When Green Dragon and I visited cousin Mary and her husband Cleve, it resulted in “The Night of 15 Bottles.” That was a little party that ended up with the Huntington Beach police arriving on the scene to shut down the merry-making.
Actually, thinking back, it might have been the “The Night of 16 Bottles” because while we were preparing for the party, we popped open this bottle. The bottle came from a case that Mary and Cleve had won in a charity raffle.
This may be the first bottle of wine I’ve had from the El Dorado appellation. The region is in the Sierra Foothills and was where California’s gold rush began with the discover of gold at Sutter’s Mill. By 1870, El Dorado was among the largest wine producers in the state, but the industry all but dried up until a renaissance in the 1960s. Today there are more than 50 wineries in the region.
It’s rare to find a bottle of Mourvedre, a grape that is primarily used in blending, so I was looking forward to tasting this one. “The Prospector” is named after those hearty miners who either struck it rich or went bust during the gold rush.
The Prospector is 95% Mourvedre with the remainder being Grenache, Counoise and Syrah. The grapes come from hillside vineyards above 2,800 feet.The wine is unfiltered and aged for 10 months in neutral oak.
This wine is everything I hoped it would be: gamey and earthy with solid tannins. There are flavors of crushed berries and cranberry. It has savory, meaty flavors.
I plan to seek out El Dorado wine in the future. We sampled several different bottles that night and, from what I recall, we all enjoyed them greatly. Except, perhaps, the neighbors who called the police.