What is Mourvèdre?
Mourvèdre, also known as Monastrell and Mataro, is a heat-loving red grape variety from the Mediterranean whose tannic, meaty character is increasingly popular, especially as a blending tool, in several of the world’s hotter wine regions.
What does Mourvèdre taste like?
Mourvèdre has small, thick-skinned berries, which bring firm tannins and blackberry fruit, often showing a wild, gamey edge, dried herbs, leather and a violet aroma. Mourvèdre is often blended with Grenache and Shiraz, providing depth and length but with some of its wildness tamed by the other varieties. In southern France’s Bandol region, Mourvèdre lends its structure to unusually age-worthy rosé. In even hotter climates, such as southern Spain, Mourvèdre can be softer with sweeter fruit.
Where is Mourvèdre from?
Mourvèdre almost certainly originated in western Spain, quite plausibly taking its name from the ancient town of Murviedro (now called Sagunto) near Valencia.
Where does Mourvèdre grow?
Mourvèdre is most planted in its native Spain, where the grape is called Monastrell. It is concentrated in the western provinces of Murcia, Valencia and Castilla-La Mancha, although is also found in Catalonia’s Costers del Segre and Penedés. Mourvèdre’s second home is southern France, where for a long time it was the most important grape in Provence, although that is now only the case in the variety’s famous enclave of Bandol. Mourvèdre has recently grown in popularity across Languedoc-Roussillon and the Southern Rhône. The variety also plays an important role in Rhône-style blends from both California and Australia, especially Barossa. In both countries it is generally known as Mataro. Mourvèdre can also be found on a smaller scale in both Washington State and South Africa.
Famous Mourvèdre regions:
- Bandol, Provence, France
- Alicante, Valencia, Yecla, Jumilla, Almansa, Costers del Segre & Penedés, Spain
- Southern Rhône, France
- Languedoc-Roussillon, France
- Sonoma Valley, Contra Costa County & Paso Robles, California
- Barossa Valley, Clare Valley & McLaren Vale, Australia
In addition to the most common synonyms for Mourvèdre – Monastrell and Mataro – the variety has a French nickname of Etrangle-Chien, or “Dog Strangler” in reference to its mouth-drying tannins.
Our selection of great Mourvèdre
- Château de Beaucastel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône
- Bodegas Enrique Mendoza, Alicante
- Wendouree, Clare Valley
-Tablas Creek, Paso Robles