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Andis Mourvedre 2013

Mourvedre from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Always the last grape to arrive at the winery each year and often times picked after all the leaves have fallen off the vines, this Mourvedre reveals why high elevation farming can be worth the risk. An expressive interplay of dark berry and spice flavors lead to a smoky, lingering finish; bold, seductive and most importantly, delicious.

    Pairs well with baked risotto with venison and sausage and mushrooms.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Andis
    Andis, Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
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    Opened in November of 2010, Andis Wines brings a modern and fresh approach to Amador County's winemaking region. Their focus: seeking out the best vineyards in the Sierra Foothills to craft delicious wines with balance, character, complexity and varietal correctness. Using both traditional and innovative winemaking approaches (have you tried wine aged in concrete?), Andis Wines have quickly garnered 90+ point scores in Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, glowing reviews in print and online media, and placements in some of the finest restaurants in Northern California and Hawaii.

    The winery building is a state-of-the-art winemaking facility built with a "green" design. The spacious tasting room offers panoramic vineyard views of surrounding Amador wine country, expansive picnic areas, a bocce ball court, daily winery tours, and wine on tap!

    As the lower part of the greater Sierra Foothills appellation, Amador is roughly a plateau whose vineyards grow at 1,200 to 2,000 feet in elevation. It is 100 miles east of both San Francisco and Napa Valley. Most of its wineries are in the oak-studded rolling hillsides of Shenandoah Valley or east in Fiddletown, where elevations are slightly higher.

    The Sierra Foothills growing area was among the largest wine producers in the state during the gold rush of the late 1800s. The local wine industry enjoyed great success until just after the turn of the century when fortune-seekers moved elsewhere and its population diminished. With Prohibition, winemaking was totally abandoned, along with its vineyards. But some of these, especially Zinfandel, still remain and are the treasure chest of the Sierra Foothills as we know them.

    Most Amador vines are planted in volcanic soils derived primarily from sandy clay loam and decomposed granite. Summer days are hot but nighttime temperatures typically drop 30 degrees and the humidity is low, making this an ideal environment for grape growing. Because there is adequate rain throughout the year and even snow in the winter, dry farming is possible.

    Mourvedre

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    Never lacking in color, tannin, or bold, mouth-filling texture, Mourvèdre is most commonly deployed to provide substance in blends with Grenache and Syrah/Shiraz. Despite being better known by its French name, Mourvèdre is actually of Spanish provenance, originally known as Monastrell. In Spain, it is one of the most commonly planted red grapes, serving as the principal variety in regions such as Alicante, Jumilla, and Yecla. It truly thrives, however, in Provence’s Bandol region, where it produces singular red and rosé wines along with Grenache and [Cinsault]. It is also of great importance in the Southern Rhône alongside Grenache and Syrah—and in California and Australia, where those blends are frequently mimicked.

    In the Glass

    Mourvèdre/Monastrell is responsible for robust, heady wines with dark berry fruit and a somewhat gamey quality. At its finest, it takes on brambly red and black fruit flavors and hints of herbs, leather, dark chocolate, and licorice. It can be prohibitively tannic in its youth, but well-aged examples can show an impressive degree of elegance and an attractive perfume. In blends with Grenache and Syrah, Mourvèdre provides fleshy texture, tannic structure, and deep color.

    Perfect Pairings

    This earthy Mediterranean variety loves rustic food—think cassoulet, wild boar ragu, or smoky ribs. Mourvèdre’s tannins are bold but not bitter, lending the wine the weight and texture it needs to pair with such hearty fare.

    Sommelier Secret

    Mourvèdre used to have significant plantings in California, but it was unfashionable and its presence was quickly declining in the late 20th century. In the 1980s, a group of California winemakers inspired by the wines of the Rhône Valley (aptly named the Rhône Rangers) brought the variety back into the spotlight. Plantings have since increased and “GSM” blends are now a highly-regarded specialty of the Central Coast.

    HNYADSMOE13C_2013 Item# 213422