When comparing California wine styles to those of other regions around the world, one theme that emerges is the riper style and generally higher alcohol content of California wines versus Old World wines. The French in particular are accustomed to a climate where chaptalization (adding sugar) is required in most vintages, while California sunshine nearly always assures fully ripe (some would say overripe) fruit. In the 2010 vintage we saw the coolest daily temperatures in a decade in all our Paso Robles vineyards. We achieved ripe flavors at lower Brix levels than we’ve seen in the past with quite restrained alcohol levels. This 2010 Mourvèdre is a distinct shift in style from previous vintages, exhibiting delicate camphor, anise and lilac attributes.
Fruit for our 2010 J. Lohr Gesture Mourvèdre was grown at VZZ vineyard, located in the Willow Creek district in the western part of the Paso Robles AVA. These decade-old vines are planted on a steep, southwest-facing lime-shale hillside. The 23% slope in this block makes simply walking this vineyard very difficult. Our farming plan brings the crop to one cluster per shoot for this large-clustered variety, and in order to intensify flavor and color, it requires trimming off the wings and the lower third of the clusters shortly after set. We hand-harvested into half-ton bins on October 29th. The fruit signature of the blend was lifted and the finish lengthened by blending in Grenache from the same vineyard.
|Appellation:||Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County|
|Composition:||77% Mourvèdre, 23% Grenache|
|Harvest Dates:||October 29th, 2010|
|Harvest Process:||Hand-harvested, destemmed, then berry-sorted to remove overripe and underripe berries|
|Harvest Chemistries:||23.7° Brix, 3.44 pH, 0.57 g/100ml total acidity|
|Yeast: Lallemand ICV-D80|
|Fermentation: Fermented in open-top fermenters with light punch downs|
|Temperature: Three-day cold soak followed by a hot 92°F fermentation temperature|
|Maceration: 7 days on skins, pressed nearly dry|
|Malolactic: 100% malolactic, Viniflora Oenos|
|Maturation: 16 months in puncheons|
|Barrel Type: 500 liter French oak puncheons, 45% new|
|Bottle Aging: Bottled March 23, 2010|
|Total Acidity: 0.54 g/100ml|
|Alcohol: 14.09% by volume|
|Res. Sugar: Dry|
|Cellaring: Delicious now, but can be
cellared for 8 to 10 years
|Cases Produced: 356|
“Mourvèdre is also known as Mataro or Monastrell, among dozens of other synonyms, and is believed to be native to Spain. The 2010 J. Lohr Gesture Mourvèdre is medium-dark with a violet hue. Savory aromas of lilac, anise and black pepper open up to black plum. The soft, talcy texture on the palate remains crisp with a touch of acidity followed by cardamom spice on the finish.”
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker
This wine is excellent with all the specialties of southwestern France and Catalonia, such as pork roast, prosciutto tapas, dried almonds, fresh figs and brie cheese.