You may know it as Mourvedre, but it also called Monastrell in Spain or Mataro in Australia and some places in the USA.
Mourvedre has had mixed fortune. It is has long had a very poor reputation in Spain for producing harsh and cheap wines, while in many other areas of the world it has only been used as part of blends. Especially GSM aka Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre or Grenache-Syrah-Mataro.
Today Mourvèdre is recognised as a quality grape variety capable of producing some very fine wines indeed.
How to pronounce?
Mourvedre is pronounced Moor- Veh- drrr
Where does it comes from?
Although it is mainly known today under its French name of Mourvedre, the vine’s origins are almost certainly Spanish. It has probably taken its name from the Spanish city of Murviedro near Valencia, which in Catalan is Morvedre.
In Spain, it is still known as Monastrell.
What does it smell like?
The main aromas that make up Mourvèdre are blackberry, liquorice, pepper and musk. When the wines are older, the nose will develop to notes of leather, game and truffle.
What does it taste like?
Mourvedre produces wines that are very deep in colour sometimes almost black. The wines are powerful, often rich in sweetness and alcohol and rather tannic.
Think big, intense powerful red wine that needs a few years to mellow.
What food will it go well with?
Mourvedre, with its deep, rich, tannic and spicy character will be an ideal match to game stews, or slowly braised red meat.
It is also a perfect match with grilled red meat, duck and goose..
Where are the best regions for Mourvedre?
Mourvedre is a grape variety that needs sun and heat and that doesn’t like wet climates. The best regions for Mourvèdre are of course in Spain where it is originally from. The Catalonia and the region of Valencia all the way down to Alicante and Jumilla near Murcia
The South of France produces some fantastic Mourvèdre. You can also find fantastic wines in the Languedoc-Roussillon and the Rhone regions. There, Mourvèdre is generally blended with Syrah and Grenache.
However, THE home of great Mourvèdre is Bandol in Provence..
Australia mainly blends its Mataro/ Mourvèdre, but there are a few great Mourvèdre wines to be found in South Australia.
California also has a few fantastic Mourvèdre wines you should definitely try.
What tastes similar?
If you love Mourvedre, I have a couple of grape varieties for you to try.
The first one is definitely Bonarda. A wonderfully deep, rich and luscious grape variety, producing gorgeous wines in Mendoza.
For the second I’m also going to recommend a wine from South America, something a bit off the beaten track.
It’s a grape variety called Tannat and there are some fine examples in Uruguay. Not easy to find I grant you, but take your time it’s well worth it.
Best Mourvedre Wines
Here is my top 5 Mourvedre wines you need to enjoy at least once:
– You need to try Chateau Pibarnon, often referred to as the Petrus of Provence, it is the ultimate Mourvèdre.
– Chateau Tempier is another fantastic Bandol
In Spain, I would definitely recommend you try Ramblis from Bernabe Navarro, it’s a bit off the beaten track but unbelieveable value for money.
In Australia, Old Garden Mourvedre from Hewtison in the Barossa Valley is a world-class wine, but you’ll need to get a budget ready.
And finally Bonny Doon’s Old Telegram in California.. Another classic!
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