra on line canada you), although some of those undertones exist. All I know is I want more for my cellar.
Recommendation: Highly recommend. Consume now or cellar for 3-4 years. 92 Points.
Buy online $34
Rhone Rangers San Francisco Grand Tasting – A Complete Rhone Weekend, not just a Tasting. Learn More & Win Tickets
The Rhone movement is underway. (I am still riding high from the recent Paso Robles Rhone Ranger experience, check out the video.)
The Bay’s area’s own Jon Bonné, esteemed wine writer for the San Francisco Chronicle published not one but two articles over the weekend about Grenache, a rising Rhone star, and such a beautiful wine when made properly. (Winemakers take note, we are not looking for your heavy hand here. Think minimal wine making technique, and Pinot Noir like, not Cabernet.) Some great examples of are in Jon’s article ‘The Chronicle recommends: American Grenache.’ As well as as “.. make way for Grenache” which explains the rise in popularity and nuance.
But Grenache is only one of the many Rhone varietals to be poured at the Rhone Rangers San Francisco Grand Tasting event. Taste through Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Counoise, Carignane on the reds; Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc and more on the whites. (Yes my beloved Sonoma-ites Grenache Blanc IS a white varietal – the Rhone Rangers primary goal is – education!) And of course the endless combinations of Rhone blends. At the end of this post is a contest too win tickets to the Grand Tasting – try and bear with me for a few paragraphs of Rhone rambling.
Why Rhones Are Popular, Unique
What makes Rhone wines unique in my opinion, as that while many of the varietals drink very well as a individual wine, Rhones in France are most commonly blended. Each varietal has something unique to offer, and far more variance than the traditional nobel Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet, Merlot,, Malbec etc). The sum of the whole often far exceeds the sum of the parts as they say, and there and almost endless number of combinations and end results when blending, both for red and whites.
Become a Rhone Ranger Sidekick & Save
The Rhone Rangers has launched a new version of its popular Sidekick consumer program. We have eliminated membership fees in favor of a more streamlined process. Sidekicks need only enter their contact information into the list signup form to get priority information about Rhone Rangers events, the opportunity to meet winemakers and growers of Rhone varietals, discounts at member wineries, special notice of member winery events, an information-packed educational newsletter and more.
Membership is free, carries no commitments, and can be cancelled at any time. Click here to become a Rhone Rangers Sidekick! Sidekicks also get a promo code for $5 off.
It Isn’t Just A Sunday Walk Around Tasting – Education Abounds
Many I talk to think of Rhone Rangers SF event as the big tasting at Ft. Mason. Actually thats only one part of it, and this year, I am more excited about the seminars than anything I think. There are 2 seminars on Saturday and one on Sunday, which include tastings. Bonus: Jon Bonné is the moderator.
March 26, 2011, 1:00 – 2:15 PM. Seminar #1 – GREEN RANGERS: SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC & BIODYNAMIC AMERICAN RHONES.
Sustainability has become a buzzword, but it has been an essential part of the practices of many Rhone Rangers wineries for decades. Discuss and taste wines of sustainable, organic and biodynamic producers, and taste wines from each as we explore how and why Rhone producers sit at the forefront of sustainability in American wine. Wineries include: AmByth Estate, Bonny Doon Vineyard, J. Lohr, Landmark, Montemaggiore, Qupe and Terre Rouge.
Saturday, March 26, 2011, 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM. Seminar #2 – MOURVEDRE ON THE MOVE
Dark, brooding, meaty, loamy, Mourvedre is a grape for Rhone fanatics. Long known for its ability to add structure and age-worthiness to blends, American Rhone producers are pushing Mourvedre to new heights both on its own and in its traditional blending role. Taste six different Mourvedre-based wines from up and down the west coast — both varietals and as leading roles in blends — and learn why Mourvedre is on the move! Wineries include: CORE, David Girard, Folin Cellars, Kenneth Volk, Quivira, Tablas Creek and Tercero
Sunday, March 27, 2011, 11 AM – 12:30 PM. Seminar #3 – WILD WINES AND THE STORIES OF HOW THEY CAME TO BE
Whether it’s a 12% alcohol Syrah, a Buying online propecia Viognier made with a month of skin contact, a Rhone blend made from grapes that European winemakers consider suitable only for blending, or a dessert wine made from air-dried Mourvedre, Rhone Rangers producers are pushing the envelope. Come taste these unusual wines from eight winemaking pioneers, as they share with you the inside stories on their wildest wines and how and why they headed off into uncharted territory. Wineries include: Big Basin Vineyards, Caliza, Clos Saron, Katin, Pax Mahle Wines, Stolpman, Tarara and Terry Hoage. Ticket includes VIP early admission (at 12 noon) to the Grand Tasting.
Saturday Night Wine Makers Dinner – Rub Elbows with the Big Dogs
Saturday, March 26, 2011. 6:00 – 9:30 PM. Join more than 15 top Rhone Ranger wineries participating in a walk around tasting of current and library releases, dinner with the winemakers and live auction at Dogpatch Studios, 991 Tennessee St in San Francisco. Catering will be provided by Girl & the Fig (the well-loved Sonoma food purveyor and restaurant, famous for its Rhone-Alone wine list).
Wineries include: Bonny Doon, Caliza, Clos Saron, Folin Cellars, J. Lohr, Kukkula, Landmark, Quady North, Quivira, Qupe, Ridge, Rock Wren Wines, Stolpman,Tablas Creek, Tarara, Terre Rouge, Terry Hoage, Thacher and Waterbrook. Proceeds benefit the Rhone Rangers Scholarship Fund. Attendance limited to 200. Advance tickets only; no tickets available at the door.
Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:00 – 5:00 PM. The weekend culminates with the Grand Tasting, come taste over 500 wines from more than 100 Rhone Rangers wineries. For a list of participating wineries, click here. Sample gourmet foods from 25 or more specialty food purveyors, including cheese, bread, olive oil, charcuterie, fruits and other sweets and chocolates. A silent auction will feature Rhone Rangers wines and wine-related items; proceeds from the auction will benefit the Rhone Rangers Scholarship Fund. This event takes place at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. Attended ZAP? You get a promo code for $5 off.
Make it a Rhone Immersion Weekend with the New Rhone Rangers Weekend Pass
New this year! Spend a weekend with the Rhone Rangers! The weekend pass ticket, new for includes tickets to all three educational seminars with early VIP admission (with the trade) to the Grand Tasting on Sunday. And the $150 price is a $40 savings over the price of the individual tickets. Winemaker dinner not included. Limited availability. TICKETS: $150/each.
OK OK – How do I Enter to Win Tickets Already?
It couldn’t be easier. Simple enter in comments one of three things:
- Your favorite Rhone Ranger member winery, and why. (List here.)
- Your favorite Rhone varietal or blend (Syrah, GSM, White Rhone blend etc)
OR (I told you this was easy)
- What varietal or blend would you be most excited to taste at the event.
Contest ends this Thursday night. Two winners will be drawn and announced then.
I will be streaming ‘live’ both days at the event. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and the Twitter hashtag #RRSF (hint, you can just click that hashtag and follow on the web, use of Twitter not required!)
Cheers and thanks for reading Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog !
As I look at the wine label to scribe this review, the irony strikes me, and is a good segue for my excuse for the recent decreased Simple Hedonisms posts. The Hahn label is a rooster. The reason I have been too busy to write, is that in a whirlwind transaction over the holidays, I purchased a house with 1.5 acre farm, soon to be partial vineyard, in Russian River Valley. It’s a 3 year project, and labor of love (and $$.) (For those not friends, the full story is forthcoming, I promise.)
Anyway, the house, a foreclosure, came with a rooster, left behind, who is now affectionately named Krav. As one who lived for a stint in a fishing village in Mexico and cursed roosters every weekend morning, I am pleasantly surprised how much personality a rooster can have, and others have commented similarly.
Anyway, my big move , and start of farm life,is this Saturday, after some rapid renovations, to include, of course, a wine cellar! (Details on that to follow as well.)
Wine of the Week
As promised, wine of the week returns, after inaugural Wine of the Week: Cartograph 2009 Floodgate Vineyard Gewürztraminer then, Wine of the Week – Bonny Doon Vineyard 2009 “Clos de Gilroy” Grenache . Wine of the Week reflects personal favorite picks, that I believe are worth sharing. I will strive to also pick wines affordable, available, interesting.
What Is A GSM?
SO glad you asked! For those who aren’t Rhone lovers (yet) a GSM simply stands for a Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. A blend of the three most common of the Rhone red varietals, and the dominant grapes of the southern Rhone valley of France and the most common in Chateauneuf du Pape, GSM is also apparently a Australian acronym in origin from late 90’s.
This blend is 60% Grenache, 37% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre
To the Eye: Medium purple, the Syrah coming through
On the Nose: Gorgeous – The grenache delivers with its spice, black fruit. The tiniest hint of bacon fat (Syrah or Mourvedre) and sniff of the Grenache hard candy scent.
In The Mouth: Lush, full. Layers of fruit across the tongue. Black fruit, fig, white pepper. Delivers with good texture, mid palate, and then lingers a bit at finish with acidity and soft tannins. Modest 14% alcohol. An easy to enjoy wine that doesn’t require a thesis.
Food Pairing: Grilled meats come to mind. A steak, grilled lamb, or a burger even.
Recommendation: This wine is $10-12 a bottle on average. It can be a quest to find good domestic Red Rhone blends at under the$20 price point, that I’d drink regularly, but this is one I could. It reminds me of the Ortman Red Rhone blend I reviewed last month; it’s enjoyable and easy to drink, at a great price. Some nights I love complex, deeper brooding wines, some nights I want an comfy sweater.
Wine Geek Info:
- Vintage: 2009
- GSM Varietal Composition: 60% Grenache, 37% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre
- Appellation: Central Coast
- Acid: .62 g/100ml P
- pH: 3.67
- Alcohol %: 14%
We had lots of GREAT questions posted on the Simple Hedonism Facebook Fan Page. Two winners were picked; here are their questions, and of course, the answers! Winner receive $100 ticket to the Friday or Saturday tastings at Hospice du Rhone the end of this month.
Our first winner is Tetja Barbee with her question:
While Syrah is the principal red varietal for the Northern Rhone region, what is the principal red in Southern Rhone?
Our 2nd winning question came from Amy Cleary:
The answer may surprise those who might have guessed Syrah. Syrah has a huge planting, with half of the world’s production in France. However, globally, the top red varietal planted is Grenache. Grenache actually came from Spain, where it is known as ‘garnacha’ but most of its fame and following came from France.
Next Monday we start Round Two of the Contest. This time the questions are requested to be about WHITE Rhone wines. Winners will be selected on Wednesday.
Also don’t forget, this Friday is the first of the drawings for tickets, for email subsribers of Simple Hedonisms. To be eligible to win, simply sign up for (brief, secure) email updates, in the top right. You must have verified your subscription to be eligible to win.
And don’t forget this Wednesday HdR Virtual tasting: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PST – Featured Variety: Grenache