I came across Crystal Basin Cellars during an industry event—actually it was a bit more like an informal gathering—of grapegrowers and winemakers in El Dorado County. The topic of discussion was lesser known varieties that thrive in this portion of the Sierra Foothills. We tasted some really interesting (and delicious) wines that day. A lot of what you may call “rustic” reds actually have an excellent “cool-climate” expression due to the colder air that sinks down through the Sierras and settles along the vines in the foothills. Indeed, Mourvèdre, a fun, funky grape that can be as carnal as you like it from one terroir but as delicate as a flower petal from another, has found a good home here in El Dorado, maintaining its innate structure, achieving full phenolic ripeness, but holding on to the much needed acidity to lift the beautiful fruit flavors on the nose and on the palate.
About the Wine: Crystal Basin Cellars 2016 Reserve Mourvèdre
Appearance: Pale ruby
Aroma: Initial aromas are medium (+) intensity and showing signs of development. Aromas include: blackberry, black plum, bramble, toast/smoke, old wood, violets, a hint of fruit leather, a hint of forest floor, a hint of anise, and a hint of chocolate.
Palate: The palate is dry, high in acid, medium (-) tannin, medium body, and medium alcohol. The flavor intensity is medium (+) with the flavor profile including those notes from aromatic profile, but enhancing the notes of violets, anise, toast, and smoke.
The finish is medium (+) in length.
Conclusion: Based on the WSET criteria, I conclude that this wine is very good and has the potential to age further.
Food Pairing: I paired theCrystal Basin Cellars 2016 Reserve Mourvèdre with a grilled filet mignon topped with a mushroom-steak sauce and served with roasted heirloom potatoes and a blue cheese and blueberry side salad. Perfection.
More Info: I received the Crystal Basin Cellars 2016 Reserve Mourvèdre as a sample for review (Cheers!). Retail: $30. For more information about Crystal Basin Cellars, their wines, and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Crystal Basin Cellars website. Note: The winery is currently offering curbside pickup and local deliveries during the COVID Shelter-in-Place.
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