Contra Costa County
69% Del Barba, 31% Enea
Drinkability: Drinkable upon release (Feb. 2018), 8-12 years ageability
2016 Old Telegram
91 Points, James Suckling
$45.00 per bottle / $486.00 per case
$38.25 per bottle / $432.00 per case (Members)
From the nose, one scents licorice, blood(!) (make that very rare meat), blackberries, wet earth. There is the definite scent of beef bouillon, one of the absolute true signifiers of (proper) Mourvèdre. On the palate, the tannins are very plush and soft, almost a sense of sweetness (emphatically no R.S. in this), but with a really vibrant acidity and very great length. We somehow skirted the peril of over- ripeness and raisination. The wine is rich but also quite elegant at the same time.
My brilliant friend, Sean Thackrey and I disagree about many things, but I greatly admire his wines, and am indebted to him for his wine scholarship. He has learned that it has been the historical practice to let wine grapes “rest” for several days before crushing. Independent of whatever explanatory mechanism one might wish to propose for the salutary effect of this activity, it is still a common practice in the Veneto for red grapes. In its most extreme instance, one arrives at Amarone, but I’ve found that even a relatively short period (3-4 days) of indoor air-drying results in a certain degree of concentration of flavor, sugar, and most significantly, a transformation of the stems of the clusters from green to brown, with the disappearance of green, stemmy flavors.
Food Pairing Notes
Wine-braised lamb shanks with herbes de Provence. Enoki mushroom tempura with soy-based dipping sauce. Hoisin-marinated chicken breasts served with wild & brown rice medley. Wild mushroom & thyme pizza. Pork shoulder. Beef short ribs