The 100-plus-year-old Small Berry Mourvèdre vineyard is a small block that consistently produces one of Cline's most complex and concentrated Mourvèdre wines. The vines were originally planted on their own roots, which make this one of California’s most historic vineyards. They dry-farm these ancient, head-pruned vines continuing a practice that was employed by the Italian and Portuguese immigrants who planted this vineyard. The wine exemplifies the unique character of the varietal while showcasing the elegant flavors that are contributed by the phylloxera resistant sand soils - described as their singular Oakley terroir. The proximity of this vineyard to Eucalyptus trees also contributes to Small Berry’s unique signature.
Grapes were harvested at high natural sugar levels and treated gently in the cellar to emphasize the explosive fruit characteristics of the vineyard block. The fruit was almost entirely de-stemmed and lightly crushed, with a large proportion of whole berries remaining in the must. Fermentation occurred at moderate temperatures in stainless steel tanks. The wine was pressed after going dry and then racked to another settling tank before being put down to approximately 35% new French oak for 14 months.
This vineyard has always shown intense concentration of flavors due, in part, to the miniscule yields that are received. Tobacco, plum, and eucalyptus-mint dominate this wine and offers plenty of flesh and a firm balanced structure of acid and fine-grained tannins.
Pairs well with hearty country food such as turkey dinners, pork roasts and grilled lamb.