Posts tagged #Mourvedre

Does wine really get better with age?

There’s an old joke that the average American ages their wine for about 30 minutes. That’s the amount of time it takes to get it home from the store and open it up.

Even wine enthusiasts can find it difficult to keep good wine around too long. Our friends Sarah and Dave recently picked up a bottle of Grenache from Anglim Winery on their first trip to Paso Robles. We met for dinner a few nights later and they shared the bottle with us. It was delicious, but now it’s gone.

On a side note, this is exactly why we always buy at least two bottles of wine we really like.

Would the Anglim Grenache taste even better after a year or two of aging? It’s hard to tell. And, thanks to our friends’ generosity, we don’t get to find out.

Anglim Mourvedre + Terra's Bistro Burger = Awesome

What, in the name of science, can we do?

Fortunately, Sally and I have our own small collection of Anglim wine. We don’t have any Grenache, but we did purchase two bottles of their 2007 Hastings Ranch Vineyard Mourvedre when we visited the winery in 2011.

We consumed the first bottle in February 2012 while dining at Antica Trattoria. We liked it but didn’t feel it paired well with our meal. Our tasting notes included notes of white pepper on the nose with cherry, red plum, earthiness on the palate and a little bit of spice and tannin on the finish. You can read our review here

We consumed the second bottle two weeks ago while dining at Terra American Bistro. Our tasting notes were nearly identical to the first bottle. However, this time around it complimented our meal perfectly. Sally had Terra’s delicious bistro burger while I had their chipotle skirt steak.

It seems that this wine did improve slightly from about 16 months of aging. Could our differing impressions be due to our choice of food? Possibly. We didn’t record our meal at Antica Trattoria in the previous post, so it’s hard to know for sure. 

The unsatisfying end to this story is we can’t say with 100 percent certainty that wine improves with age. I guess we’ll just have to keep experimenting with good wine until we can obtain conclusive proof one way or another! 

Posted on July 9, 2013 and filed under Wine Discoveries.

Two new shared bottles we really really like

Sally and I hit the jackpot this weekend with two dinner invitations from friends who share our passion for great wine. We firmly believe that shared bottles are the best bottles and lucky for us, they do too. And, as luck would have it, we discovered an amazing new wine at each dinner.

On Friday, we dined with our friends Gaby and Steve. They have turned us on to a lot of wonderful wineries over the years including Herman Story (see "Herman Story - a winery you need to know"). This time, they shared a bottle of 2007 McPrice Myers Beautiful Earth, which is a GSM blend of 70% Syrah, 24% Grenache, and 6% Mourvedre. It's silky smooth with substantially more body and deeper, darker flavors than you'd expect out of this type of blend.

McPrice Myers runs Barrel 27, which used to be a collaboration between McPrice Myers and Russell From, until From left in 2011 to focus full time on his own label, Herman Story. Yes, the circle of (wine) life is complete.

On Saturday, we visited our friends Karin and Jeff. Like us, they enjoy a wide range of varietals. Lamb shank was on the menu, which pairs well with Pinot Noir or Syrah, so they generously provided both options. One of the wines they served was a 2009 Seufert "Johan Vineyard" Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. It was an excellent example of Oregon Pinot: good earth tones, bright but subtle fruit characteristics, and light bodied but bold enough to pair very well with food. Needless to say, we were all disappointed when the bottle was finally empty.

This really is the best way to discover great wine - make friends with good, generous people who will share a bottle of their good stuff with you and then try to score a dinner invitation. 

Posted on October 7, 2012 and filed under Wine Discoveries.

Every bottle can't be a winner - even if it's wine you like

It’s always interesting to try a favorite wine a second time. Last weekend, Sally and I shared a bottle of 2008 Halter Ranch Cotes de Paso. The last time we drank this wine, we gave it rave reviews (“If you taste something good, don’t let it get away”) and I lamented not buying a second bottle after we enjoyed it at a restaurant. Sally later surprised me with another bottle as a present, but it was a bit of a mixed bag the second time around.

We drank the wine with a wonderful feast Sally made comprised of some of my favorites: French onion soup for starters, veal brisket with root vegetables for the main course, and tiramisu for dessert. The meal was incredible. The wine was very good, but it wasn’t on par with the first time bottle.

The first time, we gave the wine our coveted “ingredients to dessert” nod, meaning it was good enough to open while you were cooking and would still taste delicious by the time you got to dessert. Assuming you had some left, of course! The second time around, we felt it definitely wasn’t in this class. Even the tasting notes were a little different, with the flavor profile being pleasant, but a little less robust and refined than the first time.

It's even interesting to compare our flavor notes:

Bottle #1: cocoa, earthiness, and blackberry

Bottle #2: strawberry, apple, and raisin

I may now have to revise my earlier statement that if you discover an outstanding wine, you’ll need to buy two bottles. I now think you need three, just in case bottle #2 is a dud!


Posted on February 24, 2012 and filed under Wine Discoveries.

Another from the unusual grape files: Mourvedre

Part of the fun in wine tasting is discovering the unique taste of different grapes.  There are about 4,000 distinct grape varieties produced around the world, but majority of the grapes consumed are from about 36 varietals.  Some on this list of 36 are more popular, like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, and others are less notable.  One of these lesser known grapes, at least in the US, is Mourvedre [more-VAY-druh].

Mourvedre is native of Spain, was eventually brought to France, and has since made its way to Australia and the US.  Today, it is a popular varietal in many wines throughout the world.  It is used in blends, as well as on its own.  It’s probably best known as part of Rhone blend – GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre).  It is not as often bottled as a single variety.  However, we discovered one on our first trip to Paso Robles at Anglim winery

The ’07 Mourvedre is the first produced for Anglim.  It is 100% Mourvedre from a small planting in the Adelaida region of Paso Robles.  We quickly detected notes of white pepper on the nose.  The taste was earthy, with cherry and red plum.  The finish had the same spice detected on the nose and rich tannins.  We enjoyed our bottle while dining at our favorite local Italian restaurant, Antica Trattoria.  It held up to our rich meaty dishes.  Although, I did find it more enjoyable on its own where I was able to truly enjoy the full variety of flavors the wine had to offer.  I wouldn’t call it an everyday red, but if looking for something a little out of the ordinary, give this wine a go.  It certainly opened my mind (and taste buds!) to trying other 100% Mourvedre wines.

Only 233 cases were produced.  You can purchase direct from the winery for $34. 

Posted on February 7, 2012 and filed under Wine Discoveries.