Mourvèdre (Monastrell or Mataró in Spain and Australia) - is a red wine grape varietal, with its origins thought to be in Spain. Able to make strong, dark red wines along with rosé - and now grown in many wine regions around the world. Mourvèdre can produce wines that can have high tannins and alcohol, and is highly regarded in Rhône blends. It has a special partnership with Grenache, which is used to soften and giving structure to a blend.
The final wines vary in style according to region, but often have a wild game or earthy flavours, even soft red fruit flavours, and deep in colour, with blackberry characters, and frequently a dried herb, almost sage-like note. It is thought the varietal may have been introduced to Catalonia by the Phoenicians in around 500BC.

 

The name Mourvèdre comes from Murviedro (Morvedre in Catalan) near Valencia and the name Mataró comes from Mataró, Cataluna. It arrived in France sometime after the 16th century, and spread eastwards towards the Rhône where it is a notable component of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
It was once the most popular grape in Provence, but is now much less planted. One exception is Bandol on the Mediterranean coast of Provence, where Mourvèdre produces generous red wines in the style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is sometimes used to produce a fortified red wine in Languedoc-Roussillon.
Mourvèdre is a slow-ripening varietal that develops tight bunches of grapes that need good ventilation to avoid rot. It seems to do best in windy climates like southern France, in parts of Spain (i.e. coastal regions such as Almansa, Valencia, Alicante and Jumilla) and Algeria, and in Australia and Portugal, where it is also known as Mataró. It craves heat and copes in locations too windy for other varietals, but can be drought-sensitive.
There is approximately 1000 hectares of Mourvèdre-Mataró in Australia, with the most significant plantings in South Australia (e.g. Barossa, McLaren Vale) and New South Wales. It is usually found in Rhône-style G.S.M blends of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre. It also has found its way into Australian fortified wines.