Considered one of Australia’s most famous sommeliers, Louella Mathews is at present group sommelier of Trippas White Group, and has earlier expertise in fine-dining establishments akin to Rockpool 1989 and Rockpool Bar & Grill. She can be a wine advisor, author, choose, occasion host and influencer (@louthesomm). Mathews gained the Australia’s Wine Listing of the 12 months 2020 Sommeliers’ Alternative Award (for bibo wine bar) and was nominated for Younger Sommelier of the 12 months in 2016.
After I was coaching as a sommelier, my superiors cherished to check me on alternate names for various grape varieties (Tempranillo being notably difficult, as there are such a lot of!). This was my first glimpse into Mourvèdre. After all, they requested me the 2 synonyms for Mataro – because it’s recognized right here in Australia. Most famously from the Barossa Valley, often blended with Grenache and Shiraz.
Why do I really like Mourvèdre a lot? As a sommelier, it has huge attraction; like Grenache, it may be one thing of a chameleon, showcasing completely different flavour profiles relying on local weather and winemaker – and offering myriad food-matching prospects.
Mourvèdre, its title within the Rhône valley, is most famously one of many permitted varieties in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It’s often blended right here with Grenache, Syrah and generally as much as 10 different pals. I discover in these blends the Grenache often dominates, with dried cranberries and cherries, whereas Mourvèdre’s position is to lend construction and savoury notes, whereas enhancing ageability. The apparent stylistic exception is Château de Beaucastel, which makes use of a excessive portion of Mourvèdre and is thought for its construction and energy. I like to pair this with a wealthy seafood paella.
Journey additional south in France to Provence, and also you’ll discover the grape utilized in high-quality rosés that (deservedly) command excessive costs – Domaine Tempier is among the most iconic. The grape can be utilized in Provence to make reds with spine, density, the power to age and a country, wild nature to them. Lavender, herbes de Provence, terracotta clay and squid ink are typical aromas and flavours. Heavenly with a lamb and rosemary roast.
For extra reasonably priced choices, head to Languedoc-Roussillon and even additional into Spain. Monastrell – the Spanish model of the grape, hailing from Yecla or Jumilla – is one other nice standalone expression and excellent for many who like their wine with bolder blueberries and boysenberries, a silky-supple palate and fuller of physique. I are inclined to drink these wines when first launched as they’re from hotter, arid, continental climates. Finca Bacara’s Time Waits for No One from Jumilla (through Hallgarten Wines within the UK) is a good instance of this model, and a surprisingly good match for a refreshing beetroot, rocket and goat’s curd salad.
Extra leftfield relating to Mourvèdre is the USA. Probably the most well-known producer of the grape right here is Bonny Doon, from the San Francisco Bay area in California. Recognized for its playful labels and equally playful wines, it has a novel expression of Mourvèdre and blends that includes the range; all are nice with grilled rump steak with peppercorns.
Lastly, my own residence nation, Australia. During the last decade we have now seen a surge in varietal examples. Championing the larger, bolder kinds, Travis Earth and Torbreck provide Barossa must-trys, whereas Syrahmi from Heathcote makes a lighter model.
Uncover Mourvèdre: Mathews’ two to strive
The Somm & the Winemaker, Mourvèdre, New South Wales, Australia 2022 is a collaboration between myself and childhood buddy/winemaker Nadja Wallington of ChaLou Wines (@thesommandthewinemaker). It’s made with a light-weight contact, utilizing complete berry and complete bunch fermentation to make an fragrant, medium-bodied model with flavours of mulberry, cloves and a juicy moreish mid-palate. It truly is the final word pizza wine – pepperoni topping most well-liked.
The crimson Domaine du Gros’Noré, Bandol, Provence, France 2018 (gros-nore.com) is a good instance of the spine that Mourvèdre supplies. From outdated vines grown on wealthy clay soils, the wine has a country aptitude, with a touch of Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault to melt, flesh and refresh the palate. Scrumptious now, but additionally constructed to age.