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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.
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.
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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Bodegas Volver Tarima 2016Mourvedre from Spain
Enrique Mendoza Alicante La Tremenda Monastrell 2016Mourvedre from Spain
Bodegas Hijos de Juan Gil Juan Gil 2015Mourvedre from Jumilla, Spain
Bodegas Castano Hecula 2013Mourvedre from Spain
Bodegas Volver Tarima Hill Old Vines 2015Mourvedre from Spain
Genio Espanol Monastrell Roble 2014Mourvedre from Jumilla, Spain
Bodegas Volver Tarima Organic 2015Mourvedre from Jumilla, Spain
Cline Ancient Vines Mourvedre 2016Mourvedre from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
Bodegas Olivares Altos de la Hoya 2015Mourvedre from Jumilla, Spain
Wrongo Dongo Monastrell 2016Mourvedre from Jumilla, Spain
Casa Castillo Monastrell 2016Mourvedre from Jumilla, Spain
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge (375ML half-bottle) 2015Mourvedre from Bandol, Provence, France
Cass Winery Mourvedre 2015Mourvedre from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Syncline Mourvedre 2014Mourvedre from Columbia Valley, Washington
Tormentoso Mourvedre 2013Mourvedre from South Africa
Bodegas Castano Monastrell 2013Mourvedre from Spain
Bodegas Sierra Salinas Mo 2014Mourvedre from Spain
Hewitson Old Garden Mourvedre 2013Mourvedre from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
Bodegas Sierra Salinas Mo 2013Mourvedre from Spain
Martian Parallax Mourvedre 2014Mourvedre from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
Enrique Mendoza Las Quebradas Monastrell 2011Mourvedre from Spain
Villa Creek Damas Noir Mourvedre 2011Mourvedre from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Groundwork Mourvedre 2015Mourvedre from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol 2013Mourvedre from Bandol, Provence, France
Domaine de la Begude Bandol Rouge 2014Mourvedre from Bandol, Provence, France