Mourvedre is a thick-skinned red wine grape of Spanish origin that is grown throughout much of the world, including France, Australia, South Africa, California and Washington State.
Believed to have arrived in France during the late-to-middle ages, Mourvedre became well established in the Rhone and Provence regions before the blow of the phylloxera invasion in the late 19th century. As European winemaking regions rebuilt from the decimation, it was discovered that Mourvedre did not take well to grafting on the new, resistant rootstock. Many growers opted to replant with alternate varietals.
In the vineyard, Mouvedre is heat-loving, late to bud, and late to ripen. It prefers soils that are shallow but with adequate water retention (such as in clay) and will overproduce foliage if allowed to grow unchecked. It is well-suited to growing regions (such as California) where a late spring frost might harm new buds.
Historically, Mourvedre has been utilized primarily as a blending grape (most famously in GSM blends), although it is also used to make Roses and port-style, fortified wines. Mouvedre wines tend to be tannic and may be high in alcohol. It is relatively easy to manage in the cellar and is prized for the structure and richness it brings to blends.
It has not been until very recently that Mouvedre was recognized as a desirable varietal wine. Since the 1990s, there's been a revived interest in the grape as a new wave of talented wine makers have made use of the small remaining pockets of low yielding, old vine Mouvedre.
As a single varietal wine, Mouvedres are highly perfumed, with herbal, occasionally "barnyard" like aromas, and rich flavors of blackberry, gingerbread, and leather with age.
Rich, velvety with flavors tending toward earth, game and leather. Highly aromatic with herbal and occasionally barnyard aromas.
PRODUCERS: UNITED STATES
Hastings Ranch Vineyard
Tablas Creek Vineyard