Since 1988, Jade Mountain has been a pioneer in the production of Rhône-style California wines. The winery was founded with the belief that carefully chosen California vineyard sites planted to Rhône grape varieties can achieve quality on a par with the best from France and Australia.
Paras Vineyard, Jade Mountain's flagship vineyard, rests on the upper slopes of Mount Veeder, overlooking the Napa Valley. With rocky vine terraces and eastern exposures reminiscent of the finest Northern Rhône vineyards, Paras Vineyard grows Syrah and other Rhône grapes of truly exciting quality. From this and other select vineyards, Jade Mountain creates Syrah, Mourvèdre, Viognier and a proprietary southern Rhône-style blend called La Provençale
Jade Mountain uses only the highest-quality grapes and practices traditional winemaking techniques to produce wines displaying intense fruit and spice and silky smoothness on the palate. These wines are appealing in their youth as well as eminently age-worthy.
Learn More About Mourvedre
A native of Spain, where it's called Monastrell, Mourvèdre is best known for its blending role in the Southern Rhone. Strong and rustic, Mourvèdre is the cowboy style blender in the Rhone mix. It's also the "M" of GSM (or SGM) blends in Australia, and it's used as the primary grape in wines from Jumilla and other Southeast areas of Spain.
Notable Facts The desirable aspects of Mourvèdre as a blending grape are good color (from thick skins), high acid and high tannins. These attributes offset the lighter color, lower acid and lower tannins of its Rhone (and sometimes Australian & Spanish) partner, Grenache. The grape likes warmer climates, but has tight bunches so benefits from the cool winds commonly found in areas where it grows best. Spicy and gamey are typical terms related to Mourvèdre. It's not as often bottled as a single variety, but parts of Spain and California are successfully doing just that - the results are delicious.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Southern Rhone, Spain, Australia, California
Common Descriptors: Meaty, rustic, blackberry, leather, herbs, spice
Learn More About Napa Valley, California
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.