Also known as Monastrell, this is a grape of good quality, mainly used in blends such as the GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) blend used widely in the Rhône. The grape originated in Spain, where it was the main variety in Valencia before the arrival of phylloxera. Also known as Mataro, it is used under this name in Australia and California.
Mourvèdre has sweet, thick-skinned dark berries that ripen very late. It thrives in high temperatures and grows well in deep limestone soils. A typical Mediterranean grape variety, it is planted along the coast from Provence to Languedoc-Roussillon and finds its finest expression in the wines of Bandol. In the Rhône, it is an important part of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape blend.
In Spain, which has the largest plantings of Monastrell, the grape is used in blends around Valencia and as a single varietal.
- 2015 Château FontarècheCuvée Pierre Mignard Corbières0.75l Red€6.59 €5.45Made by Arnaud de Lamy, previously a director of Château La Conseillante in Pomerol, at his historic family estate. A dark purple-ruby colour with a spicy, lighlty oaked nose showing aromas of blackberries and prunes. The palate is round, supple and full of character. The terroir of Corbières is well-suited to the classic Rhône varieties - such as Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Grenache which are very prettily blended in this wine.
- 2016 Château FontarècheCuvée Pierre Mignard Corbières0.75l Red€6.80 €5.62This good value Corbières has become a mainstay of our selection. It is made by Arnaud de Lamy, previously a director of Château La Conseillante in Pomerol, at his historic family estate. The wine has a dark, intense colour, good plummy nose with touches of cedar, spice and plums. On the palate the wine has flavours of bitter cherries, sloes and spice. Good Rhône flavours predominate on the finish. An easy wine for current drinking to serve with stews, paté and other meat dishes.
- 2014 Château La PagèzeLa Clape0.75l Red€7.34 €6.07We have just discovered this wine in the La Clape appellation in the Languedoc region of southern France. La Clape has a good reputation owing to its beautiful landscape and the quality of its wines. Located near the coast on the edge of the limestone plateau, Château La Pageze benefits from an ideal exposure as it faces eastwards where the sun rises above the Mediterranean Sea. Made from a typical blend of Syrah-Grenache-Mourvèdre grapes and cold macerated before fermentation, the wine is intense, spicy and fruity with an attractive length in the mouth recalling aromas of garrigue and pine trees. Serve slightly chilled to accompany pizza, pasta, rice dishes and cheese for easy entertaining.
- Côtes du Rhône Villages0.75l RedBio€9.20 €7.60One of the great domaines of the Rhone making authentic and full-bodied, bio wines. Like the famous Château La Nerthe, the estate is managed by Alain Dugas and is magnificently situated in Sérignan, in the north of Orange. It is predominantly planted with Grenache with smaller quantities of Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Carignan vines which are on average 40 years old. This vintage has already amassed a slew of medals and awards and is noted for its intense, complex nose which has toasty aromas, sweet spice and concentrated red fruit. The palate is very harmonious, round, fresh and velvety-smooth. Ready to drink now. A perfect match for game.
- 2016 Château La PagèzeLa Clape0.75l Red€11.35 €9.38In the well-known La Clape appellation of Languedoc-Rousillon in the south of France, Château La Pagèze makes delicious, fruity, easy drinking wines with good acidity and lovely balance. The château is located on a limestone plateau by the Mediterranean sea facing the rising sun. The wines are made by the Chamayrac family who grow the Syrah and Grenache grapes used in this wine on the limestone slopes. Aged for 9-12 months in French oak barrels the wine has a very dark plum colour, good intensity, ripe, fresh berry fruit flavours, a touch of sweetness from the oak and an attractive spicy finish. This is an easy drinking wine for barbeques and parties.
- Côtes du Rhône Villages0.75l RedNewBio€13.10 €10.83Les Cassagnes de La Nerthe Rouge 2015 (bio) 60% Grenache Noir, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre grapes are used in this exciting, organic Côtes du Rhône which replaces the former Domaine Renjarde wine. Made by the same, ambitious winemakers, the Cassagnes comes from a forty year old vineyard planted on limestone and sandstone. The wine is aged in large oak vats to keep the primary freshness of the fruit: plums, blackberries, bing cherries and sloes are the aromas that are conjured up here without being jammy or too sweet. On the palate the purity of the fruit is evident with some spicy notes of freshly crushed black pepper, cloves and lingering notes of liquorice and lavender on the finish. A lovely wine, perfectly balanced between richness and freshness and full of spicy Rhône flavours. Very easy to drink now this wine will âge well for 5-10 years and matches well with game dishes, stews, roast meats and barbecues.
- 2013 Château La NertheChâteauneuf-du-Pape0.75l Red€31.75 €26.24A tiny vintage in terms of quantity but of very great quality with perfect ripeness and great balance. Made from a blend of Grenache 43 %, Syrah 30 %, Mourvèdre 22 % et Cinsault 5 %, the different grape varieties are blended together immediately in the fermentation vats. The winemaking begins with a pre-fermentation maceration and then the fermentation begins thanks to the indigenous yeasts present on the grape skins. The wines are aged in French oak for 12 months, half in barrels, half in large casks. The wine has a dark garnet red colour, nose of black cherry, strawberry, red and black berries with notes of more complex aromas such as cedar and sandalwood. The taste is suave with tannins which are still young but velvety and fresh. Well-balanced on the palate with an abiding liveliness often found in great organic wines such as this. This vintage can already be appreciated when young with its palette of red fruits, spice and freshness. There is also an abiding elegance and concentration here which will allow the wine to show well for the next five to ten years.
- 2015 Château La NertheChâteauneuf-du-Pape0.75l Red€34.49 €28.50Regarded as being one of the more modern styled Châteauneufs owing to its fruity expression and purity, La Nerthe sits on 90 hectares of fabulous limestone soil interspersed with large « galet » pebbles. A great year for this domaine, the 2015 is very dark and rich with an intense ruby red colour. On the nose there are intense Syrah aromas of ripe blackberries, freshly ground black pepper, Asian spices. On the palate the wine has beautiful poise and precision, remains fresh as well as rich and opens up on the finish to reveal fruit, herbs and balsamic flavours. This will develop beautifully over the next 10 years, although I suspect that most will not be able to wait that long to enjoy this delicious wine.