2018 Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvedre “Familiar” California.
The Mourvèdre Familiar, by Dirt & Rowdy is a barrel selection of all the vineyards they work with and is, as Hardy Wallace, winemaker, puts it, a living snap shot of California Mourvèdre. The blend includes vines from Monterey (Chalone), Mendocino, Contra Costa, El Dorado, plus maybe some San Benito, and Amador Counties. This 2018 vintage is one of the best and most pure yet from these guys and I love the seamless and almost dreamy quality this lighter example of Mourvedre shows, while still being true to varietal flavor with crushed flowers, earth, spice and racy red fruits. Dirty and Rowdy is unique and fun winery and label based in Petaluma, consisting of two couples in the wine industry, making wines with a naturalistic approach, raw, unconventional and focused on whole cluster Mourvedre, with a nod to Bandol and to old school California winemakers. The Dirty (Hardy & Kate) and Rowdy (Matt & Amy) families got together for a simple purpose, as Wallace notes, to craft honest natural wines that they themselves wanted to drink. According to Hardy, there’s a long story about Dirty and Rowdy involving blogs, videos, dream jobs, Atlanta, late nights spent cooking spicy fried chicken in an old cast iron skillet, and a sincere love of real wine and real food, but he’s trying to keep it simple, it is about creating Mourvedre without pretense and allowing the wine to speak for itself.
Dirty & Rowdy employed a native fermentation with zero winemaking additions, with 100% whole cluster, which gives this wine its fruity and savory tension with the vintage showing soft tannin and a warm ripe charm in the glass, and it was bottled unfiltered and unfined, with absolute minimal effective sulfites. The Familiar Mourvedre is juicy and medium bodied with whole bunches excitement on the palate with sweet raspberry, plum and pomegranate fruits as well as delicate floral notes and snappy savory elements and spices with cinnamon, pepper, lavender and minty herbs all coming through in the glass. There is a touch of raw tannin and crunchy mineral behind the youthful and ripe fruit that adds elegance and transparency of form, this is highly quaffable stuff and shows the vintage’s quality, providing insight into the more serious single terroir, single vineyard versions to come. This ruby/garnet Mourvedre gets a bit more grippy with air and reveals some classic dusty baked cherry and earthiness adding to the depth here, this Dirty & Rowdy has a lot going for it and displays this grape in a fresh easy to enjoy style. Mourvedre or Mataro as it is also know, is getting some much deserved attention with a stunning array of wines made from this grape available like those from Ian Brand, Ridge Vineyards, Bonny Doon, Halcon Vineyards, Tablas Creek, Desire Lines Wine Co., Sandlands and Dirty & Rowdy, check them out!
($33 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive