2016 Cavern Select Mourvedre
The 2016 Cavern Select Mourvèdre has notes of sweet tobacco, tarragon, and lavender on the nose. Blackberry, black pepper on the on the mid-palate with a dry dusty finish.
From the Pomar appellation of the Paso Robles AVA. This vineyard frosted in the spring significantly limiting the crop. While not always great, the result was small berries and a few clusters per vine, giving us all the tools we needed to make a stellar Mourvèdre.
Harvested, fermented, and pressed to a selection of European Oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. This wine was aged in 1-year-old European Oak barrels until bottling.
In 2016 when all the blends were completed, we had two left over barrels of Mourvèdre. Typically, this wine would have made its way into the Robert Hall Syrah blend. Fortunately, we could not let this wine go. Mourvèdre is grown primarily in Spain (called Monastrell), France (in Bandol and Rhône regions), Australia (called Mataro), and the US. Very few make varietal Mourvèdre in the US because of its full-bodied tannic nature. In France, the wines made in Bandol are typically all or mostly Mourvèdre while in the Rhône the varietal is only use in blends. Most notably, in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, where it is one of the 18 approved grape varieties. Mourvèdre is often considered the of the GSM or Rhône Red Blend.
The 2016 vintage began with below average rainfall as the Paso Robles area continues to be effected by drought. The dry start was followed by above average warm temperatures that lasted through June, at which point temperatures became more moderate. The early warm weather accelerated fruit development and allowed for an improved fruit set compared to the 2015 vintage. While harvest came early to many in Paso Robles, the mild temperatures extended our growing season improving overall grape quality. Temperatures remained seasonal until above average rainfall in late October concluded our harvest. Overall, we experienced a busy harvest season with prime conditions for ripening. The 2016 vintage has excellent depth of color and wonderful flavor maturity.