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Posts Tagged ‘Sierra Foothills’

Mourvedre Like No Other

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

La Clarine Farm was created in 2001 by Caroline Hoel and Hank Beckmeyer.  Their 10 acres of vineyards are a field blend of such varietals as Tempranillo, Syrah, Tannat, Grenache, Negroamaro, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The vines are typically located on thin, course sandy loam soils along a ridgetop at 2600 feet.  Native grasses, herbs and flowers grow amongst the vines.  Chemicals and fertilizers are not used.  The fruit is fermented with indigenous yeasts, there is no destemming, nothing added, and no new oak.  Fermentation occurs in flex-tanks and aging in older wood.  Sulphur is only added if needed and just a minimal amount for bottling.

I was completely surprised when I first smelled both of them for there was so much gentle, confident presence.  It is a treat when the nose is so interesting right from the start.  The Cedarville is quite light and I can see what it was described as Mutant Beaujolais.  To me it is a wine to drink on its own before sitting down to dinner or drinking something more substantial.  I rather liked how the Sumu Ka starts with driven flavors then gently expands with some ripeness before the ethereal aftertaste. These wines are available at Chambers Street Wines.  I am not sure what I did with my rather long receipt from Chambers but I believe these were priced in the $25-$28 per bottle range.

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2011 La Clarine Farm, Mourvedre, Cedarville, Sierra Foothills –
This wine is 100% Mourvedre which was harvested on October 27th.  It underwent malolactic fermentation.  Alcohol 11.7%.  The color is a rather light cranberry.  The light to medium strength nose is rather citrusy then with air becomes more mellow with red fruit and some red candy.  In the mouth the initial flavors are light bodied with yeast red fruit and are evocative of the sea.  With air the red fruit becomes driven by acidity with a strong sense of purity.  The flavors become a little blacker with light, grapey tannins in the finish.  While there are good aromas and flavors this is a light wine which may be overwhelmed by strong food.  Why not just drink it on its own? ** Now – 2014.

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2011 La Clarine Farm, Mourvedre, Sumu Kaw, Sierra Foothills –
This wine is 100% Mourvedre.  Alcohol 12.4%.  The color is a light to medium garnet.  The light nose has delicate citrus aromas, yeast red fruit, perfumed candy, and is ultimately lower lying than the Cedarville.  There is acidity driven red fruit which is tart on the front of the tongue then a little blacker.  There is a gentle, ripe expansive powdery finish.  The aftertaste is long and ethereal.  Elegant with good weight and interest.  *** Now-2015.

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