Keeping with the Rhone Ranger theme, I went for a Mourvedre tonight to pair with some lamb kebabs off the grill. Tonight's wine comes from the Contra Costa County wine appelation, which is located just east of San Francisco. This relatively unknown appellation uses a wide variety of grapes, but is best known for its Rhone varietals.
The dark cherry red 2003 Cline Cellars Small Berry Mourvedre lead with spicy cinnamon and jammy blackberry aromas. Later the nose put on a nice display, with notes of leather, tobacco, violet, vanilla, hazelnut, and a faint scent of rosemary right after it was poured. On the palate it resembled my last experience with this wine: full-bodied with juicy, dark berry fruit, it had firm tannins, mild acidity, and was a bit hot and awkward. A nice pairing and a nice (but pricey) wine.
Price: C$39 (LCBO)