The Rogue Rhônes : Moody, Meaty Mourvèdre
“Mourvèdre” in France. “Mataró” in Spain. “Delicious” in my mouth.
There’s a lot of discussion about the so-called personality of wines. I, for one, believe in anthropomorphizing animals, vegetables, minerals, and the ilk, therefore I have no problem describing a varietal as I would a person. I see Mourvèdre as a moody, cynical, and most likely alcoholic person. It is late to ripen (late-bloomer) and has a beautiful bluish black, thick skin. I might liken this grape to the subtly sexy yet emotionally unavailable girl who is often caught smoking in places she’s not allowed. Sounds dreamy, right? Ok, so like most people who seem a little closed off in the beginning, there is often a jewel hidden beneath that crusty exterior, and they win you over in time with their strong personality and quirky sense of humor.
Mourvèdre’s thick, dark-skinned grape ideal for producing tannic wines that will probably be high in alcohol. It provides structure and a little softness when paired with Grenache, and most often showcases wild, gamey, and earthy flavors just kissed with soft red fruit. It can also have such intriguing flavors such blackberry, dark plum, chocolate, espresso, dark olive, truffles, and licorice. In the 2008 Reininger Columbia Valley Helix SoRho, it provides a great backbone of structure, boosts the color with it’s inky darkness, as well as serving as a stronghold for longevity since Mourvèdre doesn’t open up for the first few years. It is thought originate from Spain, though it definitely has an affinity for the French (don’t we all). It does well in the Columbia Valley AVA due to high heat, though it takes a truly skilled winemaker like Chuck to bring out this little devil’s shining personality.
Reininger’s next post : the wildly popular and versatile Grenache!