Mourvedre, the famous grape of Bandol, is known by the name Mataro in California. The Mataro grape has been planted in California since the 1870s, mostly as an adjunct in blends that were Zinfandel dominated. Though scarce, Mataro is an exceptional standalone grape in a few places. One of those is Oakley. In the eastern rain shadow of Mount Diablo near the San Joaquin River, vines on their own roots planted in sand dune-like soils in the late 1800s and early 1900s continue to produce some of the most interesting and highly regarded Mataro in California. The climate conditions are perfect for slow ripening grapes like Mataro. The smoky, soft cherry, plum flavors are well developed and full, with the acid perfectly balanced and the tannins soft and round.
Wine Advocate 91 - From vines planted in the 1890s, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Mataro Oakley Road Vineyard has a gorgeous nose of raspberry preserves, kirsch and baked plums with hints of baking spices, tar and mossy bark. Medium to full-bodied, it has a wonderfully plush texture and great freshness supporting the baked berry layers, finishing on a spicy note.
Connoisseurs' Guide 90 - Once & Future is a fairly new project of Zinfandel master, Joel Peterson, and, if “careful crafting” is not a descriptor that often comes up when discussing Mourvèdre, it most definitely applies here. The wine is full, ripe and deeply fruity with a bent to berries and remarkably polished tannins, and it displays a sense of measured control from front to back. It is rich, but it is not in the least wild and unruly, and, while it is structured to keep, it does not demand lengthy keeping and is thoroughly enjoyable in the near term.