And… the evening bottle.
Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery Mourvedre Especial 2013
(Santa Barbara, California)
This one wasn’t part of the Feiring Line Wine Society – not enough made to offer it up. We got 12 bottles for the store – and I snagged one for the trip… because I can.
The wine was a hit. My mom: “It tastes like wine’s supposed to taste… unlike that first one” (That first one, for those keeping track, was the Los Pilares petnat muscat. Which even if it wasn’t a Frank family favorite, was clearly memorable.) It’s a comment that makes me laugh a little because I don’t think this wineis at all like most people expect from a California red wine. It’s light in color – an almost pale red – vs. a deep, extracted purple. And it’s cloudy due to the (on-purpose) lack of filtration. It’s got plenty of fruit… but not deep, lush, overly ripe fruit. More like tart cranberries, pomegranates, just-shy-of-ripe raspberries, and if you look for it, a blood orange note. Citrus? In a red wine? And just 12.4% abv, which for a California red… it’s practically non-alcoholic!
Dirty & Rowdy is part of a growing group of “new wave” California producers. There are young guns (OK, a lot of them are my age, so they’re not all that young) who aren’t following the typical formula of big, ripe, oaked-up cabernets and chardonnays. They’re going for quirkier grapes (mourvedre, semillon, trousseau, valdiguie to name a few) which have the advantage of costing less and in many cases, coming from older (in some cases very old) vine stock. And they’re picking earlier, going for a lighter, more elegant style, toning down the oak use, working with natural yeast, whole clusters, carbonic fermentations, minimizing SO2 and acid additions. It all makes for wines that are unique, lighter in color and alcohol, but extremely flavorful.
Are these wines typical? Like wine is “supposed to taste?” Well, I think so. And apparently, so does my mom!
Click through to read about the Tuesday left overs