Like Grenache, Mourvèdre is a full-bodied Spanish grape that wandered up the dry Mediterranean coast to France’s Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence and Southern Rhone Valley. But unlike Grenache, Mourvèdre’s small berries and thick skins are capable of seriously deep colour and dark berry flavours. This might have made Mourvèdre famous (like its frequent neighbour, Syrah) except perhaps for its more rustic, savoury background notes - that can smell like earthy spiced meat...or a barnyard. Yet such complexities still make rich and impressive single varietals - especially in France’s Bandol - while also adding dimension to Spanish blends under the name Monastrell and to Rhone-influenced ones from California and Australia, sometimes under the name Mataro.
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