Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Mourvèdre is originally from Spain – Murviedro was a town near Valencia- and is today the country’s second most planted red varietal after Garnacha. Known now as Monastrell (or, less commonly, BAlmansa, Valencia, Alicante, Jumilla, and Yecla on Spain's southeastern Mediterranean coast.
obal), it is the principal grape of

In France, it is the mainstay of the red and rosé wines of Provence, most notably Bandol on the Mediterranean coast where it must by law be at least 50% of the blend.  It also provides backbone to the many wines which are blended with Syrah, and Grenache in the Languedoc-Roussillon (it and Cabernet Sauvignon make up the famous Mas de Daumas Gassac wine) and the Rhone Valley.

Under the name Mataro, it has been part of California “field blends” for more than a century. Paul Draper of Ridge still labels his this way, but most producers use the more fashionable Mourvèdre name, including Cline Cellars, which draws on century-old vines in Contra Costa County, the prime site in the state and part of the San Francisco Bay AVA (appellation). Mourvèdre here, too, almost went extinct, but thanks to the Rhone Rangers, the grape is making a comeback.

This varietal is sensitive to low temperatures, buds and ripens late if at all, and is susceptible to downy and powdery mildew and rot. It is otherwise vigorous and robust, especially when planted in warm, sunny, areas with plentiful wind for cluster ventilation.

Mourvèdre produces fleshy, sturdy wines with deep color, high alcohol, noticeable acidity and gripping, marked fruit tannins. General flavor descriptors include blackberry, baked fruits, garrigue (Provencal brush), black olive, game, earth, and tar.

Domaine Tempier Cuvée Migoua, Bandol, Provence (France)
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol, Provence (France)
Domaines Bunan Moulin des Costes Bandol, Provence (France)
Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol, Provence (France)
Bonny Doon Old Telegram, Costa County, California (USA)
Cline Small Berry Vineyard Mourvèdre, Contra Costa County
Core Winery Coreferment, Santa Barbara, California (USA
Thomas Coyne Mourvedre, Contra Costa County, California (USA)
Jade Mountain Old Vines Mourvedre, Contra Costa County, California (USA)
Ridge Mataro Bridgehead Vineyard, Contra Costa Count, California (USA)
Rosenblum Cellars Mourvedre Continente Vineyard, San Francisco Bay, California (USA)

Best Value
Phillips Vineyards Mourvedre, Lodi, California (USA)

© Copyright 2014 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis, Planet Grape LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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