What Does Mourvèdre Taste Like?
Mourvèdre is known for producing full-bodied wines with high tannins and moderate acidity. In terms of flavor and aroma, wines made from Mourvèdre tend to have dark fruit flavors such as blackberry and black cherry, as well as savory and earthy notes. Texas Mourvèdre may also have aromas of herbs and spices, such as black pepper, sage, and thyme. The wines are often described as "meaty" or "gamey," due to their savory and rustic character.
Where is Mourvèdre from?
In Spain, Mourvèdre is known as Monastrell, and on occasion one will see Mataro, a name often used in Italy, Australia and California. In Provence where Mourvèdre thrives, the wines take on a distinct aroma characterized by the presence of wild herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary, and lavender, which they call "Garrigue".
While its origins are Spanish, it is the French derivative "Mourvèdre", that is commonly used. In Spain it is known as "Monastrell.", and is thought to come from the Arabic word "monastari," which means "monastery." This is likely because the grape was originally grown in monasteries in Spain and was associated with the religious orders that lived there. Due to the popularity of the wines coming out of France,the name "Mourvèdre," became the generally accepted term.
Mourvèdre is native to the Mediterranean region, where it has been grown for centuries. In France, it is a key component of many famous wine blends from the Rhône Valley, such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape. You may have heard of GSM? The acronym for the popular blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. In Spain, it is grown primarily in the Jumilla and Yecla regions, where the ample sunlight can produce the full range of flavors. In Italy, it is grown primarily in the Puglia region, where it is used to produce deep red wines. However it is the wines from Bandol in southern France are considered the best expression of the grape in the world, and one of the few places in France that one can find a single-varietal example.
Where does Mourvèdre grow?
Mourvèdre is known for its ability to thrive in warm, dry climates, which makes it well-suited to growing regions in the Mediterranean. It is a late-ripening grape variety, which means that it requires a long growing season in order to fully mature. As a result, wines made from Mourvèdre tend to have deep color and high levels of tannins and other phenolic compounds. These wines are often aged in oak barrels to soften the tannins and add complexity to the flavor profile.
Mourvèdre is grown in several regions in the United States, including California, Washington, and Texas. In Texas, Mourvèdre plantings are increasing in both the Hill Country and the High Plains, and frequently produce as a single variety wine, somewhat of a rarity in France. One reason why single varietal wines are less common is lack of sun, and issue Texas doesn't suffer from. It also does not produce large yields, and can be an unreliable grape where ample sun is not available. The state's hot and dry climate is well-suited to growing this grape variety, and while it can be a finicky grape to grow, many winemakers in Texas are producing high-quality Mourvèdre wines.
Mourvèdre - Styles of Wine
Styles of wine made from Mourvèdre vary depending on the region and the specific winemaking techniques used. In the Rhône Valley, Mourvèdre is often blended with other grape varieties such as Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault to produce full-bodied red wines with high tannins and a long aging potential. In Spain, wines made from Monastrell (Mourvèdre) tend to be full-bodied and robust, with high tannins and a long aging potential. In Italy, wines made from Mataro (Mourvèdre) tend to be full-bodied and tannic, with flavors and aromas of dark fruit and herbs.
Mourvèdre Food and Wine Pairings
When it comes to food and wine pairing, Mourvèdre is a versatile grape variety that pairs well with a wide range of dishes. It is particularly well-suited to hearty, flavorful dishes such as grilled meats, game, and roasted vegetables. Some classic food and wine pairings for Mourvèdre include lamb with rosemary, roast beef with horseradish, and grilled pork with applesauce.
For a suggested wine pairing with a classic Texas dish, we recommend trying a bottle of Texas Mourvèdre with BBQ brisket. The bold flavors and tannins of the wine will complement the smoky, savory flavors of the brisket, while the wine's fruit flavors will provide a nice balance to the richness of the meat. A Texas Mourvèdre with a good balance of tannins and acidity will also help to cut through the fat in the brisket and refresh the palate between bites.