2019 Desire Lines Wine Co., Mourvedre, Experimental Series No. 4 Fred Rides Again, Country County.
These Desire Lines wines has really left an impression on me since first tasting with Cody Rasmussen and they have just got even more complex and intriguing with the 2018 and 2019 vintages, they are impeccably hand crafted and authentic wines that should not be missed, especial this limited 100% Old Vine Mourvedre Experimental Series 4 Fred Rides Again that comes mainly from the Fred’s Home Block, some of the oldest Mourvedre vines in California, and with some fruit sourced from the historic Evangelho Vineyard in the deep sands of the Contra Costa County. This gorgeous well structured vintage is full bodied, has beautiful fruit density and velvety tannins with blackberry, red currants, Italian cherry and briar spiced raspberry fruits that are accented by a touch of coco powder, saddle leather, sandalwood, a faint meaty quality and bright peppery notes. This wine builds with air and has an underlying sense of powerful, but exceptionally graceful adding hints of peony, lavender and mineral tones, this is an outstanding California red wine. Rasmussen, as I’ve mentioned in prior reviews, employs a minimal approach in the cellar, everything is very precise and clean, focusing on purity, supple textural quality, aromatics and allowing the vineyard itself to shine through.
Cody Rasmussen, who is an assistant winemaker at Bedrock Wine Company under Morgan Twain-Peterson MW, has really hit the ground running with his and his wife Emily’s Desire Lines Wine Co., a small Sonoma winery, which they started after the 2015 vintage, and, as I’ve said, is certainly one of California’s breakout stars. Rasmussen is very gifted with Rhone varietals and Riesling, with this latest set of wines being an exciting collection of fabulous stuff, especially his pure Syrah bottlings from Griffin’s Lair in the Petaluma Gap and Shake Ridge Vineyard, the amazing Amador County site farmed by Ann Kraemer, one of the best growers in the region, as well as Cody’s fantastic Cole Ranch and Wiley Vineyard Dry Rieslings. I also recommend searching out his Carignan based Evangelho Vineyard Red, that like this one shows his Bedrock inspiration and shows off his talents for making deliciously concentrated, but well balanced wines, which show well judged use of oak, and have intriguing umami elements, as this one has.The Fred’s Home Block was previously the backbone of Randall Graham’s legendary Cigare Volant and Old Telegram bottlings, which shows the pedigree of these awesome vines. This dark garnet/purple Bandol inspired wine, the 2019 Fred Rides Again Mourvèdre, was fermented with 30% whole cluster for 30 days in tank, then basket pressed and saw its aging in a single 600L neutral French oak puncheon, which Rasmussen feels really suits the Mourvedre and the results speaks for themselves, making it one of the greatest wine values in the state!
($28 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive