Wine Talk

Snooth User: outthere

Tasting Dirty & Rowdy with Hardy Wallace

Posted by outthere, Apr 23, 2014.

TASTING DIRTY AND ROWDY WITH HARDY WALLACE - Puchdown Cellars - Santa Rosa (4/23/2014)

I stopped by Punchdown today to see Hardy and pick up my 2012 Shake Ridge Mourvèdre from the prior release. BTW Fox, I picked up your wine as well so you know where it is when you want it. He had a couple hours to kill so he popped open his current release among others. He also got to break in his new tasting table made for him by one of the cellar rats/crew at Punchdown. Wish I had my pocket knife handy so I could immortalize the moment with my initials but alas I had the day off work and came unprepared.


Hardy was nice enough to pour me through his current offering as well as the '12 and '13 Shake Ridge Mourvèdre. It's nice being able to shoot the breeze and not be rushed through a tasting. We gave the wines ample time to come out of their shells over the 1-1/2 hours I visited.

  • 2013 Dirty and Rowdy Sémillon - USA, California, Napa Valley, Yountville
    Picked 19 birx. 75% skin fermented, 25% pressed into a concrete egg. This was a pop-n-pour. Lightly cloudy with an orange tinge. Right out of bottle the fruit is shy. The nose expressed rocks, jalapeño pith and light citrus. After swishing and warming up the mouth has mandarin and jalapeño, followed up by pineapple lifesaver. Light fruit up front, crisp snappy acidity, very unique.

  • 2013 Dirty and Rowdy Mourvedre 'ESPECIAL' Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    This was a pop-n-pour and re-tasted at 1hr. 12.4% abv Light cranberry color. Light, tart, floral, dusty, red fruit, red raspberry, turning strawberry in the mouth. Chalky sandstone minerality, tart integrated finish with soft tannins. Great summer sipper. Fits in a place for me between like an Arnot-Roberts Rosé and the Bedrock Grenache Gris. I can see enjoying this over and over during the warm months ahead. Nice effort.

  • 2013 Dirty and Rowdy Mourvedre Santa Barbara Highlands - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    Pop-n-pour and re-tasted after an hour of air. 12.5% abv Dark ruby color, lovely aromatics edging on incense and patchouli, with strawberry infused fruit, middle weight, firm tannins. Very expressive with nice balance. Needs time though.

  • 2012 Dirty and Rowdy Mourvedre Shake Ridge Ranch - USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County
    Pop-n-pour. Dark ruby color bordering to purple. Floral with baking spice and the smell of freshly tilled soil. This wine has a richness compared to the others in the flight with ripe juicy red and blue fruit and sweet grippy tannins. Right up my alley.

  • 2013 Dirty and Rowdy Mourvedre Santa Barbara Highlands, "Oops Wine" - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    This was a barrel sample which will likely be renamed due to an error where a barrel of Petite Sirah mistakenly was mixed in during racking. I'll refer to this as the Oops wine.
    91.7% Mourvèdre, 8.3% Petite Sirah.
    Even with just the small amount of PS in this wine the blend is evident first in the color which is dark almost black and second in the structure which shows much more dark fruited with powerful tannins. Has nice Mourvèdre florals but with a savory edge. Mouth has crunchy red and black fruit. Great tannic structure. This is going to be a winner if you ask me. Sometimes you have to make a mistake to find something new.


Always fun visiting with Hardy. His energy and enthusiasm is contagious.  


Reply by dmcker, Apr 23, 2014.

Always the best way to taste, isn't it?  Great post OT, thanks.

And who does their artwork? My kind of imagination.  ;-)

Reply by EMark, Apr 23, 2014.

Outstanding, OT.  Life is good.

However, how could you think of defacing that table?  At least let somebody else go first. 

Reply by JonDerry, Apr 23, 2014.

Wish I could've been there for the tasting...the labels are interesting, though that "ESPECIAL" one kinda gives me the creeps. Have tried their '12 Semillon, but other than that have just been stockpiling their Mourvedre. Think I'll continue to do so until I get up to a case, then start experimenting.

Reply by outthere, Apr 23, 2014.

Hardy told me today that they just had a dinner where they poured every vintage of every wine the have made to date '10-'13 and the most approachable was the '12 Shake Ridge Mourvedre. The nose on the Un-oopsed Santa Barbara wine was intoxicating though.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Apr 24, 2014.

I like the idea of that OOPS.  Maybe for the friends?

I think that the wineries I have been dealing with need a delivery option "[OT] to pick up."  It would save me an email.  Thanks for that--I asked Hardy just two days ago to put it with my Mourvedre since the deal was that they would only ship three, and I had two Ms and had to fill out the order with the S&E Semillon.  I guess the quid pro quo is that when you have too much wine, I buy your overflow and free up cash and space.  Everyone wins.  We'll be passing through your neck of the woods after my sis-in-law's b-day.  Any chance you'll be around on May 4?

They seem like they are a more accessible Scholium--the wines don't easily fall into a category, although most of the mourvedre isn't too far afield.  I've been following the experiments with skin contact in whites at other places, so they aren't totally in the wilderness, but it's more challenging than another Chablis (or, for the geeky among us, another Picpoul, as I felt a little easy to pigeonhole as I drank one tonight).

Reply by JonDerry, Apr 24, 2014.

I bought one of the '13 Santa Barbara Mourvèdre...will just have them hold it until I get up to 3-4 bottles. The tight allocations suit me fine as long as I can get at least a bottle to try.

For whites, that Idlewild sounds interesting, the whole lineup for that matter.

Reply by outthere, Apr 24, 2014.

Hardy was urging me to get on that list as he and Sam have been friends for a while. The other one I am getting ready for is Sandlands which is Tegan Passalacqua's new label. So much new wine to explore, so little available cash.

Reply by outthere, Apr 24, 2014.

As for the designation change on the Mourvèdre Hardy just doesn't feel right about calling it SVD since it has 8% Mendocino PS. Nobody would know, but he would,and that's just not how he operates.

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