Monday, May 12, 2014

All About The Mourvèdre Grape

We recently sampled a nice bottle of Mourvèdre rosé from Cline Cellars. It got me thinking that Mourvèdre is an underappreciated and, to most people, unknown grape. Here’s the knowledge download on Mourvèdre.
Mourvèdre is a red grape variety grown in a number of places around the world. It’s highest visibility is in the Rhone and Provence regions of southern France and in Spain, where it is the second most widely planted variety after Garnacha. There are also some plantings in California, Washington State and Australia.
The grapes produce a high-quality deep garnet colored wine with spicy and peppery characteristics. Mourvèdre can also be highly tannic and so is best known as a blending grape. The Rhone-style GSM blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre is a classic pairing that can be delicious.
Spain calls this grape Monastrell and it is often blended with Garnacha (which is Grenache). The Jumilla region has embraced Monastrell and produces some great big bodied reds with spicy notes. We’ve tried two: Wrongo Dongo and Tarima. These are great value buys that you can typical find for $10 or less.
We were impressed with the Mourvèdre rosé from Cline Cellars, which is also very affordable. The wine is dry and crisp with wonderful swirls of strawberry and a bewitching color.
In the Provence region of France, Mourvèdre is the key component in Bandol red and rosé wines. It is used to improve color and structure in the outstanding wines from Cotes du Rhone and Chateauneuf-de-Pape.
The grape clusters of Mourvèdre are compact with small thick-skinned berries that are high in both color and tannins. In addition to flavors of pepper and spice, Mourvèdre can impart soft, red fruit flavors as well as earthy barnyard notes.
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