Sashi Moorman, Melissa Sorongon & Peter Pastan
Ballard Canyon Mourvèdre 2017
Why this wine
Mourvèdre is an ultra-marathoner, with one of the longest ripening periods of any grape out there. No wonder it thrives in few places outside its native Provence, where it receives a head-spinning 3000 hours of sunlight each year. Enter Ballard Canyon — California’s answer to Bandol, the Mourvèdre mecca along the French riviera. Sashi may very well have had this comparison on his mind when we grafted part of the high-elevation Harrison Clarke Vineyard over to Mourvèdre in 2013. So what does Mourvèdre taste like? Think solar-powered Syrah — juicy, vibrant, red-fruited.
WHY THIS PRODUCER: Sashi Moorman is American wine’s Benjamin Franklin — ever experimenting, iterating, and going against the grain. And his lightning rod is cool-climate Syrah (not to mention Pinot Noir, and more recently Mourvèdre), a style he pioneered in Santa Barbara County by cultivating vineyards closer to the Pacific ocean than anyone thought possible. He also shares Franklin's worldly charms, taking his cues from the Old World, and serving as American wine's unofficial European ambassador. If you’re ever in Santa Barbara, make sure to visit the Saturday farmers' market, where Piedrasassi co-owner/baker Melissa Sorongon sells the winery's bread, which she makes from freshly milled heritage grains in a hand-built wood-fired oven.