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Mourvèdre (more-VEH-dra) grape is tops in Paso Robles

on 09/02/11 at 1:06 pm


Wine Spectator highlights the grape and the California region with its choice for 2010 Wine of the Year: the 2007 Saxum ‘James Berry Vineyard’ red blend, which is 31% Mourvèdre.

It’s hard to pronounce, and it can make wines that smell gamy. But Mourvèdre just might be the best grape grown in Paso Robles, one of California’s hottest wine regions.

Mourvèdre (more-VEH-dra) has strong endorsements from two leaders of the region. Tablas Creek’s French founders chose Paso Robles for their first American winery in large measure because they saw it as ideal for Mourvèdre. And Justin Smith, owner of Saxum, says Mourvèdre is the grape that got him into Rhône-style wines in the first place.

Mourvèdre plays an important role in Paso’s biggest acknowledgement as a wine region yet: Wine Spectator’s 2010 Wine of the Year, the 2007 Saxum “James Berry Vineyard” red blend, is 31% Mourvèdre. Yet it’s rare to see it on the front of a wine label, because it’s almost always blended with other Rhône grapes. The classic combo is nicknamed “GSM” — Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre — though in Paso, perhaps it should be MSG.

{Full story via LA Times}

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