A red grape varietal, synonymous with France’s Rhône Valley, Mourvèdre wine is most often blended with Shiraz – but bottled on its own, it offers a glass packed full of spice, pepper and firm tannins. Whether you’re sporting a moustache or not this month, you won’t go wrong with these five Mourvèdres.
Beyond blending it with Shiraz and Grenache, winemakers love using Mourvèdre to make rosé-style wines, its thick skins and firm tannins giving the wine body, colour and ageing ability. This latest release from Simondium farm Babylonstoren is a superb summer tipple. Beyond its gorgeous salmon hue, you’ll enjoy fresh acidity and lingering strawberry notes on the palate.
This family-owned winery in Bot River was the first estate in the country to produce a single-varietal Mourvèdre. First released in 1999, cellar master Sebastian Beaumont produces extremely limited quantities of Mourvèdre wine each year, but it’s worth seeking out for its firm tannins and herbaceous, almost meaty, character.
Sourced from vineyards in Paarl and Stellenbosch, the 2013 vintage picked up four stars in Platter’s South African Wines, and offers great value if you’re looking for a first taste of Mourvèdre at a pocket-friendly price. A lovely smokiness on the nose, while the palate shows a gentle herbaceous character underpinning plenty of dark red fruit. A great match for steak and lamb.
Piet Dreyer gave up fishing for the vineyards over a decade ago, and the results have been impressive ever since. Today it’s his son Josef who crafts the wine in their cellar (a short drive from Stanford), producing top-notch Shiraz and Bordeaux blends. Their Mourvèdre is also superb, ticking all the right boxes for balancing spiciness, fruit and tannin.
The Swartland terroir lends itself to producing top-drawer Rhône-style wines, and this Mourvèdre from winemaker Charl du Plessis at Spice Route Winery shows some of the best that the region has to offer. Produced from unirrigated bush vines, the 2013 is all black cherry and spiciness on the nose, with well-integrated tannins from maturation in old French oak barrels.
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028 284 9194
021 863 2450
Josef Dreyer, 028 341 0676
021 863 5200
021 863 3852
Words: Richard Holmes