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Mourvedre [mo-vad-rah] is a little-known grape with a long history in France and Spain (in Spain the grape is called Monastrell). Popular as a blending grape, in France it is arguably most famous for its participation with Grenache and Syrah in the famous wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Outside France, these Rhone-style blends are sometimes known as GSMs (for Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre). Owen Roe’s Sinister Hand is a GSM from the Columbia Valley in Washington State. Carchelo from Spain is a GSM-style wine with a difference; instead of Grenache, Tempranillo and a bit of Cabernet are blended with Monastrell and Syrah. The result is a wine a bit more intense and a bit less acidic than a traditional GSM. Occasionally you will find Mourvedre/ Monastrell as a varietal wine, such as the Hecula from Spain. Here you will find blackberry fruit, good acidity and a lingering finish for which this variety is known. These are all food wines that will complement grilled, fried, baked or roasted meats with mustard, peppercorn, savory and tomato sauces.

Bodegas Carchelo, S. L. Carchelo from Jumilla, Spain
Blended Red – Monastrell 40 percent, Syrah 20 percent, Tempranillo 30 percent, Cabernet Sauvignon 10 percent
Notes: Fruity note blends, hints of berries, floral notes and a distinct spicy character, including cedar, toast, clove and vanilla. Smooth and fresh with seamless integration of acidity.
A Soft Red – Cost: $$ out of $$$$$


Owen Roe Sinister Hand from Columbia Valley, Wash. 

Blended Red – 70 percent Grenache, 26 percent Syrah, two percent Mourvedre, two percent Counoise
Notes: A bright garnet color and notes of wild strawberries, tayberries, black pepper and red and black currants. Precise acid structure and a ripe black fruit and baked brown earth finish. Savory notes of stewed dark fruits, sweet herbs and a complex earthiness.
A Soft Red – Cost: $$ out of $$$$$


Castano Hecula from Yecla, Spain
Red Varietal – Mourvèdre
Notes: Deep red cherry color. Complex aromas of raspberry, mulberry and licorice. Intense juicy blackberry flavors. Squashy acidity and long aftertaste.
A Soft Red – Cost: $$ out of $$$$$

Local oenophile David Dickson has been a wine educator for nearly 30 years. He welcomes questions and suggestions for this column at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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