Monday, August 15, 2011

Abouriou - It's a bird, It's a ... - No, it's a Red Wine Grape

One of the more interesting wines poured during the Red Wine Speed Tasting during WBC11 was the Abourious 2009 Red Wine from Old World Winery (Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California). Now, even with a room full of wine bloggers, most of us had never heard of - and obviously tasted - a wine made from the Abouriou grape. According to the esteemed Jancis Robinson The Oxford Companion to Wine, 3rd Edition, Abouriou is grown primarily in South West France, bordering Bordeaux to the north and the Pyrénées to the south. This region is includes the ACOs Jurançon, Cahors, Bergerac, and Côtes du Marmandais - home to Abouriou, where the grape is used in blends with Bordeaux varieties, Syrah, Fer, and Gamay.

It is obviously also grown in California, with Old World Winery the only producer - at least as listed at WineCompass. Two acres of the grapes are grown organically at the Sheri Martinelli Ranch with these being harvested in October 2009 and bottled in June 2011. That's translates to approximately 18 months of aging. During the Twitter tasting, my colleague immediately designated the Abourious 2009 Red Wine as The Seducer - with its full body, high acidity; but sweet berry flavor profile. Other bloggers had similar comments as show below. But don't get too excited just yet about this wine. For #wbc11 was its unveiling; the release date is set for Spring 2012 with a $55 price point and only 109 cases available. Mark this on our calendar and visit the winery's online store.
  • melanie0 @oldworldwinery Tasting Abourious. A very big meaty wine #wbc11
  • hesipsshesips Abourious made from Abouriou grape from Old World Winery super different, jammy, hint of sweetness #WBC11 #shesips
  • 1WineDude 09 Old World Winery Abourious red. Abouriou is the variety (yes, really). Like your licorice with pepper? Then this is your wine. #wbc11
  • icjamie Abourious 2009 Russian River Valley. Old World Winery. Abouriou is the grape. Huge acidity in this red, sweet notes. $55 #wbc11
  • winecompass #wbc11 the seducer wine Abourious
  • krischislett Abourious made from the Abouriou grape in the Russian River Valley. Only vyd in the U.S. growing it. #wbc11
  • KarinMcKercher The most fantastic new discovery for me, #Abourious. Really digging this. Sort of sweet, but good pepper finish. Must. Get. More. #WBC11
  • indievinos Been "hearing" about #Abourious. Cane berry-candy nose, really smooth, but also a little "sour." In a really, really good way. LOVE. #WBC11
  • mutineermag Abourious 2009 Red Wine from the Russian River Valley. Its natural fermentation has excited my tablemate. #WBC11
  • norcalwine 09 @oldworldwinery Abourious RRV red wine from Abouriou variety planted 1950 by Martinellis below Jack Ass Hill: Concordish #WBC11 #wine
  • KatieDrinksWine @OldWorldWinery So excited to finally try your wine! A new varietal for me, too - Abouriou - the only one to be found in the States #wbc11
  • WineSoiree The only 2 acres of Abouriou in CA. Some may even say Foxy or deeeLish. @OldWorldWinery #wbc11
  • foodandwine365 #wbc11 another first abouriou French grape by way of rrv. Thanks @oldworldwinery
  • RedWineDiva @OldWorldWinery up with a unique wine for the US - Abouriou Grapes from the south of France. #wbc11
  • BrixChick_Liza #wbc11 #speedtasting Old WOrld Arbourious new grape to me: Arbouriou. Flippy fruity aromas like raspberry danish
  • genevelyn: 09 Abourious REd, should be a martini float #wbc11 from us. enjoy!


Steven Washuta said...

Thanks for the shoutout! - let me know if you're coming to the area and we can do a little vertical tasting (this also applies to anyone reading this comment) - steven at

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your tasting invitation when we travel west next February while attending the International Magnolia Society meeting. Boris, Jane, Jeff, Julia

Darek Trowbridge said...

And maybe we'll go see it in the vineyard! Of course it'll just have been pruned in February but there's still plenty to see.