2019 Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvedre, Enz Vineyard, Lime Kiln Valley, San Benito County.
One of the very last releases from the now defunct Dirty & Rowdy Wines, the 2019 Dirty & Rowdy, Old Vine Mourvedre from the Enz Vineyard in San Benito’s Lime Kiln Valley and the 90 year old vines set on broken limestone and decomposed granite soils is a perfumed and wildly beautiful wine with seeped flowers, anise, delicate spices, crushed rock and elegant, but deep red fruits on a seamless medium/full palate that belies the natural ruggedness of this varietal, best known for powerful and meaty Bandol wines. This fresh and lively effort that shows crushed raspberries, strawberry, dusty plum and cherry fruits, comes from this head-trained, basket-pruned, dry-farmed, own rooted vineyard, that is known as one of California’s historic treasures and that has been brought to famed by Ian Brand, a vineyard whisperer who has made a signature collection of bottlings from this unique site. Hardy Wallace, the winemaker here, who will now go his own way with his passion for Mourvedre and his new label Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah!, made sure Dirty & Rowdy went out with a bang, and this 2019 Enz just might be their best wine to date! The Enz was 100% Whole Cluster Mourvèdre fermented all naturally with indigenous yeasts and gentle maceration to capture the true nature of the vintage and the distinctive terroir here, Wallace has crafted a fabulous, silken and transparent wine with stunning aromatics.
As for getting things done, in other words the winemaking process employed by Hardy Wallace, he says they don’t make wine by numbers, recipes, or additions, but we aren’t zealots … unless we’re talking about that spicy fried chicken and try to let the wine do its own thing, embracing natural wine, but within reason. The Dirty and Rowdy wines saw fermentation(s) in cement vats, clay pots, then aged in pretty concrete eggs and well seasoned old barrels, all without additions and no added sulfur. Wallace says, the wine’s real story is about (its) source, a sense of place, and not the stamp he puts on it. He continues, If he finds a consciously farmed, unique vineyard, and he (and crew) nail our picking decisions, then the wine goes about its own business without a lot of monkeying around, and the results have proven delicious as this remarkable Enz Vineyard Mourvedre shows with divine presence and grace in the glass. Going forward, Hardy’s new project Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah!, will carry on his mission and core beliefs and his wines will be made with that same flair and after trying his limited selection of new stuff I am very excited to see where this path takes him and I look forward to reviewing his Old Vine Mourvedre, Evangelho Vineyard, Contra Costa County bottling soon! If you can find the 2019s from Dirty & Rowdy I highly recommend grabbing them, especially the Mourvedre bottling and in particular this Enz version, but I also love their Barbera, which I hope will come back to life in Wallace’s Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! collection.
($50 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive