Mourvèdre (aka Mataro) is grown widely in France and Spain, where it’s known as monastrell. Mourvèdre is typically earthy with intense black fruits and lots of gamey flavours. Its tannins can be rustic unless polished by its winemaker.
Mourvèdre plays a supporting role on the Southern Rhone appellation of Cotes du Rhône and its revered stablemate, Châteauneuf du Pape— both based on grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre and other lesser known Rhône varieties adding character and complexity. In the neighbouring Provence region, Mourvèdre adds a lick of umami to the uber-fashionable rosés and assumes the dominant role (in the reds and rosés) in the sub-region of Bandol.
There are some ancient Mourvèdre vines in Australia planted in the mid-19th century, though it was seen (under its Mataro guise) as a workhorse variety to support shiraz and grenache. A renewed focus on Mourvèdre has seen our winegrower’s produce lighter, brighter styles unsullied by excess oak -such as the Geddes Experimental Mataro.
Grenache, however, remains the key to a plethora of Australia’s everyday, easy drinking reds in the style of Cote du Rhône. As we cannot use the names of French appellations, these red blends are nicknamed GSM—as with the Arimia Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvèdre. Winemakers may choose to switch the percentage of each variety to create a SGM or even MSG.
These Rhône look-alike reds offer a juicy, highly quaffable alternative to the traditional bold, brash Shiraz and Cabernet blends that dominate the retail landscape.