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harrington mourvedreThis feels like a last testament. Harrington Wines has been a fixture in the San Francisco artisanal wine scene since 2002. They specialized in unusual varietals not often found in California. Unfortunately, they closed up shop in 2018, but there are still some bottles floating around and they’re always worth your attention.

This Mourvèdre shows an exotic blue fruit/red fruit medley with a marked scent of red licorice. Some freshly turned earth lurks in the background mingling with a faint echo of Mourvèdre’s characteristic animal vapors.

Luscious, seductive and moaning with melody up front, it acquires a stony, mineral layer at midpalate and the wine is transformed into something more resolute with very firm, thick tannins giving it a sinewy strength that creeps up on you with a series of deliberate, muted undulations. On the finish, the fruit power keeps the faith along with a lovely mineral trace but it’s that virile structural strength that wins the battle as if it’s sardonically commenting on its earlier self.

A shapeshifter with charm and fortitude, darkly mysterious and animalic like Black Mambo by Glass Animals.

Technical Notes: Grapes were from the  Suma Kaw Vineyard in El Dorado County, an organic, dry-farmed vineyard at about 3000’ of elevation.

Score: 92

Price: $33 [Later vintages available here]

Alc. 13.2%