Mourvedre / Monastrell / Mataro
This grape has Spanish origins where it goes by the names of Monastrell or Mataro. It may, however, be more commonly known by its French name, Mourvedre. It is a heat loving grape and loves a dry climate as it is susceptible to mildews and cold winters. In France its choice growing locations are the warmest spots; the Southern Rhone and sunny Provence. It is the main grape of Bandol where it produces an deeply pigmented and bold wines. Expect black cherry, blackberry, garrigue, black pepper, smoke, game, dark chocolate, licorice.
Mourvedre is the “M” in new world GSM blends where its bold tannins are softened and complimented by Grenache and Syrah. Though, blending Mourvedre is not a new world wine making invention; this grape usually makes an appearance in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
In Spain, Monastrell can be softer and juicer than the French versions as some additional heat can help in rounding out any tannic edges.