Home > Grapes, Mourvèdre, wine quiz > Weekly Wine Quiz #80: Grape Trivia – Mourvèdre, a.k.a Monastrell

Weekly Wine Quiz #80: Grape Trivia – Mourvèdre, a.k.a Monastrell

November 2, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments
215px-Balzac_noir-mourvedre

Mourvèdre grapes, as shown in Wikipedia

The Wine Quiz series does not mean to intimidate. The whole idea here is to have fun and learn something new. When answering the questions, it is fully encouraged to use all available sources of information, including Google or any other search engines. There are no embarrassing answers – the most embarrassing thing is not giving it a try…

Welcome to the weekend and your new wine quiz!

We are continuing our grape trivia series, with the focus again on the red grapes, and today’s subject is red grape called Mourvèdre, also known in Spain under the name of Monastrell, and also known as Mataro in Australia.

Mourvèdre is one of the very old grapes. According to the general consensus, Mourvèdre originated in Southern Spain at around 500 BC. From Spain,  the grape spread into France, where it became popular in Roussillon region, and then made it into Provence and Rhone. Mourvèdre was brought into US and Australia in the 19th century, but it was used mostly for blending or even bulk juice production for home-made wines. It was not until the late 20th century when the grape started gaining popularity in US and Australia, producing both high end blends as well as single-grape wines.

Mourvèdre requires a warm climate and a substantial amount of sunshine in order to produce ripe, concentrated grapes. In the cooler conditions, the grape will exhibit mostly herbaceous and vegetative flavors, not very suitable for the winemaking. Under the proper growing conditions, Mourvèdre produces grapes with expressive fruit (blackberries, blueberries) and gamy flavors, with  medium acidity. Mourvèdre also known for its thick skin, which allows for a good color and tannin extraction. Mourvèdre is used in a production of a single grape red wines (in Bandol, France, and many regions in Spain), as well as in various blends (for instance, it is one of the allowed 18 grapes in Châteauneuf-du-Pape). It is also used in a production of Rosé and sweet wines, and it is allowed to be blended into the Cava, Spanish Sparking wines (to make Cava Rosé).

And now, to the quiz!

Q1: Name two grapes, most famous blending partners of Mourvèdre.

Q2: Wine Spectator calls wines rated in 95-100 range Classic (the highest and the most prestigious category). True or False: there are no Mourvèdre-based wines rated in the Classic category

Q3: Fill in the gaps: The oldest, continuously producing Mourvèdre vine is located at ___ Vineyard in ___, and it is about ___ years old.

Q4: Explain potential origins for all three names of the grape – Mourvèdre, Mataró and Monastrell

Q5: True or False: France plantings of Mourvèdre far exceed the plantings in Spain (no tricks here  – Mourvèdre and Monastrell are used interchangeably, you have to assume it is the same grape).

Good luck, enjoy the quiz and your weekend! Cheers!

  1. PSsquared
    November 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Oh, I think I know the first one! Grenache and Syrah to make GSM? And for number 4, the first two look like they have a Latin root for death or kill in them, but not the third. Maybe they wanted to get away from the death theme on the 3rd? 🙂

    • talkavino
      November 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      Patty, I’m super excited that you finally took a stab at the quiz! I like your thinking on the question #4 : ) Answers are coming on Wednesday!

      • PSsquared
        November 2, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        You lured me out of my comfort zone! 🙂

  2. November 3, 2013 at 2:21 am

    What a fantastic quiz. Argh, I am afraid that I failed dismally on this topic, as I’ve hardly even heard of Mourvedre/Monastrell. I think it’s a lesser known grape here in Australia. Thanks for teaching us so wonderfully though. Heaps of fun and learning!

    • talkavino
      November 6, 2013 at 6:25 am

      I’m glad you like it! It is also a lot of fun to create those quizzes – I learn a lot myself!

  3. November 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Alright, time to do one of the quizzes again…

    1) Grenache and Syrah
    2) I did find several 95+ ratings on Wine Spectator for Perrin family wines, so false.
    3) Riverina, New South Wales, 150 years (mid 19th century)
    4) Mourvedre likely stems from the Spanish city Murviedro, Mataro from the Spanish city of the same name, and the reason for why it is Monastrell is unknown (rumor has it a neutral name was chosen in Spain so not to offend either region).
    5) False, it is the other way around (63,000 hectares in Spain over 7,300 hectares in France)

    • talkavino
      November 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Excellent work! The answers are coming on Wednesday

  4. November 4, 2013 at 10:49 am

    1. Grenache and Syrah.
    2. False. I imagine that there had to be some Bandol or something….
    3. Old Garden, Barossa, 160 (1853)
    4. Mourvèdre–adopted by the French from the town of Mourviedro in Spain; Mataró–from the town of the same name near Barcelona; Monastrell–no one is sure but it might have been chosen as a neutral term as to not offend the other two regions.
    5. False.

    • talkavino
      November 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Excellent work, Jeff. My answers are coming on Wednesday.

  1. November 30, 2013 at 9:04 am
  2. June 28, 2014 at 9:18 am

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