I only recently enjoyed my first single-varietal bottling of Mourvèdre, so was excited to hear when Larry, owner and winemaker of Tercero Wines, released his 2016 Mourvèdre Rosé. It’s certainly not something I’ve seen before, but Larry’s been playing with this style of rosé since 2012. It’s an interesting texture and flavor profile — versatile enough to stand on its own or pair with food (see Larry’s recommendations below) — and Tercero Wines Mourvèdre Rosé is certainly unlike any other “pink” wine I’ve had before.

About the Wine: Tercero Wines 2016 Mourvèdre Rosé is made from 100% Mourvèdre grapes harvested from the Camp 4 vineyard in Santa Ynez, a new source for Tercero’s Mourvèdre this year, according to Larry. This wine is what I call a “purposeful” rosé, meaning these grapes were harvested early for the sole purpose of making this wine (as opposed to saignée method which uses the free-run juices, or “bleed-off” from red wine). Larry foot-stomped the grapes himself, skin-on, and allowed the juice to settle for about an hour of skin contact. The juice was then pressed, whole-cluster, into a cold stainless steel tank to ferment. The wine was then aged in combination stainless steel and seasoned French oak barrels for 4 months.

Larry also notes that you can enjoy this wine at room temperature. For my tasting, I started the wine at a traditional “white wine temp” at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, but left the wine out through the course of the evening. I do agree with him that, while the rosé can be enjoyed chilled, you will pick up more of the notes listed below, as it comes to room temp.

12.1% ABV

Flavor Profile: Twist off that cap and the most beautiful scent of summer time camping fills the air: dusty earth, drying trees, forage-able berries budding on the bushes. In the glass, the Tercero Wines Mourvèdre Rosé is a peachy-tan shade of pink — soft and visually calming.

Smelling the wine in the glass, there are more fruit aromas here along with that earthiness — grapefruit, white raspberries, yellow apples. Swirl and add to that fruit salad a hint of watermelon and if you move your nose to the top of the glass, you’ll find a small floral bouquet of cherry blossoms and a little zing of orange zest.

On the palate the Mourvèdre Rosé hits with an initial tingle on the tongue and, I’m not going to lie, that tingle comes back at the end with a bit of a sour-ish-ness. Those fruits on the nose are found on the palate, but they’re muted, never overpowering the star of this rosé’s show: the texture. There’s a light textural component that gives the wine a kind of funky, dusty aromatic (again think summer camping here), and that’s what’s left on the breath during the lingering finish.

Food Pairing: I actually did not pair the Tercero Wines 2016 Mourvèdre Rosé with anything, as this was a new wine for me and I wanted to experience what the tastes and textures were like solo. Now that I have tasted it, I believe this is one of those rosés that could pair with something light and delicate like a salmon, but could also stand up next a lean cut of steak or pork. But I would be sure to keep seasoning to a minimum and sides fairly light — make the wine the star of your meal if you decide to pair it with anything.

I asked Larry what he recommends if pairing his Mourvèdre Rosé with food, and his response was quite similar to my own. He says, “To me, it goes perfectly with ‘earthy’ foods – olives, simple salad, roast chicken. It’s actually quite versatile, especially as it warms up and the texture becomes more noticeable.”

More Info: I received the Tercero Wines 2016 Mourvèdre Rosé as a sample for review. (Cheers Larry!) Retail: $30. For more information about Tercero Wines and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Tercero Wines website.

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