Finding a wine that is 100% Mourvèdre (a.ka. Monastrell) is not easy. But you may well have been tasting it for a while as part of a blend; typically as a small part of Rhone reds or in Australia as part of the “GSM” styles where it is blended with Grenache and Syrah to make a rich fruited and luscious style of wine. It is only a small part of those blends, used to add structure from its firm tannins, or a lift of acidity and some savoury undertones.
To find a wine that is predominantly Mourvèdre you might want to look to Bandol (Provence reds) where it is blended with Grenache and Cinsault. Or in Spain, in Jumilla or Alicante, where it can be made as a single varietal wine. And it is worth discovering it in the purer form. The wine world is only just starting to take Mourvèdre seriously, it can provide a wine with great intensity, rich dark black fruit, full body and a wild earthy character. It retains its acidity well in hot climates meaning it also ages well.
In California it found its fame among the “Rhone rangers” who rediscovered old vine Mataro grapes (another pseudonym) and started to produce wines with Syrah and Grenache to rival Rhone styles. This helped revive interest in the grape.
A very late ripening, high tannin grape which is well suited to hot climates; in fact it needs very warm conditions to fully ripen. It retains its acidity well which makes it a very useful blending tool for other grapes. Prone to reduction meaning it can smell a bit eggy and need air to open up.
Tannat, Malbec, Carignan, Syrah
France: Provence, Bandol
Spain: Jumilla, Alicante
Australia: South Australia
USA: California, Washington Estate
Spicy sausages, pork ribs, roast lamb, roasted peppers, wild mushroom ragu