Neyers Pato Vineyard Contra Costa County Mourvedre 2006

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IMG_4320Inspired by some recent discussion of California Mourvedre, I promptly set out to sample what I could find. That turned out to be almost nothing – this was the only bottle readily available here in Vancouver. Luckily, Neyers is generally an outstanding producer and one of my personal favourites from California.

If you’ve ever visited or (as I have) lived in the East Bay, then you know that when you think of Contra Costa you think as much of urban sprawl as you do wine. In fact, it’s actually surprising that there are any vineyards left in that part of California. There are several old-vine zinfandel vineyards left here, and I’ve had a Turley zin from here that was quite exceptional. There is also plenty of Mourvedre, for some reason, and so there is ample fruit from which to make single varietal wines of this type. I have my suspicions as to the quality of much of it, however.

The nose on this wine was gamey, with roast meats, char, and black currant. The palate brought olives, a saline character, char, rich black fruits such as black currant, fig and plum, and a nice gamey finish with some herbal characteristics. This is really solid wine, is very nuanced, and even if it has a touch of heat on the back end, I’d say this is wine with finesse. Finesse and flavour, together at last. There is something compelling about the gameyness to this wine, and it reminds me a little of a cross between Bandol and California. This is very well done and speaks a lot for the potential for Mourvedre in California.

Very Good+ to Excellent
$45 at Marquis


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