100% Mourvèdre is somewhat of a rare treat. Mourvèdre in France, and many regions of the world, is more often used as a blending grape because of its high tannins and alcohol, and tendency to ripen late. But in the hot climes of Spain (known as Monastrell and Mataró) and in well-managed vineyards in certain areas of California and Washington State, Mourvèdre is showing itself to be a delicious stand-alone variety. On Red Mountain we have hot days to fully ripen and draw out the jammy fruit flavors that balance the alcohol and tannin; coupled with low rainfall and expert canopy management to reduce the likelihood of mold.
Heart vineyard is located in the heart of Red Mountain, the smallest appellation in Washington State at 4,040 acres (1,630 ha planted). The area has a desert climate with average yearly rainfall of five inches per year. During the growing season, daytime temperatures average 90 °F (32 °C) with nighttime temperatures dropping below 50 °F (10 °C). Varieties from Southern France (like Mourvèdre) or Italy thrive in the hot and desert-like conditions of Eastern Washington - particularly the Red Mountain AVA.
The 2015 growing season was warmer than normal for Washington State, with January through August ranking as the warmest on record. Although harvest was early, the rhythm of incoming grapes was nicely spread out and we had ample time to ferment both whites and reds, without feeling much of a crunch. Harvesting our whites earlier allowed us to retain freshness, lively flavors and acidity while we patiently waited for the reds to pack up flavors, complexity, and power through longer hang time.
We aged this Mourvèdre for 16 months, 42% in new French oak Puncheon, and the balance in neutral oak.
Velvety, rich, full, jammy.
NOSE: raspberry, rhubarb, floral, white pepper
MOUTH: bright acid, boysenberry, cranberry
FOOD & WINE PAIRING: roasted root vegetables with mushrooms, onions, and rosemary; risotto; thyme and sage rubbed pork shoulder