A Wine Cellar guide to Mourvèdre
Mourvèdre is a thick-skinned black grape variety that produces powerful earthy and savoury reds. The variety prefers very warm climates and the wines tend to be tannic and high in alcohol.
Mourvèdre likely originated in Spain, where it is known as Monastrell or Mataro. Today, it is widely planted throughout the Spanish appellations of Jumilla and Yecla, as well as in the southern Rhône, California and South Australia.
Whilst it is capable of delivering serious varietal wines, Mourvèdre is more commonly used as a blending component. In the southern Rhône, it lends gamey notes and tannins to Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, with spicy Syrah and rich Grenache playing a leading role in the blend. In recent years, many Australian vignerons in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale have begun following the Châteauneuf model and producing GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) wines. South African producers are also bottling very successful Rhône-style blends, with Neal Martin of the Wine Advocate suggesting that they may be SA’s strongest card.