What a great grape Mourvedre is. Capable of producing intense, brooding, red wines as well as medium-bodied, juicy numbers. Also, fresh, fruit, dry pale rose and strawberry coloured/scented deeper, sweeter rose. And that's before one considers some of the truly sweet versions produced from its alias Monastrell in and around central Spain. Added to which it is wonderfully controversial. The 'Is it Brett? Is it terroir? Or the characteristic of the grape?' argument that surrounds the occasionally animalistic flavour profile of Mourvedre based wines will probably rage on forever. But whatever your take on this, from the funky, farmyard wines of Southern France to the fruit laced beauties of Australia and the sometimes rustic, warming wines of Jumilla, Yecla and Alicante in Spain, there is something for everyone. Then there's the Rhone, Bandol and Provence, just think of the great names associated with the grape; Tempier, Ott, Beaucastel! With The Gin ferret in town and armed with few couple of fine botts of Mourvedre we got thoroughly stuck in.
Domaines Ott Chateau Romassan Rouge 2005 Bandol France 60% Mourvèdre, 15% Cinsault, 15% Grenache and 10% Syrah. Wow. Aromas of a farm. Wet hay, manure spread on the fields and horse bottom. The fruit is largely hidden but blackurrant and cherry flavours develop with time in the decanter. Not rustic, displaying a surpringly light touch, very drinkable but so very funky indeed. March 2013
Hewitson Old Garden Mourvedre 1998 Barossa Valley, Australia From reputably the oldest Mourvedre vineyard in the world. Sweet raspberry fruit and cherry liquour. Lemon sherbet and sweet citrus zest. Soft and svelte in the mouth, some liquorice comes through on the palate which is sweet of fruit. Excellent length and whilst quite light an effortless concentration and depth of flavour that truly old vines seem to conjure up. Displays none of the funky aromas oft associated with Mourvedre, just a lingering note of aged leather. Quite captivating. March 2013
Cline Cellars Small Berry Mourvedre 1999 California, USA The fruit for this wine comes from a single acre of 100 year old Mourverdre vines. An absolute blast of menthol and eucalyptus tears at your olfactory senses. There's liquroice and dark, sweet plum fruit wrapped up in this absolute delight of a wine too. Probably at the peak of its powers, the tannins are polished by time and the acidity fresh. March 2013
Telmo Rodriguez Al Muvedre 2010 Alicante, Spain Earth and underbrush, the fruit is quite jammy but the wine does not suffer for it. Quite rustic, good depth of dark berry flavour with a quite pronounced note of clove. March 2013