Firm and chewy, with dark, ripe black cherry and spice flavors that keep singing on the finish. MourvAdre
Author: Harvey Steiman
Wine Advocate | Rating: 90
The Force Majeure 2009 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Collaboration Series VI represents the inauguration of a new bottling, vinified by James Mantone of Syncline and intended to showcase Mourvedre, here blended with 28% Grenache, and 24% Syrah. Impressions of jellied Damson plum and blueberry with chocolate syrup are backed-up by the fullness and ester-rich intensity borne of 14.9% alcohol, though, fortunately, no heat or roughness. That said, high-alcohol might be a factor in this bottling's, for now at least, slightly disappointing lack of textural allure: it's simply rather glassy and firm in feel, an odd juxtaposition with a wine of such confitured and confectionary ripeness. A hint of black pepper and nutty, toasty notes indicative of the well more than half new wood employed here inflect an impressively persistent finish. (There is talk of vinifying Mourvedre here ' at least from the Force Majeure estate fruit ' in concrete and aging in larger barrels, which strikes me as an approach with encouraging precedents for very ripe renditions of this grape.) I won't try to speculate as to the aging potential of this first-ever such collaboration.