This week Elliot will delve into the typical grape varieties found in the Rhône Valley in France – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre. He will uncover how the “GSM” blend became popular in many different regions of the wine-growing world. There will be examples from France, USA and Australia.
2017 Château Mont-Thabor Côtes du Rhône, Rhône Valley, France
The grapes for this wine are sourced from a parcel of vines near to the border with Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the terroir is very similar. Although not certified, the vines are cultivated organically and all vineyard work is still done by hand. This is a typical Côtes du Rhône blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Syrah. The wine is picked by hand and traditionally vinified in concrete tanks. The finished wine is elegant, with ripe fruit flavours and silky tannins. Delicious served with grilled pork marinated in Provençal herbs.
2018 Kevin White Blue Label, Yakima Valley, Washington State, USA
Kevin White was initially inspired by wines he tasted from the Rhône Valley and when he set up his own eponymous winery, took the decision to join the early generation of Washington State Winemakers showcasing the best of what Washington could do with Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. His “Blue Label”, a blend of 45% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 15% Mourvèdre consistently sells out upon release, but we’ve been lucky enough to secure a small parcel. This wine jumps out as a lively blend of Bing cherry, plum, and blueberry aromas with floral and spice elements throughout. On the palate, these flavours are wrapped around a medium body with soft tannins leading toward a lovely finish. This wine was designed as a tribute to the everyday Côtes du Rhône blends that are perfect to enjoy any night of the week, on its own or with food.
Sons of Eden ‘Kennedy’ 2017, Barossa, Australia
Sons of Eden specialises in varieties that the Barossa produces to the highest world standard such as Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvédre from the Barossa Valley and Riesling, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Eden Valley. Deep crimson in colour this wine is bursting with ripe cherry, blackcurrants and complex five-spice aromas. The palate is an intriguing blend of red-fruit flavours and savoury undertones supported by a rounded and fleshy mid-palate. The wine finishes with excellent length and freshness which ensures optimum drinking upon release but will mature well for the medium term.