Monday, August 27, 2018

Robert Hall Mourvèdre

The Paso Robles wine region sprawls over a good part of California's Central Coast.  It sprawls so, that it was recently divided into eleven sub-AVAs.  That's a testament to the variety of terroirs in the region's 600,000-plus acres, 40,000 of which are under vine. 

Hall Ranch sports five sustainably farmed estate vineyards - 300 acres in all.  They grow 21 different grape varietals there near the Estrella River.  Head winemaker Don Brady was Texas-trained, back before Texas had a wine industry of which to speak.  He's been with Robert Hall Winery for nearly two decades.

Robert Hall's 2016 Cavern Select Mourvèdre is mostly that grape, 97%, with tiny splashes of Syrah and Grenache.  It reverses the pattern of the GSM, but I suppose MSG isn't a great name for a food product. 

The vintage was marked by drought, early hot weather and late moderation until some October rain came as harvest ended.  It rings up 15% abv on alcohol and $45 at the cash register. 

This wine is nearly full-blown Mourvèdre, so it's dark.  It's rich, too, with a nose of cassis and blackberries shrouded in smoke and tobacco.  It's fragrant to a fault, if such a thing exists.  The palate is beautiful, with deep, dark fruit and savory herbs bursting at the seams.  The tannins are there, but are surprisingly tame.  That's all the better for sipping.  This is a wonderful wine with a bounty of aroma and flavor and a near-perfect touch of oak.

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