WBW #71 Rhones Not from the Rhone

Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Hahn Family Wines.

Rejoice! Wine Blogging Wednesday is back! I missed it so. Though, admittedly, I totally missed the first reincarnation last month…having average about 4 hours of sleep a night and dealing with a fussy newborn, wine was not much happening! But I’m in for this month’s edition hosted by my friend Tim of Wine Cast. He’s chosen Rhones Not from the Rhone as this month’s theme. I must say, I am very partial to the Rhone varietals. Viognier, Grenache, Mourvedre, ets., are some of my very favorite wines. Oh, and Syrah! Who can forget a good Syrah. And some of the ones I love the most hail from outside the Rhone. A cool climate Syrah from CA is a lovely pleasure!

For this WBW, I chose a wine that represents 3 Rhone grapes. I know Tim asked us to look beyond the normal Grenache and Syrah, but with little spare time, this is my best effort these days.  I think I get a disposition given I have an 11 week old.  My wine is the 2009 Hahn GSM. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. It’s composed of 60% Grenache, 37% Syrah, and 3% Mourvedre. Yum. It had a Diam closure and clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume. I’m not sure what it retails for as it was a pretty limited release from Hahn Family Wines and I believe it is sold out. You should definitely keep an eye for the next vintage of this from Hahn. They were trying a few different wines this year, including a Grenache Blanc!

On the nose I got strawberry, spice, cedar, baking spices, cinnamon, pepper, cherry, and bacon fat. I could really smell the influence of the Syrah on the nose of the wine, though the Grenache clearly also contributed. I think the Mourvedre showed up more on the palate.  In the mouth I found strawberry, red cherry, spice, blackberry, black cherry, and earth. I found the wine to have nice acidity and structure with good tannins on the finish. Overall the fruit showed as juicy and fresh. I enjoyed this wine very much.
Many thanks to Tim for hosting and I think I got my entry done in time! As always, a tip of the hat to Lenndevours, over at the New York Cork Report, our founding father.

Making Trouble

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Produced by Hope Family Wine, the Westside Red Troublemaker is a blend of three vintages of wine, the 2007, 2008, and 2009. On first sniff I said “Syrah!,” and later upon examining the promotional materials that accompanied the wine I found that it is indeed dominated by Syrah, being a blend of 53% Syrah, 37% Mourvedre, and 10% Grenache. The wine hails from Paso Robles, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for $20. We enjoyed this with a steak, but I think I’d have it with my homemade pizza next time.

On the nose I found plums, blackberries, black fruit, herbs, mint, pepper, chocolate, a meaty note (hi Syrah!), and spice.  In the mouth I got black cherry, plum, blackberries, spice, and pepper. Overall I found the wine to be juicy with some tannins and nice acidity which is why I think it would do well up against a pizza with tomato sauce. I’m always looking for good pizza wines, and this one seems to fit the bill well with vibrant juicy fruits and enough spice to carry it through.

 

 

Mourvedre My Darling, Mourvedre

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Quivira Winery

I feel like that commercial for hair club for men…I’m not only the founder, I’m a client too…I’ve been a member of the Quivira Wine Club for going on 4 years now. I have tons of their wines in my basement. I usually tend to sit on the reds for a bit though, so I’m happy to have a chance to taste them earlier through sampling so I can decide what more to order for myself and how long to hold my own bottles.  Now, I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Mouredre, Monastrell, Mataro, whatever you want to call it.  One of my favorite “obscure” grapes.  Tonight I pulled the 2006 Quivira Mourvedre from the basement, thinking it might work well with a pot roast I had made.  I’m guessing this retails for around $30….I know I paid $27 for the one I got in a club shipment, it had a real cork closure and clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume.  It appears this vintage received a score of 89 from Wine Enthusiast, so I’m going to go ahead and cross post this blog over on the 89 Project.

On the nose I found campfire smoke…I love that smell in wine, black fruit, blackberry, boysenberry, cedar, vanilla, chocolate, spice, and herbs.  It had that dark brooding nose I love in wine. In the mouth, more black fruit with black cherry thrown in, blackberry, herbs, chocolate and pepper, also some tart raspberries lurking in the background.  The wine had nice tannins that will see it through a few years, though we really enjoyed it now with our pot roast!

Rerun Review

I reviewed this same wine nearly 2 years ago and at the time said I’d try to hang onto it for a few years to see what it would do.  Wow, if my notes from two years ago are accurate, this is now a totally different and aged wine. I loved it before and I love it now, but my note could not be more different! You can read my original review here.  I’m talking about the 2005 Quivira Mourvedre.  The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume, and I think it cost me around $24 in a club shipment quite some time ago.

