Mourvèdre Monday #13: The Pict

Mourvèdre Monday is back after a few weeks off around the birth of my baby girl, Lucy. I’m easing back into regular blogging. Let’s get things restarted with a bang…

This is one of the priciest varietal Mourvèdres on the planet. So I’m glad to be able to include it in the Mourvèdre Monday series. (Thanks to the winery for providing a sample for review!) Let’s see what the top of the market brings to the table.

Producer: Torbreck

Grapes: 100% Mataro (that name for the grape hangs on at some Aussie and California producers)

Appellation: Barossa Valley

Vineyards: Materne ‘Quarry Block’ Vineyard planted 1927 in the Northern Greenock region of the Barossa. Head-pruned bush vines. Sandy quartz soil.

Vintage: 2006

Winemaking: Two years in new French oak. Unfiltered, unfined.

Alcohol: 14.81% on website (14.0% on label)

Price: $180 (!) according to the website, but it’s available closer to $130 at various retailers online.

My tasting notes: I don’t use the word “redolent” very often (regular readers may remember the only other use on this blog here – an $8 wine!), but it’s appropriate here. The fruit aromas are cherry and blackcurrant, but wrapped in layer upon layer of spicebox, leather shop, coffee and an Italian salumi shop. Fascinating to sniff. Once I stop trying to identify all that’s going on with the nose and taste the wine, I’m struck by the terrific balance of this wine. It’s not huge on the palate, but there’s tons going on here: currants, wet earth, black olives, oaky spice, chocolate. And it’s so harmonious; nothing overdone or out of place. Ripe tannins, good acidity and a very lengthy finish (and not hot, despite the near 15% abv). A lot of sediment in the last glass.

Overall impression: The most well-balanced and complex Mourvèdre wine I’ve encountered. Loved it. A*

*the first full A I’ve awarded on the blog so far. The Pict FTW!

Free association:

More info:

This wine was well-scored by some of the big critics: 93 pts Steven Tanzer and 92 pts Parker.

5 comments to Mourvèdre Monday #13: The Pict

  • Jim, I’m glad you’re back! This sounds like a superstar wine. It’s one I could never afford to buy, but I’m glad that you got to try it and share it virtually with us!


    Josh @nectarwine

  • Congratulations on the successful release of a 2010 Chateau VineGeek Lucy! 9 months of barrel aging is a long wait, and I’m sure you’re all quite relieved. :)

    The Pict sounds incredible, but something that always saddens me slightly about the more expensive samples is that I’d prefer to set them aside for a few years. Not necessarily for a special occasion, just that once you cross that $100 threshold there is generally some great aging potential, and you just have to guess and imagine what it might be like in, say, five years.

  • Is it a very different style from Bandol?

  • Jim/VINEgeek

    Josh – Thanks, I’m glad to be back. (And thanks for the RT with the link I forgot!)
    Benito – Thanks, we are all quite relieved, indeed. I agree with you about the expensive samples. I doubt anyone wants to send you a bottle and wait 8-10 years for a review. :) I’d love samples with some bottle age, but those don’t seem to come around often.
    Michael – The Pict is not as “firm” as the Bandol wine I reviewed recently. This one is more generous with it’s charms while staying in balance.

    Here’s to more brilliant wines on Mourvèdre Mondays! (Although — sneak peak — next week’s wine is at the opposite end of the bell curve.)

  • Hey Jim,
    I’m a huge fan of Mourvedre and I’m glad to see that the “Year of Mourvdre” will continue on. This sounds like an interesting wine, and I would like to investigate their other offerings. A winery that makes a $180 Mourvedre probably has some great other offerings as well. I’m excited to see next week’s wine, thanks for the teaser.

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