Unpolished Grape Series: Mourvédre & Monastrell


Mourvédre from France and Monastrell from Spain are the same grape known by different regional names. It is known for its dark color, strong tannins, and full-body potential. This wine is enjoyed as both a single varietal and blending partner to Syrah and Grenache where it’s known as a member of the famous “GSM” trio. It is also sometimes blended with Carignan and Cinsault. Mourvédre and Monastrell can be produced as light and fruity, as well as full-bodied and hearty. The grape has a notable gamey flavor and pairs well with local meats.

Known for its dark color, this grape has low to mid acidity, high alcohol, and high tannins. Its primary fruit profile falls in the black-fruit category, with flavors of blueberry, black cherry, blackberry, and sometimes even licorice. It tends to be a softer and rounded wine, often with sweet oak spices infused with hints of black and white pepper. Aged expressions go on to develop flavors of game, chocolate and coffee.


Mourvédre can be found growing in France’s Southern Rhone and Southern France regions. Here, it is produced as both a varietal and blend. In addition to GSM, It plays a role in the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape blends where it can be one of 13 grapes used to produce the final style of wine. In France, Mourvédre is deeply colored with rich blackberry, blueberry, and black plum. Aged expressions also emit flavors of earth and game. Premium wines can be found in Bandol in the Côtes de Provence.


Monastrell most commonly grows in the hot regions of south-eastern Spain. Here, the grape is able to deeply ripen under the hot sun and pull out those baked fruit notes of blackberry, black cherry, and jam. Its thick skins produce loads of tannin, making it powerful and full-bodied like Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged Monastrell expresses additional tertiary flavors of earth, meat, and leather. Premium wines can be found in Yecla and Jumilla.

Food Pairings

Mourvédre and Monastrell have high tannin levels from its skins, and pair well with big, hearty foods. Wine lovers often enjoy them with rich, juicy steaks, ribs, grilled meats, burgers, lamb and sausages. They also pair with savory dishes like pizza, roasted vegetables, paellas, flavorful pasta salads, an array of cheeses, and even charcuterie boards.


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3 thoughts on “Unpolished Grape Series: Mourvédre & Monastrell

  1. Hhmmmm….I’m trying to decide whether I want to taste a bit of meat flavor in my wine sips. However these wines sound like winners

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