Sunday, September 25, 2011

Grape of the Month - Mourvedre

I'm going to try a new segment here on Journey of a Purple Girl... Grape of the Month and am going to kick it off with the Mourvedre grape.  Mourvedre is a little known grape traditionally from Spain and pronounced "moo-VE-dra".  Although I'm sure the French and Spanish make it sound much more lovely.  I was first introduced to this varietal during my last Enology weekend course in Pullman on the Washington State University campus.  (Side note, a tough trip to make for this die-hard Husky).  After a full day of class and lab work, we went as a group down to Merry Cellars, where we were treated to a personal tour from the winemaker and fellow alum, Patrick Merry.  It was hard to find a wine at Merry Cellars that I didn't like but my personal favorite of the day was their 2007 Mourvedre-Syrah.  What struck me most and what I still remember after three years was the deep, intense purple color of the wine.  It was like nothing I've ever seen before and I'm not sure I've seen it since. The velvety mouthfeel coupled with the plum and mocha flavor made this truly a memorable wine.  The composition of the wine is 50.5% Mourvedre grape and 49.5% Syrah.  And so it got me to thinking, what is so special about the Mourvedre grape and why don't more wine makers use it?

Mourvedre grapes on their own tend to create deep colored wine that is high in tannins and alcohol and have a spicey or gamey aroma.  Not generally characteristics most people enjoy in wine.  Blended with another variety though and the color of the wine is intensified and structure is enhanced.  Some of Mourvedre's favorite partners are Syrah and Grenache.  This grape is gaining appeal and there are nearly 1000 acres of Mourvedre grapes growing in both California and Eastern Washington today.  If only I could get my hands on some to blend with my Syrah.... So next time you see a wine with Mourvedre as part of the composition, give it a try.  You'll be able to share the little known secret of the Mourvedre grape with all of your friends.



Sean Cassidy said...

I've seen that color...check out our front door. -Mr. Purple.

Debi Austen said...

You painted the front door?

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