March 1, 2008

Jade Mountain Vineyard "La Provencale" 2005

Rhone Blend / $14 - 18.99
Napa and Surrounds / California

I went to Morton's Steakhouse last night with a group of like minded wine lovers. We usually get together beforehand and open a few bottles of wine to catch up on each others lives, and compare notes. I had a few very interesting wines that I am sure to review over the next few weeks.

Morton's is having a special nationwide that I feel is a good deal. Two meals...Fillet, Scallops or crab cake, side veggies and dessert....all for $99. Although the wines there are decent...they mark up the wines three times there are certainly no bargains. We tried to stick to the $60 range where we found this gem of a wine.

I was introduced to Jade Mountain by my friend Gus Kalaris and his wife Lynn. They own CONSTANTINE WINES, a large distributor in the Washington, DC area. Jade Mountain is known for producing French varietals and blends grown in various counties surrounding Napa in California. When I saw La Provencale on the wine list, I had to order it.

This is a blend of five varietals, the primary grape is Mouvedre. It also features Syrah, Granache, Carignane and Viognier. All of these are classic grapes blended to make Chateauneuf du Pape in the Rhone region of France. Jade Mountain (Now owned by multi-national conglomerate Diageo) was way ahead of the times producing these varieties in California, and it shows.

The wine poured a lighter color then I anticipated. It looked more like a Pinot Noir then a Syrah blend. The aroma was fabulous. Raspberries and red fruit, spice, clove and a bit of vanilla. Very nice start. The wine is very lush and fruit forward. Raspberry and plum are the main components. Tannins are smooth but balances. There is a bit of a burn on the end...but not unpleasant. Turns out this wine is over 14% alcohol.

Overall, it was a very nice choice. Was it worth $60? Not even close. This morning when researching I was pleasantly surprised to find it many places at under $20. On line, you can find it for $14. At that price...this is a great value. Those of you that enjoy blends, smooth drinking reds and great values, look no further.

Links: Jade Mountain  l  Morton's  l  Online wines

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