July 26, 2016
In her recent San Francisco Chronicle piece on the Evangelho Vineyard, wine editor Esther Mobley fashioned another of her timely California grape history studies, this one around the old-vine parcels in Contra Costa County farmed by the Evangelho family in Oakley.
As important as these vines have been to the emerging history of the California Winemaking tradition, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Esther for her research and reporting. Her comments about the Neyers Mourvèdre were, I thought, particularly insightful.
Neyers Mourvèdre ‘Evangelho Vineyard’, Contra Costa County – Winemaker Tadeo Borchardt maintains plenty of the vineyard’s characteristic bramble – blackberry, plum, dried currant – but weaves it through a satiny, seamless mouthfeel. Densely packed with black fruit, there’s a hint of old leather on the mid-palate, and a bright lift at the end.
This was about the 2012 Mourvèdre, but my friend Daniel Ravier of Domaine Tempier would be proud to see how far we’ve come.
We just bottled the 2015 Neyers Vineyards Mourvèdre ‘Evangelho Vineyard’, and given the low yield and the long, even growing season, I’m happy to report that it is as good as anything we’ve yet produced from these magnificent grapes.
Five consecutive years of drought have had an impact on these 130 year-old vines, but the small crop they yielded produced a wine that will be a valuable companion for many years to come. It’s rich and complex, but with a fascinating rustic side that combines minerality with exotic fruit flavors, along with that trademark long, soft finish.
2015 Mourvèdre ‘Evangelho Vineyard’ – $35/bottle