Monday, April 27, 2009

Cuvée des Cinq's Hierarchy

If I were a member of Ed’s Cellar Club, I would be particularly excited about this wine shipment. It marks the third release of our fantastic Cuvée des Cinq, which most of you know is our flagship wine and my proudest achievement. Sometimes, when we are showing this wine in the Tasting Room or at various festivals and trade tastings around the country, we’re not quite sure how it should fit into our lineup. After all, as the coup de grace of our production, it should be tasted last, but how can we go back to something so restrained, so elegant, after pouring our bold Syrah Sélectionné or palate-pounding single vineyard Syrahs? Honestly, it weakens the impact of our Cuvée. True, too, if we bury the Cuvée somewhere else in the middle. It’s bigger than our Vertigo, not quite as much of a mouthful as Le Thief, but with its five-varietal blend and Old-World style, Cuvée des Cinq is far more refined and age-worthy than either one. In short, it’s a more serious wine! The wines that comprise the blend each year are the most balanced in the cellar; the French oak it’s aged in is more structural than aromatic. The Cuvée is layered, complex, and it develops in your glass. It’s a wine for a long, leisurely meal. It’s worth spending some time in the kitchen to create a meal suited to its subtle intricacy. Cuvée des Cinq embodies the definitive style of the Edward Sellers wines… and then it truly is a notch above.

So how best to show this wine, that’s the question? It is important to us that those in the know – our Cellar Club members, the already converted – help us share with the rest of the world what you have already discovered; how special these wines are, especially the Cuvée des Cinq. I challenge you, the dedicated consumer, to help me, to help Ed and Kendall, to help all of us in coming up with a way to make people understand this ethereal, this revelatory, this arcane and very delicious Edward Sellers wine. Amy Butler, Winemaker

Monday, April 6, 2009

Another of our 9 Rhone Varietals: Mourvèdre

In the fall of 2008, we harvested the first fruit from our estate vineyard. Among the most promising was the Mourvèdre, from five acres on the south end of the property. The yield was extremely low – it turns out that starlings like Mourvèdre almost as much as I do – but the wine that resulted from that small amount of fruit will provide backbone and depth to our very first Estate Red blend.

Historically, Mourvèdre has been planted in the south of France, especially in Bandol, where it makes killer rosés (think Tavel) and earthy, rustic reds. The variety originated in Spain (it’s known there as Monastrell) where it thrives on the hot, dry summers and ripens dark and strong. Its delayed spring budding and late ripening, coupled with its love of heat, make it almost ideally suited to California’s Paso Robles region, where it has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity. At Edward Sellers, we love it for its bold structure, fleshy tannins, and meaty, slightly funky aroma. Mourvèdre is featured in a number of our blends, including our flagship Cuvée des Cinq and our unmistakably easy drinking Cognito. For the 2007 vintage, we’ve even created a 100% Mourvèdre to showcase the unique character of this variety. I know you will enjoy it! Amy Butler, Winemaker