Mourvèdre Monday #5: Edward Sellers Cognito 2006

It’s back to California for today’s Mourvèdre Monday post, specifically Paso Robles. Though I first fell in love with Mourvèdre via the old vines examples from Contra Costa County, Paso Robles is a hotbed of Rhône grape-growing in California. Edward Sellers is a Rhône-style specialist in Paso, with a focus on blends vs. varietal bottlings (though not exclusively). This bottle, which they call Cognito, is a CdP-style blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Grenache with some Zin added for a California flair. Let’s check it out.

Producer: Edward Sellers

Grapes: 45% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah, 20% Zinfandel, 15% Grenache

Appellation: Paso Robles (AVA, California)

Vineyards: no info

Vintage: 2006

Winemaking: 100% neutral French oak.

Alcohol: 14.9%

Price: I paid $29 at Spec’s in Austin.

My tasting notes: The nose is throws a punch of raspberry fruitiness and cherry cola, with a bit of creamy vanilla and a touch of mocha. On the palate, it’s fat and fruity, mostly red fruit again. A hint of minerality if you’re really searching for it, and a peppery note at the finish. Despite Mourvèdre being the largest share of the blend, I don’t get much of what I really enjoy from Mourvèdre-based wines: structure, meatiness, earthy/savory qualities.

Overall impression: This is another one where I was not digging the first glass, but it evened itself out by the second glass into something closer to my liking. In the end, though, it’s not something I’d buy again, not at nearly $30. C+

Free association:

Image credit: / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

More info:

576 cases produced.

8 comments to Mourvèdre Monday #5: Edward Sellers Cognito 2006

  • You don’t seem to be loving the Californian Mourvedres… I wonder if there are any really decent ones out there? Personally, I’m a fan of Mourvedres and dont think we see it nearly enough!

  • Jim/VINEgeek

    Thanks for the comment, Jamie. Only two so far, but yeah, I’m hoping for a better showing from CA. They’re out there (Cline’s Mourvèdres are more than decent) and I’ll find them!

  • Ohhh, ouch. Barely a Mourvedre with only 45% Maybe that Syrah and Zin gave it too much berry! Tough for $30 bones!


  • Hey Jim, nice honest notes. Been wondering about the Rhone Rangers and their quest for some of my favs like CDP syle wines. Recently had one from Australia that was really outstanding for the price. Grant Burge Holy Trinity 03. If you find a Paso Mourvedre thats to die for, tell me!

    Hope u are well, Alex

    • Jim/VINEgeek

      Hey Alex – Thanks for the reco on Grant Burge. I’ll add that one to my “hunt-down” list. I’ll certainly let you know when I find a top-notch Paso Mourvedre. And I know I need to get back to you about connecting for a tasting. Day job + life intervenes sometimes, you know? Soon, though.

  • Jim/VINEgeek

    Hey Josh – To be fair, this is not a terrible wine, it’s just not put together in a way that appeals to my palate. Some people may like this very fruit forward, soft-textured style, but even so, it’s no bargain.

    And I expect to be able to detect the Mourvedre at 45%. So far, I’m not loving Mourvedre + Zin. Cheers.

  • Adding Zin to Rhone blends seems to be a trend in Paso right now. Sort of a nod to the grape that got the region on the map. Have had several versions from different wineries and can’t say I’m a huge fan. The Zin never seems to integrate fully, leaving the blends a bit disjointed. While I love Edward Sellers wines, this blend, while enjoyable is not one of my favorites and certainly doesn’t show what Paso Mourvedres are all about. I believe they’ll be releasing their first varietal Mourvedre this Spring. Will let you know how it is.

  • Jim/VINEgeek

    Thanks, Lisa. I imagine adding Zin helps them sell it to consumers who may not be comfortable seeing Mourvedre and Grenache on the label (though Syrah is certainly mainstream enough these days). I’d love to try more varietal Mourvedre from Paso. You’ve recommended a few to me in the past – Anglim, Denner and Villacana – but I haven’t been able to find them locally yet. I think I can get the Anglim by special-order as one of the retailers here carries a few of their other bottles. I hope to get to try some other Edward Sellers wines in the future and would definitely be interested in hearing about the varietal Mourvedre. Cheers!

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