Monday Mourvèdre madness sees a new wine in our glasses. The rare grape of Bandol and Southern France has found a small niche in warm Central California. After trying the light Croad (here) and plump Terry Hoag (read here), it is time to turn to one of the smallest AVAs with the oldest Mourvèdre: Lime Kiln Valley.
Lime Kiln Valley sits like a Russian doll in the Cienega Valley, which sits in San Benito County, in Montery, in Central California, in California, in America (*phew). Lime Kiln Valley lives up to its name: rich with limestone and dolomite. Temperatures range an extreme 50 degrees. The perfect recipe for torturing vines to make quality grapes.
And only one family farms Lime Kiln Valley: The Enz family. They started in 1895, and planted Mourverdre 1922: one of the oldest Mourvedre vineyards anywhere. Currently there are 40 acres of vineyards, including a 15 acre parcel of head-trained Mourvèdre.
Lucky for us Kenneth Volk made some in 2012.
Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Mourvèdre, Enz Vineyard, Lime Kiln Valley, California 2012 $25-$36
A deep purple-colored core is crowned by thin wash legs. Aromas crackle with dried herbs, especially fennel, a whiff of honeyed bacon, tobacco, pomegranate and blackberry fruit leather. The palate is dry, popping with medium plus acidity, dried reed-like medium tannins, medium 13.2% alcohol, the body is medium, Medium plus flavors cut about with the fennel, pomegranate, dried cherry skin, white tobacco ash, and salt that carry a medium plus length.
Volk’s Mourverdre is juicy, bright, yet edgy, and well-bodied. It reminds me of a lighter Bandol. It is outstanding stuff (5 of 5). But unless you are a masochist, it cries for food. Poultry with a bit of char and balsamic glaze, wild foul, venison, black mushroom and truffle dishes, or serious cheeses are a must.