Saturday, October 30, 2010


Ortman O2 Series Cuvee Eddy

Ortman Family Vineyards provided me with their three new wines in the O2 Series for review.  I've already written about the Sangiovese and the Chardonnay.  Today I focus on the Ortman Cuvée Eddy Rhone-style blend.

Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Petite Sirah from three San Luis Obispo County vineyards - Brave Oak, Dino Boneso and Wittstrom - combine in a wine the Ortman's describe musically as "a lot of smooth jazz with a little bit of rock and roll."  Winemaker Matt Ortman, a second generation winemaker - hence the "O2" designation - says the 42% Syrah gives black fruit flavors while the 30% Grenache and 19% Mourvèdre offer a healthy dose of earthiness and the 9% of Petite Sirah chips in some spiciness.  1,500 cases of '07 Cuvée Eddy were produced and it retails for $20.  The alcohol content is 14.2%

Cuvée Eddy pours up medium dark purple in the glass and the nose offers some great dark fruit aromas, and the promised earthiness hits hard.  Blackberry and black plum tread water in a mineral-laden nose which is then echoed on the palate.  The minerality leads the fruit around on a leash.  This is some dark juice here.  It benefited quite a bit from decanting - in fact, it became as smooth as silk.  Do yourself a favor - don’t drink it right after unscrewing the cap.  Give it some breathing time and you will be rewarded.  Richly.

I sampled the wine over a three-night span, and it got better - and darker in texture - each night.  It's a suggested mate with barbecue and pizza, and I can't imagine you could go wrong with that.  The intense mineral profile and lip-smacking acidity make for a very food-friendly beverage

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