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Posts Tagged ‘Mataro’

Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, #MWWC5 Theme, Not Really [Wine Shortage], Australian Wine and more

November 6, 2013 7 comments

Black sheep GSMMeritage time!

First, let’s start with the answer for the wine quiz #80, grape trivia – Mourvèdre.

In the quiz, you were supposed to answer 5 questions about white grape called Mourvèdre. Here are the questions, now with the answers:

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

A1: Grenache and Syrah. GSM is the best known blend with M standing for Mourvèdre. The G stands for Grenache, and S is for Syrah (Shiraz).

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

A2: False. A number of Domain Tempier wines from Bandol have 96 rating from the Wine Spectator.

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

A3: My answer: The oldest, continuously producing Mourvèdre vine is located at Hewitson Old Garden Vineyard in Barossa, Australia, and it is about 160 years old – here is my source of info. Of course I understand the “the oldest” claims are tough to prove – I’m sure few other producers claim the same. But the age (160) and general location (Barossa, Australia) seems to be generally correct.

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

A4: Let me actually quote my answer directly from this source: Mourvèdre “first became established in Cataluña where it took on the names Mourvèdre (after Muviedro, the Moorish name for the city of Sagunto, near Valencia) and Mataró (after Mataró in Cataluña). In Cataluña the grape was grown by monasteries, leading to the name Monastrell (from the Latin monasteriellu) in that region”.

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).

A5: False. Plantings of Mourvèdre in Spain are about 6 times of the plantings in France.

So today we have a grand winner, the drunken cyclist, who answered all 5 questions correctly. We also have a winner, the winegetter, who answered all 5 questions mostly correctly, with the slight discrepancy on the question 3 – but nevertheless, they both get the grand prize of unlimited bragging rights. I also want to acknowledge my blogging friend Patty P’s 2013 photo project who was answering the questions for the first time – she answered the first question correctly, and I really like her take on the question #4. Great job!

Now, to the interesting stuff around the vine and the web!

Now, I’m sure you read or heard somewhere about impending wine shortage. As the wine is ever increasing in popularity and demand all over the world, you would imagine that the report from the good source, showing for how many millions of cases demand exceeds the supply, will be picked up all over the news. And it was. Only the thing is that the numbers are numbers – question is what you do with those numbers. So in case you panicked (or were just amused), I have a very good article for you to read – it is written by W. Blake Gray, and it explains in good detail that no, you don’t need to stock up on wineand you will still find the good bottle to drink at the price you will be willing to pay.

Next post I want to bring to your attention is about Australian wines. It is a pity that selection of the Australian wines in the wine stores is not anything it used to be, as Australia makes a lot of great wines.  This article, written by Mike Veseth at The Wine Economist, is talking about the work Australian winemakers are doing to restore the image of the Australian wines and squarely put them back to the wine stores and the cellars around the world.

Last but not least for today is an interesting open letter written by Alder Yarrow of Vinography to the United Kingdom. Turns out that association of Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America is offering its help to the good people of UK, suggesting that they know how to protect public from the dangers of unregulated wine market (oh, horrors, free commerce!),  which seems to be of concern to the people in UK. In case you don’t know, it is the US wholesalers who you have to thank for monopolistic pricing and draconian shipping laws in many of the states, and overall inability of wine consumers to get the wines they want. So Alder’s open letter to the United Kingdom is definitely worth reading, it is hilarious – here is the link where you can find it.

That’s all I have for you for today, folks. The glass is empty – but refill is on its way. Until the next time – cheers!

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

November 2, 2013 11 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!

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