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Groundwork Mourvedre 2015

Mourvedre from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WW90
14.5% ABV
  • WS90
  • RP90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark, unknown, misunderstood. We align ourselves with this Mourvedre hailing not of the prevailing wind, but of the underground. Abiding in the shadows. Only to be seen by those who seach.

Decant 1-2 hours. Serve slightly below room temperature.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 90
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: Mourvèdre is a grape variety that could use more attention. In the New World—especially in the hands of artisan California producers—it has shown excellent promise. TASTING NOTES: The 2015 Groundwork Mourvèdre offers attractive aromas and flavors of black fruit and sweet earth. The wine's brightness should pair it nicely with roast chicken over a bed of fresh tossed greens. (Tasted: March 23, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
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Groundwork

Groundwork

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Groundwork, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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Sans Liege is winemaker Curt Schalchlin's relentless search for independence. Equally aligned with the freedoms of the New World and the heritage of the Rhone Valley, he is careful not to hold too closely to either. Instead he trusts an intuition of the microcosms of each vineyard site and vine to guide his work through each vintage. Tending fruit in vineyards that have captured his heart from Paso Robles down to Solvang.

Santa Barbara

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by moist ocean fog and breezes, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, producing wines marked by racy acidity. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc and savory Syrah are also important. The region is home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

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.

BUR403130431_2015 Item# 213180