About The Author:

"Roger, The Wine Guy" is Roger Yazell, CWS. He is a member of the International Wine Guild and has had a long time admiration of wine. After careers in broadcasting, advertising and marketing account management, he explored his love of wine in hospitality, wholesale and retail sales. The intent of Roger's Grapevine is to share stories, history and information that will add to the reader's love, enjoyment and appreciation of wine and sake'.

Questions, requests for topics and comments are always welcome via email: rogerthewineguy@gmail.com.

(Note: The Wine Guy is currently undergoing chemotherapy and this blog will be on hiatus for the duration and into a recovery period. The Wine Guy is planning to celebrate his recovery with a trip to the two wine producing regions in Argentina and that should provide for some interesting new blogs. Meanwhile please enjoy the archives and feel free to email in the interim.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mourvedre...it's a hit in Arizona!

The Wine Guy sampling good wine
at the Keeling-Schaefer tasting room
in an historic bank building in Willcox, Az.
Before I left Arizona, I was pleased when noted Arizona winemaker Rod Keeling sent me a Facebook friend request after stumbling onto my wine blog.  His has always been one of the Arizona vineyards I had planned to visit during my tenure as an Arizona resident.  Unfortunately I never made it to the eastern part of the state before we departed for Ecuador.  Some five and a half months later, after trips to Ecuador and Thailand and two cross country road trips, I found myself on I-10 approaching Willcox.  Knowing Keeling-Schaefer had a tasting room downtown, I decided a pit stop for a little wine tasting was in order.  I'm glad I took the time to do so!

The Keeling-Schaefer tasting room not only offers a selection of their wines but also samples some wines from Arizona Stronghold and Kokopelli.  I not only enjoy the standard tastings but was offered some earlier vintage samples once the attendant found out I was a member of the International Wine Guild and a blogging wine fool, as well. (Thanks Rosanna for your attentive courtesy to myself and the fetching Mrs. Wine Guy!)

While I enjoyed several wines, the outstanding hit of the visit was the Schaefer Boys Mourvedre.  This limited release (68 total cases for the 2008 vintage) wine is, unfortunately, limited to sales at the winery, at the tasting room and from the Keeling-Schaefer wine club members.  It is, however, well worth the effort to seek it out.  It happens to be one of the best balanced of all the Keeling-Schaefer wines and sips very, very well. It offers all the ripe dark fruit flavors you would expect from a 100% Mourvedre with the typical earthiness of this grape.  These features give Mourvedre a richness not normally found in many fruit forward wines.  Some bold, yet round and smooth, tannins are also characteristic of this varietal when well vintified.

Mourvedre is best known as a blending grape, most notably in Rhone and Rhone style red blends.  It is a favorite partnering grape with Grenache with which it seems to have a natural affinity.  (Grenacha is another of The Wine Guy's favorite grape varietals ( see "Grenache, A Great Wine To Discover" in the Roger's Grapevine archives, 2/2/10).  It is also often found as a single varietal wine in Spain where it goes under the name of Monastrell or Mataro.    However you won't find it often as a single varietal from a US producer.

Congratulations, Rod,  and thank you for producing such a enjoyable wine!

For more information on Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards, log on to www.keelingschaefervineyards.com or better yet, visit them in Willcox or at one of the many Arizona wine functions they regularly attend!

No comments:

Post a Comment