Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Mourvèdre in Walla Walla: Trio Vintners

So how do you pronouce it? It depends on who you ask. Moo-ved - - Moo-ved-dray - - More-ved - - More-ved-dray - - Moor-ved - - Moor-ved-dray.  As the ol' song goes, "You say potato and I say po-tah-toe, you say tomato and I say - - whatev ... I'm bored now"  However, not bored with the taste of this dark blue-black grape.
Mourvèdre (France), Mataró (Portugal), or Monastrell (Spain) has many names and  is the same depending on where you live. It's a grape variety producing deep dark red wines and also rosés, as well as an international variety grown in many regions around the world.

Mourvèdre (and here we go again with another name, as it is sometimes known as Balzac and also known as Bandol dependent on the area) is widespread across the Mediterranean coast of southern France, where it is a notable component of the very much coveted and international Châteauneuf-du-Pape, along with its other red counterparts: Grenache and Syrah.

We are now seeing and will be seeing more of the popular red blend, "GSM" on the American wine shelves and beginning to see it here in Walla Walla.   

The acronym, GSM was started in Australia for their version of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The blend of these three grapes are brought together with grenache producing a light berry nose with a bit of spice, syrah bringing in full-bodied flavors of dark berries, smoke, and pepper and last but not least, mourvèdre contributing elegance, backbone, ripe plums and hints of cigar box. 

Trio Vintners of Walla Walla has a wonderful example of 100% Mourvèdre. The 2009 vintage will make this the winery's third vintage of Mourvèdre from the  Far Away Vineyard (Art den Hoed) in the Yakima Valley AVA. This wine can also tout itself as being one of the few single Mourvèdre vineyard designated that has been released  in the state of Washington.   

I've been tasting a lot of wines lately and this glass of wine was difficult to put down - - so I didn't. I didn't spit or dump. I enjoyed - - and enjoyed a second glass.  The nose was of violets, smoke and spice like incense. The color was dark, viscous and inky. Rich and lush on the palate with dark fruits and a bit on the gamey smoky side.  

The evening I  tasted this wine, I had the pleasure the week before of being introduced to a glass of the Trio Vintners  Mourvèdre 2009 at the Wine Writer's Dinner  at the Enology and Viticulture Institute at Walla Walla.  It was paired with a pepper crusted lamb chop, goat crepinette, potatoes roasted with fennel and a tomato chutney and herb demi-glace. While I am not a big meat eater, and especially one of small animals like goat and lamb, one also could have paired the wine with a big ol' piece of chocolate cake and I would have been happy with the pairing. 

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