On the nose I first noted the aroma of chocolate syrup. I liked it, but less than 5 minutes later I found it completely gone and replaced with bittersweet chocolate, raspberries, spice, pepper, mulberry, strawberry, black tea, dried violets, caramel, a dark herbal note, and black berry lurking in the background.  Totally different from two years ago when my notes centered around dark bramble fruit!  In the mouth I got tart red fruit, raspberries, strawberries, black cherry, chocolate covered cherries, spice, anise, and some dark fresh blackberries on the finish.  Although it’s a completely different wine 2 years later, I still love all that it has to offer.

It’s Mourvedre!

Now here’s a grape I don’t see a lot of as a stand alone wine.  I see a lot of it blended in small amounts into other wines, but rarely do I get one labeled as Mourvedre. I love it though, and tend to squeal with excitement when I see it on a winery’s tasting list! And if I see it and they aren’t pouring, I try hard to make friends with the host so he or she might give me a little taste. I almost always buy some when I see it, so it’s worth it to give me just a little taste….!  Tonight I chose the 2005 Navarro Mourvedre. I bought this at the winery on our 2008 CA trip, but it wasn’t on the tasting menu so I didn’t get the price written down.  It clocked in at 13.6% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure.  I want to say I paid $26 for it, but don’t quote me on that!

On the nose I found smoke, juicy fruit (the gum), mulberry, blackberry, blueberry, pepper, and cedar. Despite all that, I would still describe the nose on the wine as reserved; it took quite some time for the aromas to emerge, and the wine was served at cellar temperature.  In the mouth I got blueberry, mulberry, pomegrante, cranberry, sandalwood, anise, and tart red fruit.  This wine has great acidity and structure, I’d love to try it with a roast beef or a tri-tip!

Curses, Foiled Again!

I thought I had a new grape here.  Major disappointment on my part to learn that Monastrell is simply Spanish for Mouvedre, a grape I love and have already tasted many times.  So I guess I’ll just have to keep searching for my Century Club application…these last few grapes just aren’t coming quickly!  Anyway, I chose the 2006 Juan Gil Monastrell to drink with the cheese dinner we had the other night .  The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and cost me (I think) $18 from Domaine547.

On the nose I found chocolate, wood, licorice, spice, smoky campfire, herbs, and cranberry.  The nose had this amazing and intriguing campfire smell.  In the mouth I got flavors of dark fruit, blueberries, cranberries, licorice, and smoke.  This wine was ready to drink with smooth fruit, good acidity, and nice structure.  Definitely a bargain at the price point!

Tongue Twister(ed)


*Disclaimer: I received this bottle as a sample from Twisted Oak Winery

Arr me mateys! A little late, but in honor of National Talk Like a Pirate Day (this past Friday) we drank this terrifying looking bottle of wine. The wine is the 2006 Twisted Oak River of Skulls. It’s a special allocation only wine available only from Twisted Oak, made of 90% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.9% alcohol by volume, and is running about $29 in the allocation notice I got for being a Twisted Few member, but I’m not sure what it will cost if any is made available to non-Twisted Few members…..

My first thought on sniffing the wine, after sorting through individual aromas, popped into my head as: this smells like blackberries wrapped in leather grilled with baking spice then dusted with star anise. Individually I found blackberries, spice, black cherry, vanilla, earth, baking spice, fresh herbs, plums, tobacco, and something slightly meaty.


In the mouth, I got blackberry, black cherry, black currants, spice, plums, and star anise. The mouth came through as fruitier than the nose (or literally in the nose, as I accidentally put my nose a little too far into the glass and got a snootful!). The fruit showed as tart, like a blackberry plum crumble (I’m sure there isn’t such a thing, I’m clearly just making stuff up at this point) with just the slightest hint of sweetness.

Overall, I thought the wine had the tannins to show it through years to come and I will definitely be sitting (figuratively folks!) on my second bottle for a few years to see how this develops. Skulls is dark and brooding and would love to be paired with your next pig roast.

Purple Beauty

The wine for the evening was a 2005 Quivira Mourvedre. You’ll be noticing lots of new wines around here as the shipments are pouring in from my wine clubs after a long summer break. Hopefully come April I’ll have a new selection of wineries for you as we are planning to head up to Calaveras County to visit El Jefe.

The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume, came in a club shipment and cost around $24 (can’t find the price on line, this is my best guess).

On the nose I found vanilla, leather, spice, pepper, and bramble fruit. Overall the nose did not display much fruit. In the mouth I found licorice, blackberries, cherry pie, and what I think might have been eucalyptus, or in any case was a medicinal note. The wine was fruitier in the mouth than on the nose. I found it to be dark and earthy with a slightly bitter component. It was a bit tannic, so I think it could age. We have another bottle in the basement, so I’ll try to hang onto that one for a while.

This wine was very different, unlike anything else I’d ever had. I really liked this bottle and would definitely seek it out again.

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