Wine Blogging Wednesday #69: Did you hear me howling “mourvedre”?

This month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday, hosted by The Passionate Foodie, asks us to sniff out some “dog strangler” wine aka mourvedre.  So, for the 69th edition Wine Blogging Wednesday that’s what I did.

Actually I began my search for wines with mourvedre nearly two years ago when I first tasted a 2001 rbj theologicum which blends 50% of the mourvedre sinner with 50% of the saintly grenache.

I thought I’d died and gone to heaven and hell all at once.

Instead, I was on a search to find a wine I could barely pronounce, and which I could barely find. Fortuantely for me, the grateful Palate Warehouse used to be located only a few miles away and they would periodically  open their doors and let us in.

And that’s how I discovered a straight mourvedre–a rbj 2002 Mataro which I opened on a camping trip in the heart of the Sierras.

So when I discovered this month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday featured possibly my favorite varietal, and certainly one that makes my favorite blends shine, I howled with delight.

And then howled some more–what wine to choose? Or more precisely, whose?

An obvious choice would be Twisted Oak. Their mourvedre with the macabre red skull emblazened across the bottle is stunningly good. And they do my favorite blend mourvedre, grenache and syrah aka “Potty Mouth” that I love–especially the 2003 which is still available in their library.

Another obvious choice is Randall Grahm’s Bonny Doon. It seems he recovered rhone varietals like grenache and mourvedre from obscurity in California. And his Cigar Volant is always noteworthy.

So after much agonizing and howling at the crescent moon, I went for a winery I discovered in December and which maybe I can help you discover too (although they have thousands of facebook fans so obviously some people know them already!)

The wine with more than 50% mourvedre that I chose for this edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday comes from Core Winery, run by Dave and Becky Corey, with financial backing and support from many family members.

And it’s Hard Core. Seriously Hard Core. A 2005 Hard Core made up of 60% mourvedre, 25% grenache, and 15% cabernet sauvignon.

Only 665 cases of this wine was produced, and it’s all gone except for what might be in people’s cellars–and a handful of splits which I found at the winery when we went by the other day.

We went to the Core winery as part of a wedding anniversary extravaganza (ok we went to Sycamore Hot Springs, Go Westy, Los Olivos for lunch and tasting at Carhartts and Carina) that started with dinner on our anniversary where I brought in a bottle of the 2006 Hard Core. While I prefer my syrah with mourvedre and grenache, my husband definitely prefers his syrah with a backbone of cab to it. Continue reading