You could think of Syrah as a big sister, but compared to Mourvedre it might be a little sister. "Mary, Mary, quite contrary, eating her curds and whey..." Mary may like her cheese, but she certainly wasn't contrary to the notion of tasting a little Mourvedre. In fact, we all enjoyed tasting five Mourvedres and the striking thing was how good they all were. The 2006 Cotes a Cotes blend from L'Aventure, a blend of 40% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah was the favored wine, perhaps because of it's smooth, delicious, fruit forward nature. Despite it's 16.5% alcohol, it was elegant, smooth and seamless. The 2005 Mourvedre from Tablas Creek was equally delish in the same fruit forward way. The other three Veds were wonderful in more complex ways. The 2002 McCrea Sirocco was much more complex and complicated than the two California babes. The 2003 Cline Ancient Vines, also from California, was a more intellectual type than her cousins from farther south. It seemed as if she had been chewing on a lead pencil for a long time. The 2003 Callaghan Mourvedre from the Buena Suerte Vineyard in Sonoita, Arizona, was clearly the cowgirl of the bunch with notes of spice, tobacco and a little sweat mixed in. Could this be the woman from Alaska visiting Senator McCain in his home state? Ya see, empirically speakin', she did finish last with almost three quarters of a bottle left at the end of the evening. Spicy and complex, perhaps her tart finish led to a pregnant moment of surprise or should we say, shock and awe?