The thermometer hovers around 70 Fahrenheit. Gray blankets the sky. Rain falls. Classic summer in Oregon.
My heart (and lack of sweater) longs for warmth. So I turn to California’s sun-slathered central coast: Paso Robles. Last year we toured Paso’s wineries and nabbed a few bottles. Thacher Winery was a pleasant visit. Their tasting room nestles in a lovely, oak-lined valley, formerly Kentucky Ranch, replete with old barn. Their vines lay elsewhere, dry farmed, head trained, and also in Westside Paso: the cooler, wetter (still hot), limestone bit of Paso Robles.
Winemaker/owner Sherman left brew master-ing for sixteen years and brought his precision to open Thacher in 2008. Most of what we tasted was clean and interesting, with a tilt to rare Rhône varieties.
The best was Thacher’s 2012 Mourvèdre. Let’s see how it fairs against an icebound, Oregonian summer.
The APPEARANCE looks a slightly hazy, medium plus intense ruby, with a narrow clear rim.
AROMAS smell of medium intensity rhubarb, dark pomegranate juice, blueberry, then musk, dry hay, iron, and barnyard.
The PALATE feels lush and thickly fruited up front, then muscular tannins and hot coal alcohol tighten and dry out my palate.
FLAVORS taste most intense, complex, and cling like glue for a medium plus length. A cord of pomegranate and blackberry syrup carries though, vying against layers of molasses, tobacco, and iron below. There is a lot of lovely juicy, dark fruit here. Yet just a dash of seriousness.
Thacher’s 2012 Mourvèdre manages to be approachable without boring you to tears. A fancy burger, smoked then grilled tempeh, ohh! sage encrusted lamb would all smile alongside this wine (avoid chocolate). It is very good (4 of 5).
But a night of cold misery and painful summer irony all melts away with this deep, warm wine. Have a lovely evening.