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Mourvedre

Never lacking in color, tannin, or bold, mouth-filling texture...

Never lacking in color, tannin, or bold, mouth-filling texture, Mourvèdre is most commonly deployed to provide substance in blends with Grenache and Syrah/Shiraz. Despite being better known by its French name, Mourvèdre is actually of Spanish provenance, originally known as Monastrell. In Spain, it is one of the most commonly planted red grapes, serving as the principal variety in regions such as Alicante, Jumilla, and Yecla. It truly thrives, however, in Provence’s Bandol region, where it produces singular red and rosé wines along with Grenache and [Cinsault]. It is also of great importance in the Southern Rhône alongside Grenache and Syrah—and in California and Australia, where those blends are frequently mimicked.

In the Glass

Mourvèdre/Monastrell is responsible for robust, heady wines with dark berry fruit and a somewhat gamey quality. At its finest, it takes on brambly red and black fruit flavors and hints of herbs, leather, dark chocolate, and licorice. It can be prohibitively tannic in its youth, but well-aged examples can show an impressive degree of elegance and an attractive perfume. In blends with Grenache and Syrah, Mourvèdre provides fleshy texture, tannic structure, and deep color.

Perfect Pairings

This earthy Mediterranean variety loves rustic food—think cassoulet, wild boar ragu, or smoky ribs. Mourvèdre’s tannins are bold but not bitter, lending the wine the weight and texture it needs to pair with such hearty fare.

Sommelier Secret

Mourvèdre used to have significant plantings in California, but it was unfashionable and its presence was quickly declining in the late 20th century. In the 1980s, a group of California winemakers inspired by the wines of the Rhône Valley (aptly named the Rhône Rangers) brought the variety back into the spotlight. Plantings have since increased and “GSM” blends are now a highly-regarded specialty of the Central Coast.

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  • Domaine de la Begude Bandol Rouge 2010
    Mourvedre from Bandol, Provence, France
    • WE94
    • RP90
    Currently Unavailable $48.99
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  • Hewitson Old Garden Mourvedre 2013
    Mourvedre from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
    • JH94
    Currently Unavailable $71.99
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  • Villa Creek Damas Noir Mourvedre 2011
    Mourvedre from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
    Currently Unavailable $48.99
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  • Senorio de Barahonda Barrica 2012
    Mourvedre from Spain
    • RP91
    • V90
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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  • Chateau de Saint Martin Cote de Provence Grand Reserve 2014
    Mourvedre from Provence, France
      Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    • Tablas Creek Mouvedre 2013
      Mourvedre from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
        Currently Unavailable $47.99
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