More Mourvèdre! – Part Three: Early Times

[One]

ADELAIDA, AS THE ALLUSION to boxing goes, punches above its weight.

It may be one of California’s less familiar wine regions, but this mountainous, oak-studded viticultural area just outside of Paso Robles boasts a couple of the Central Coast’s signature wineries, along with a major industry player. About three dozen others comprise an eclectic roster of Adelaida wineries.

The district is home to Tablas Creek Vineyards, the innovative grower-producer of Rhône and Mediterranean grape varieties I’ve written about previously. Several scenic miles up the road is the more mainstream Daou Family Estates (stylized “DAOU” on their labels), which specializes in Napa Valley-ish red wines. With their respective national footprints, each winery serves an ambassadorial role for Paso Robles as an important source of California wine.

In my travels, Daou has often seemed to show up as a grocery chain and steakhouse standby, while Tablas Creek’s Rhône focus makes it more of a mom-and-pop establishment brand (if mom hummed along to Edith Piaf and pop sported the occasional beret). Each produces a hefty 30,000 cases per year, enough to satisfy distributor and direct-to-consumer needs many times over.

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¡Más Mataro! – Part Two: Illuminations

“BETTER late than never.”

When I’m taking my last sips out of the last glass poured from my last bottle of Paul and Jackie Gordon’s Halcón Vineyards wine someday, this is what I hope to remember to tell myself. Though I managed to miss the boat on a decade’s worth of Halcón vintages, I’m grateful that I came across this excellent, Rhône-centric label when I did. The truism above certainly applies.

I’m also glad to have had a chance to meet the Gordons, the now-former owners of this Yorkville Highlands vineyard, on a cold, rainy night in early 2019, while we all poured wines for a group of wine competition judges in a funky Cloverdale art gallery. Paul and Jackie had their Yorkville syrah to show off to the judges; I had a few library vintages of my bosses’ wine from the same AVA. Since then, I’ve become a bit obsessed with the English couple’s syrahs, along with their equally intriguing mourvèdre.

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