2017 Halcón Vineyards Mourvedre, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino

2017 Halcón Vineyards Mourvedre, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino


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Exclusive to The Wine Consultant.  Only 70 cases produced. 

I have always had a fascination in the exotic berry/plum spiciness and meaty complexity expressed Mourvèdre, especially when bottled in its purest, unblended, singular varietal state.  It’s what motivated me to contact Paul Gordon back in 2007, when I learned he had just planted and was organically farming a one acre parcel of Mourvèdre vines in Mendocino’s remote, windswept, cool clime Yorkville Highland.  Equally intriguing, was Gordon’s Halcón Vineyards were planted at 2500+ feet above sea level on a band of ancient uplifted ocean bed of fractured schist shale, mica-schist and silicate-rich rock; extremely similar to the blonde schist of the Côte-Rôtie in the Northern Rhone Valley of France.

What I did not know at the time, was Paul Gordon intended to utilize the Mourvèdre as a classic blending component with the his Syrah and Grenache for Halcón’s  proprietary red “Esquisto”.  We have the unheralded, but noted distinction (See SacBee’s Mike Dunne article) of being Halcón’s first invoice dating back to its 2009 vintage.   Fast forward to 2019, and Halcón’s unbridled demand and cult following can be directly linked to its successful and highly rated, but very limited Esquisto and Alturas Syrah.  Regretfully, there has not been a singular (100%) Halcón Mourvèdre wine produced since a scant yield in 2010.  BUT NOW, from these more mature vines, the magic of this special terroir is finally revealed.

Halcón’s fruit is always low yielding, but given an extra light Grenache harvest in 2017, and a desire to keep the Esquisto ratio at approximately 20% Mourvèdre, Gordon was in an enviable position to finally produce a small bottling of 100% Mourvèdre.  A very mature crop was finally picked at just 22.1 brix on October 14th.  50% whole-cluster was utilized, fermented with native yeasts, and aged in neutral French oak.  Never fined or filtered. 12.5% alcohol.

Longer and extended hang time to fully ripen fruit results in greater aromatic and flavor intensity.   We have yet to experience a more transparent and expressive, yet refined and elegant, perfectly balanced Mourvèdre from California.  Redolent briary and savory aromas of exotic, spicy red and black fruit are repeated and amplified with vivid freshness on the palate.  Tightly knit tannins are integrated and unobtrusive.  So difficult to fathom that a dry red table wine measuring in at 12.5% alcohol could have such flavor intensity and depth.  Add a very pleasurable notch to your “palate memory”. 



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