What's in a name? Great new Monastrell in store

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

A tasty new Monastrell prompted us to deep dive into what makes this grape so tasty and varied in the names that it goes by. Monastrell is the Spanish name for a thick skinned red grape variety with small berries, better known outside of Spain by its French synonym of Mourvèdre - a name which ironically is thought to come from the Spanish city of Murviedro. It is usually known as Mataro in Australia. 

This bold, dark grape needs a hot dry climate because it is late ripening and prone to mildew, which means that in France it can only do well in the country’s warmest wine regions. It was the most planted grape in Provence prior to phylloxera decimating France’s vineyards and it then largely replaced by varieties that were easier to graft on to the available rootstocks. It has since remained the signature grape of the Bandol appellation where it is usually blended with Cinsault and Merlot to soften its intensity. 

New Monastrell in store...

The newest Monastrell in store at Regional comes from Bodegas Casa Castillo, located on the plateau of Jumilla where the winery's 174 hectare vineyard enjoys a high altitude and the cooling influence of the Mediterranean. Lovers of Bandol reds will enjoy this lovely smooth, full bodied red from Casa Castillo, a blend of Monastrell 60%, Garnacha 20% and Syrah 20%. 

Where Monastrell grows in Spain...

This grape needs a hot climate to ripen its small, concentrated and sweet black berries into grapes that make great tasting, full bodied, rich dry red wines. Enter Jumilla, Yecla and Alicante, three Spanish wine regions where bodegas such as Juan Gil, Casa de La Ermita, Casa Castillo and El Nido are showing that outstanding wines can be made from Monastrell. The Catalan firm of Torres also makes one of Spain’s best wines from a blend of grapes, including Monastrell, in Conca de Barberá in which Monastrell.

The total plantings of Mourvédre in France increased eight times in the last three decades of the 20th century and this grape is now an increasingly important ingredient in reds made in and around Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

The queen of wine writing, Jancis Robison, wine writer, Master of Wine and editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine says that although it travels most commonly under its French name Mourvèdre, the vine’s origins are almost certainly Spanish, probably in the Levante, where today the great majority of all the plantings in the world are concentrated. 

Our new wine...

2021 Casa Castillo Monastrell blend RRP $27.99

Bodegas Casa Castillo Monastrell is made from old bush vines with grapes of very small amounts of highly concentrated juice. Modern winemaking with cold macerations retains freshness and new French oak provides structure. The wines are generally bottled unfiltered to allow them to be as expressive as possible and they are a bargain for the quality produced.

Buy here   

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →