Mourvedre? In Colorado?

Creekside Cellars’ 2010 Mourvedre, total cases 54 

Lunch on the deck over Bear Creek at Creekside Cellars Winery and Bistro

Lunch on the deck over Bear Creek at Creekside Cellars Winery and Bistro

If you are a fan of fashionable grapes, then tune in to Mourvèdre.  In Spain, it is loosing ground, but not so in the south of France.  Plantings are increasing and the grape is favored.  California has caught on.  And Australia, though having lost considerable acreage to an ill advised vine pull, is now finding this grape’s wonderful characteristics again.  Better clonal selection has a lot to do with its resurgence.  Last year, Colorado released only one Mourvèdre (to my knowledge) as a varietal  and it is available through Creekside Cellar’s Wine Club.

Mourvèdre’s characteristics are:

  • Much needed structure for blending with more loosely put together reds ,such as Grenache and Cinsaut
  • An intense fruitiness — especially dark fruit
  • Some hold it is more fleshy than Syrah
  • A nose of blackberries, especially a perfume that reminds of blackberries coupled with a gamey, animal characteristic
  • Aging potential
  • Strong tannins
  • The headiness of high alcohol
  • Thick-skinned berries loaded with phenolics

In Colorado, when it ripens well it is a surprise, since it cannot stand very low temperatures and buds and ripens late.  The grapes for Creekside’s wonderful 2010 version came from Palisade.

Emotionally, we are set up for this wine by its almost opaque, dark red color.  The nose could not be more varietal, sporting the aroma of fresh, juicy blackberries, coupled with the darkening tones of vanilla from French Oak.  Lifting its dark character a little and adding another fresh note is the lighter aroma of thyme.  The body seems lighter than its 14.9% alcohol would indicate due to the refreshing fruit.  With 20 months in oak, it does not lack complexity, sparkles with fruit, and is vibrant with well-matched acids, begging for rich food.  Mocha and leather round out its dominant flavors.  It has a power-packed finish.  Drink and enjoy a prize wine — another great example of the potential that exists in Colorado for winning vitas vinifera products.

If you are fortunate enough to visit Evergreen, Colorado, be sure to stop by Creekside Cellars’ Winery and Bistro to enjoy their wine and great food in a quaint and beautiful Colorado setting.

Rating 90

Emotional rating?  The same feelings you might have in a ripe blackberry patch with the added benefit of fermentation.

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You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my book, “Experiencing Colorado Wine,” and you’ll find the description of the pairing of several of them with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

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