Crystal Clear

Shockingly clear garnet. This is NOT your thick & dense Paso syrup OR your Bandol motor-oil. In the nose, however, glimpses of that motor oil along with copious sweet vegetal and dark, powdery briar bring many Mourvedre visions to life. I’m almost positive when I had this wine a couple years ago I wrote it was a bit non-typical, and while I find a LOT of Sierra Foothills wines to be cheerily non-typical of cooler climates, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Of course: as long as we don’t stray too far from the wheelhouse. Millennial: a wheelhouse is a place on a boat where the…. oh nevermind. Despite its lack of visual density, it has that smoky, roasted, red-soil feeling. In Zinfandel, PS and Bordeaux varieties, this can come off as chubby, burnt, over-wrought nuances–here, its warmth is blessedly tempered with thin-ness.

Tasting it is a bright wash of bulb and briar with early touches of tertiary. Supple while etched with beautiful acid, tobacco and leather edge the round fruit. Distinct plum and strawberry fill the fruit-cup, with bits of tomato-vine, and the whole thing evolves into a nice bitter fullness on finish. A very pleasant wine–not much more–easy for the 99 to drink and containing bits of geeky grandeur to mull over.

2017 CRYSTAL BASIN CELLARS ‘Reserve’ Mourvedre El Dorado California 14.1

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