Over the past few years I've had the good fortune to get to know Walter McKinley and his son in law Hugo, the minds behind the wonderful Rhone wine property, Domaine du Mourchon. As a result I'm a regular buyer of their wines that find their way to the USA. Last summer it was a delight to drink their rose, named Loubie, which was one of my three favorite non Tavel, non Provence Rose wines that I enjoyed with friends at my annual Rose day party.
Mourchon falls into the class of a semi secret "insiders" wine in the USA, as despite top flight distribution, the Mourchon wines don't get the demand they deserve, especially from collectors as well as fans of Rhone reds. While the large houses like Chapoutier, Guigal and Paul Jaboulet Aîné are readily stocked on shelves of retailers, the Mourchon wines tend to need more searching out for, but once found it will be a treat in the bottle for the buyers.
Make no mistake, the Mourchon wines are world class examples of what a well managed hilltop Rhone vineyard can produce as over the past few weeks I've steadily gone through their Tradition, Cotes du Rhone, Grande Reserve and Family Reserve Syrah.
Now that it has had a chance to age properly in the cellar, the 2009 Family Reserve Syrah may be one of the best 100 percent Syrah's I have ever tasted from Mourchon hands down. The elegance of the 09 could not be better, as it was a smooth, well rounded, fruit enriched red wine that delivered smiles to all who tasted it that evening. Made from grapes that come from vines that are over 60 years old, the Family Reserve is a mouth filling, blackberry, blueberry and light black and white pepper flavored wine that can't be beat.
That same night I had the 2009 Grande Reserve Red, a lovely wine made from 65 % Grenache and 35 % Syrah. In some ways some would call this a big gun Cotes du Rhone. I think this is much more. In many ways it tastes more like a Vacqueryas or Gigondas. There's a stony layer beneath the fruit that is there. While the wine sat in some oak, it feels on the mouth more neutral oak, that oak impacted. The wine tosses off black cherry, black raspberry and black plum flavors, plus some very nice spicy notes.
For fans of red wines that can age and be enjoyed with rich foods, the Domaine du Mouchon wines are ones worth seeking out.