Taste the Soft Fruit Flavors of Mourvedre

By: Allison Ryan

Because of the challenges of cultivating Mourvedre grapes, they are not widely grown in vineyards throughout the world. It is a popular grape of the wineries along the Mediterranean coast of France because of the ideal climactic conditions.

It is also grown in Australia and California. While it was thought that the grapes of Spain were of this variety, research has shown that it is the Mourvedre and Monastrell grapes are two different varieties. Mourvedre grapes are mainly found in the Jumilla region of Spain.

Mourvedre grapes are late to ripen, which exposes them to the threat of frost. They have thick skins, which helps them resist rot and other diseases that can harm both the grapes and the vines. They grow in tight bunches on the vine and have to be pruned on a regular basis. There are 3 – 5 lobes on the leaves and the berries are of medium size and blue-black in color. The grapes need to have a lot of ventilation because they grow so tight together on the vine.

High temperatures are essential for the grapes to ripen and although they do need a lot of water, care must be taken with the humidity levels to which they are exposed. Too much humidity can cause the grapes to rot on the vine.

Another of the challenges posed by Mourvedre is the irregular yields wineries can have from year to year. One year may produce a good crop of grapes and the next year the yield may be way down. Most grape varieties will produce a commercial yield within three to five years, but it could take as long as ten years to realize any sizable crop from these vines.

The low tannic quality of Mourvedre wine makes it perfect as a blend to soften the taste of other wines. Many wineries in Australia use it as a blend for Grenache and Shiraz where they are marketed as GSM wines. When bottled as a varietal wine, it has a deep color and can be very tannic and alcoholic. When young, it has a spicy and gamey aroma. The wine is aged in heavy oak barrels, which gives it an aroma of oak, smoke, tar, toast and sweet wood.

Some of the common aromas of Mourvedre include leather, herbs and spices. The wine produced in the U.S. and Australia also has hints of sweetness. It leaves a savory finish on the palette. The earthy aromas are very strong when you open a bottle of this wine, so much so that you may think the wine has aged too long and should not be consumed.

However, this is a distinctive characteristic of the wine. As it ages it takes on the aromas of truffles and leather. The longer the wine ages, the more complex the tastes and aromas will become. Adding Grenache or Pinotage to the wine will help soften the overpowering scent with its fruity tastes and aroma.

With the earthy aromas of Mourvedre, it is the perfect wine to pair with dishes that have earthy flavors. It goes well with dishes containing mushrooms and root vegetables, as well as grilled meats. It is an excellent choice of wine to serve with wild game and with dark fowl, such as duck.

About the Author:

Allison Ryan is an expert on the history of viticulture and viniculture and enjoys researching and writing all about various vineyards and wine varietals, such as Mourvedre and Pinotage. For a great selection of fantastic wines, please visit http://www.wineaccess.com/.

Wine Related Articles:

Wine Labels - Looking Beyond The Wine Content

There are a lot of wines available in the market. To know more about any of these varieties, brands and classes of wine, you should read the wine label. A wine label offers the first clues about a certain wine. Pe...

By: Milos Pesic

7 Obvious reasons Stemless Wine Glasses are worth their weight in gold!

The wine glass seems to spark up so much debate amongst wine-lovers and connoisseurs alike. Is the flavour influenced more by glass or crystal? Which shape glass is best for which bouquet? How good is the swirl action? D...

By: Clint Sowrary

Shiraz - the History of Shiraz Wine

Shiraz, known as syrah in France, Chile, Argentina and most parts of the United States, is a type of grape. This grape, used to make wine, has a deep purple color. Shiraz is a unique wine, and has one of the highest serv...

By: Jennifer Waite

Updated Wine Related News:

Think you know New Zealand wine? Think again, says Elin McCoy

?The speed of change in New Zealand wine leaves me breathless,? writes Elin McCoy after visiting the country for tastings earlier this year.

First taste: Cristal 2008 launched

The UK launch of Cristal 2008 impressed Michael Edwards...

Pessac-Léognan: Then and now ? the story of an appellation

Pessac-Léognan has become a dynamic force among the Bordeaux appellations, despite only being around for 30 years. Read a history of the area, plus fresh review...

New Zealand 2016: Reds to buy, including top Pinot Noir

There is plenty to be excited about, says Rebecca Gibb MW, who picks out 15 reds to try, based on releases so far...

Tasting notes decoded: Misusing balsamic?

Get to grips with the some of the more obscure tasting notes used by wine experts, with graphics from Decanter's design team. This week we decode 'gerani...

Website Friends: