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Eleven Winery 2010 Sugarloaf Vineyard Mourvèdre, Yakima Valley, $35
Mourvèdre is a red wine grape often associated with the Southern Rhône Valley in France, though it probably originates in Spain. It all but vanished from Europe after the root louse phylloxera devastated vineyards in the 1800s because Mourvèdre did not take well to being grafted onto American rootstock. Here in Washington, that’s not an issue because almost all vines are planted with their own roots because there is little concern of a phylloxera outbreak. This is one of the finest examples of Washington Mourvèdre we have tasted recently, using grapes from the young Sugarloaf Vineyard in the Rattlesnake Hills. It opens with aromas of black cherry, moist earth, boysenberry, spice and chalk dust. On the palate, it provides marvelous flavors of black currant, huckleberry syrup, Bing cherry and dark chocolate. It’s a plush wine with ample structure for roasted meats, sautéed mushrooms or even Tex-Mex.
Production: 81 cases
Distribution: Bainbridge Island and points west.