Earthy, muddy, murky, funky. These are the words I think of when I think of Mourvedre and the qualities that endear the variety to me. Even in its rosé form, there’s something rustic, even animalistic, about it.

As my winemaking friend Larry Schaffer of Tercero Wines notes, “Warner always produces a darker, more brooding style of Mourvèdre…this ‘funks’ the wine up a bit and gives it spice and structure.”

And yet my winemaking friend Steve Grower from Crux Winery said, “I’ve been tempted to say ‘Mourvedre has a je ne sais quoi‘ to avoid having to actually describe it.”

Indeed to pin Mourvedre down to a single style — well you shouldn’t tame a wild thing I suppose. All I can say as an introduction to this Mourvedre based on my experiences…

Now for something completely different…

About the Wine: Passaggio 2016 Heringer Estate Mourvedre is made from 100% Mourvedre grapes sourced from Heringer Estate vineyards in Clarksburg, California.


Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of the Passaggio 2016 Heringer Estates Mourvedre and find aromas of muddy waters, dehydrated-rehydrated fruits, and dark chocolate. This Mourvedre presents a pink rusty-rouge on the pour, settling into the glass with a soft rose pink hue. It is visually light, delicate, pretty, feminine.

This wine is immediately vibrant with aromatics—vibrant red fruits like cranberries, strawberries and pomegranates waft out of the glass. Take a deep breath in and find herbaceous notes of basil and eucalyptus that envelope those bright fruits. And there’s a strong acidic line that pierces through it all. Swirl the glass to find warm chocolate notes; warm, woody-herbs like rosemary and lavender. Float the nose away and find just the faintest hint of perfume.

The palate of the Passaggio 2016 Heringer Estates Mourvedre is light, but firm; it’s not tannic, but it is solid. The acidity is present, but not overpowering, just consistently confident from start to finish. Dominant flavors are of dried rosemary or thyme, black cherry, a hint of cola, crunchy potpourri, and just a kiss of oak.

Food Pairing: I paired the Passaggio 2016 Heringer Estates Mourvedre with a spiced-rubbed salmon served with a roasted beet-quinoa pilaf, garnished with fresh arugula and goats cheese, all seasoned with fresh mint.

Completely enjoyed this pairing: The mint highlighted the more vibrant fruit aromatics; the natural oils in the salmon made the wine more glossy on the tongue; and the earthy-sweetness of the beets elevated both the acidity and the texture.

I am very grateful I have a second bottle of this….

More Info: I received the Passaggio 2016 Heringer Estate Mourvedre as a gift. (Cheers Cindy!) Price: $48. For more information about Passagio, Cindy, her wines, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Passaggio Wine website.

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**Please note: all reviews and opinions are my own and are not associated with any of my places of business. I will always state when a wine has been sent as a sample for review. Sending samples for review on my personal website in no way guarantees coverage in any other media outlet I may be currently associated with.**

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