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Villa Creek Damas Noir Mourvedre 2011

Mourvedre from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
  • RP93
14.2% ABV
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14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Anise, black fruits, mesquite and spice dance together in the glass. The soft, yet structured palate frames boysenberry, rose hips, salted black licorice and Asian spices. This wine is cool and dark, yet intoxicating and sultry. Think Lena Olin. Give it a decant or if you can hold off, some time in the cellar, then enjoy with mesquite grilled bacon-wrapped figs followed by an herb dusted leg of lamb or Provencal boulliabase. Drink 2015 - 2030.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Also made from 100% Mourvedre, the 2011 Damas Noir exhibits classic varietal typicity in its dark, purple fruits, iron, beef blood, white pepper and leather-driven bouquet. Not losing a beat on the palate either, it gives up a full-bodied, rich, angular and chewy feel, with good concentration, ripe, yet edgy tannin and a great finish. Give it another year and enjoy it through 2026. Rating: 93(+) Points.
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Villa Creek

Villa Creek

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Villa Creek, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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Cris and JoAnn Cherry moved to Paso Robles in 1996 to open a restaurant, partake in the burgeoning wine scene and raise their children in the country. In 2001, they purchased their first grapes to make wine for their restaurant. And so began Villa Creek Cellars, their best expression of west Paso Robles' Rhone grape varieties.

Today, they farm their own certified biodynamic and certified organic vineyard, the MAHA Estate in the hills west of Paso Robles. They continue to purchase grapes from the region's most esteemed vineyards and strive to create exciting wines that reflect the land from which they originated.

The MAHA Estate is 8 miles west of Paso Robles. Extreme topography of south and west facing slopes that climb to 1800 feet continue to captivate Cris and JoAnn with the dynamic views of the coastal mountain range. The winery was erected in 2003 to house the production of roughly 3000 cases of wine each year. Monterey shale and siliceous shale provide an ideal foundation for the Rhone grape varieties planted in 2012 and 2013. Sustaining the vibrancy and the health of the land by farming the grapes under organic and biodynamic principles will, in turn, make vibrant wines. The soil is abundant in micro organisms and is the perfect host to the vines, the family and their flock of 30 Dorper sheep that graze the vineyard in the winter and spring. The energy of this site is palpable.

Paso Robles

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Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.

Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.

This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.

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.

ALW161479_2011 Item# 161479