Fly Rod Cellars is an occasional project of Assistant Winemaker Troy Mandeville and Cellarmaster John Richardson. Our Muddler Minnow Mourvedre is from Weinbau Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope. Aged for 15 months in neutral French oak, this wine is full of red fruit aromas and flavors with hints of cocoa, black tea, olives and incense. It is our highest scoring wine ever at 97 points (Bellingham NW Wine Festival).
This Mourvèdre presents a deep ruby color and intoxicating aromas of raspberry, huckleberry, black currant, blood orange, crushed roses, pipe tobacco, garrigue, olive tapenade, wild violets and spiced incense. The flavors are fleshy and generous, yet deep, with copious red fruits that are intermixed with red licorice, cocoa powder, black tea and Wahluke scorched earth. On the back, the wine tightens up a bit with macerated berries, grilled nuts , recurring orange peel and touches of leather and brunt charcoal, followed by a Bandol-like spicy sweet-dry tannin finish that is bolstered by bright fruit acids. (notes courtesy of Rand Sealey)
97 Points, Bellingham NW Wine Awards; 18.5/20 points: Review of Washington Wines
Double Gold Medal, Bellingham NW Wine Awards
Weinbau is located about 12 miles east of Mattawa in the warm Wahluke Slope AVA. The 460 acre vineyard has a view of the Rattlesnake Mountains to the south, and the Saddle Mountains to the north. The land slopes gently south, with elevation ranging from 710-950 feet. Weinbau is a warm site with excellent air drainage, and soil is dominated by Kennewick silt loam with 2-5% slope. The consistency of soil type shows up in vine growth and subsequently in the wines.
Our grapes were hand sorted and mechanically destemmed into a small bin for a 2 day cold soak to bring out flavors and color. Yeast and nutrients were added to start a 10 day active fermentation. When fermentation was complete, we started a 10-day extended maceration to bring out more flavor and complexity. Then the “free run” wine was pumped into barrels and the remaining skins were gently pressed to extract remaining wine into the barrels. The wine then went through a malolactic fermentation which softens the wine.
Food Pairing Notes
Mourvedre matches well with rich foods to absorb its high tannin content. Examples include beef short ribs, pork shoulder, barbeque, lamb, pork sausage, and veal. Lentils, wild rice, and dishes with lavender, rosemary, and thyme are also a good pairing.