I was introduced to Telaya when I was at an Idaho wine tasting at the El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma, California. Yes, you heard me right. Idaho. I wasn’t as skeptical as you’d think. In fact, I was mostly just intrigued to taste from a region I’d never tasted from before.
You can learned more about what I learned at that event in this article. But, on a more personal than professional note, I have to say that my favorite wine of that day was the Telaya Wines 2016 Turas. The representatives of Visit Idaho who were also present at the tasting, were kind enough to send us away with a small bag packed with “a taste of Idaho,” if you will. And I was pleased to see that it included Telaya Wines varietal Mourvedre. This is that wine…
About the Wine: The Telaya 2016 Mourvedre is made from 100% Mourvedre grapes harvested from the Sawtooth Vineyard, located in the Snake River Valley AVA of Idaho. The wine aged in 100% French oak barrels (combination new and used—exact percentages unknown) for 20 months.
Flavor Profile: Pop the cork of the Telaya Mourvedre and breathe in soft, moist, muddddd…walking through a forest after a warm rain, damp tree bark, hints of cruciferous vegetation, and plump, almost over-ripe red berries, fallen and smooshed into the ground…
This Mourvedre is pale, pale, pale rouge-pink on the pour. In the glass…ahhh just the same, penetrable from the core on out to the perimeter. Bring it up to the light and it’s almost a fuchsia-pink (very light, pretty, luminescent, dare I say…feminine?)
Initial aromas are quite perfumey with pink-petaled rose petals, fresh cranberries, a hint milk chocolate, and a hint of eucalyptus-like herbaceousness. There is a strong sense of acidity that presents itself on the nose, so swirl. Swirl. Ah yes, that decadence comes through: plump black cherries, cranberry juice, that hint of milk chocolate, some spice (white pepper?), and just a touch of some red heat as well (paprika? chili flakes?)
The palate of this Mourvedre is light, but full, smooth, yet spice-filled, with a consistently working acidity from start to finish. This wine is beautifully savory in its flavor profile: a bit of red meat umami underlines the whole tasting; there’s definitely a spice, but on the palate Its more true to black peppercorn than white pepper; there are indeed fruits: cranberries yes, tart, black cherry yes, (and maybe the slightest/faintest whisper of a dried fruit, thinking date) with just a hint of cola. There’s a kind of brambly earthiness to its aura, circling the entirety, grounding the wine to earth and reality.
Food Pairing: I paired the Telaya Mourvedre with a herb-encrusted lamb rack, mint pea puree, and an arugula salad tossed with goat’s cheese, pine nuts, green onion, and dressed with a white wine/agave dressing.
Not only was this the perfect pairing, I also have to add the intrigue that persisted with this wine sip after sip. Even within the first 20 mins, the wine evolves, becoming fuller, rounder. But the acidity is confident, never dissipating and always cutting through that earthiness and eventual voluptuousness, so the wine is consistently well balanced from the first glass to the last.
More Info: I received the Telaya Mourvedre as a gift. (Cheers Earl!) For more information about Telaya, their wines, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Telaya Wine Co. website.
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