by Fred McMillin
for September 30, 1998

 

Fiddletown Mourvedre


Prologue

"It seems highly likely that the [Mourvedre vines] available in California are of particularly low quality."

...J. Robinson in Vines, Grapes, & Wines, 1986


The Rest of the Story

However, in 1986 Jancis Robinson also said that Mourvedre makes "sturdily good wines that deserve more attention." and that's exactly what's been going on in California. For example, two years after the above words were published, Californian Pete Wenzell planted his Mourvedre vineyard in the Fiddletown district in the Sierra Foothills. He was very careful to avoid vines of "particularly low quality." The vines are now old enough to make exciting wine, which is exactly what Perry Creek Vineyards does with them...


The Wine

1996 Mourvedre, Fiddletown, Amador County
Perry Creek Vineyard, Somerset, CA.
Tasting Notes—British critic Giles MacDonogh says a good Mourvedre has blackberry-gingerbread aromas and develops powerful spicy and leathery flavors. This is a good one.
Rating—My panel gave it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Contact—Office of Jack Zasowski, Director of Operations, (800) 880-4026.
Price—$15 range


Postscript

Whistle... 'er...Fiddle While You Work Whence the name "Fiddletown"? Well, during the Gold Rush 150 years ago, a large number of miners from Missouri settled in the area. They brought their fiddles with them. Frequently, one would play to entertain the others while they worked.


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 

 


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