2019 Desire Lines Wine Co, Mourvèdre, Experimental Series #5 The General – Bedrock Vineyard, Sonoma Valley.
The truly outstanding Desire Lines Wine Co, Experimental Series #5 – Bedrock Vineyard Mourvèdre starts with some feral wildness, stem inclusion spice, dark florals and a tannic bite before opening up to a full bodied palate of dark berry, baked cherry, plum and lingering earthy currant fruits as well as dried sagey herbs de Provence, crushed violets, leather, minty licorice and tangy orange rind. This 100% Mourvèdre is traditionally style with a deft use of wood, favoring Cody’s Puncheons which allows mouth filling viscosity, the robust character and transparency, while also subduing the natural tannins here, a finely judged balance is his and our reward. In his day job, winemaker Cody Rasmussen, makes some of California’s best Zinfandel based reds at Bedrock Wine Company, with Morgan Twain-Peterson, and under his own label Desire Lines Wine Co, he does some fantastic Syrah and Rieslings, which I can’t seem to get enough of and I’ve wrote about at great length here, but he also has a great touch with Mourvèdre. Rasmussen has out done himself with this stunning 2019 Experimental Series #5 – Bedrock Vineyard Mourvèdre, which takes it up a notch from his outstanding Evangelho Vineyard versions, this deeply purple, spiced and dense fruited effort that has everything you’d ever want and then some more, very much a tribute to Bandol, like the famed Domaine Tempier, Gros Nore or Pradeaux, one of my favorites and to this historic vineyard in Sonoma Valley, planted in the 1880s. Cody also states, that for so many reasons, this was an especially satisfying wine for him to bottle, and he and his family are very grateful for the privilege and the opportunity to have worked with Bedrock Vineyard, for many vintages now. Coming off the old vines set on ancient soils in the northern section of Bedrock Vineyard, where it is primarily Tuscan cobbley loam(s) along with some mineral rich Sonoma volcanics, all of which adds to the special terroir nature of this remarkable wine.
Cody Rasmussen, who is a winemaker at Morgan Twain-Peterson MW’s Bedrock Wine Company, says that the Bedrock Vineyard is undoubtably (without question) the most important vineyard in his family’s life, and his favorite blocks there are the two small blocks of old-vine Mourvèdre, planted on a rocky, north-facing knoll that runs gently down to Hooker Creek to the north, and that’s what goes into this exceptional single varietal bottling. For background on the historic vines at the Heritage Bedrock Vineyard I pulled the following facts from owner Morgan Twain-Peterson, it was founded in 1854 by Generals William “Tecumseh” Sherman and General “Fightin’ Joe” Hooker, with Morgan adding that it has grown grapes for over 150 years. Following the first epidemic of phylloxera in the mid-1880s, the vineyard was replanted in 1888 by Senator George Hearst—a mining magnate, an early father of California, and the father of publisher William Randolph Hearst. Now it is about a 120 planted acres in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, mostly known for its 35 acres of old vines, pre-1890 Zinfandel, Carignan and its Mataro (Mourvèdre), most of which date back 120 years, but has 17 other varieties inter-planted on the property, including some rarities, like Alicante Bouschet. Going on, Cody reveals that, the 2019 Bedrock Vineyard Mourvèdre was fermented with 40% whole cluster and raised in barrel for fifteen months without racking, in a combination of 228L and 600L barrels. The stem inclusion adds a lovely bit of spice to the nose, the subtle carbonic adds a little flesh to the palate, and the combination of barrel sizes teases out both breadth and tension in the finished wine. Befitting Bedrock Vineyard, this is a powerful wine, perhaps the richest (gripping) wine that Rasmussen has made to date for his and his wife Emily’s Desire Lines Wine Co. label, which saying a lot considering how monumental his Shake Ridge Syrah and his super limited Lichau Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon are! To say this wine and the Bedrock Vineyard are special, is a crazy understatement and I suggest getting on the mailing list here first and then chase down all of this one, an exceptional value, you can find, and the other Desire Lines offerings!
($38 ESt.) 95 Points, grapelive