MATARO (aka Monastrell / Mourvèdre)
Is it truly a grape doomed to be known only as the M in GSM? Referring, of course, to the classic blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre that has now been pigeonholed by a catchy nickname (darn you Aussies.) Thankfully, Spain has a solid number of single varietal examples, be they named Mataro or Monastrell, that have more than proved the grapes’ value on its own merits. Wines from the Jumilla region specifically have only been recognized for their high quality wines since the mid nineties, and for those paying close attention, they are now considered some of their favorites in all Spain. Mataro does have a solid history here in the US, but, just like in Europe, has been mostly overlooked. Maybe the connection to Grenache and Syrah helps with some name recognition so that producers savvy enough to make a varietal Mataro or Mourvèdre don’t have too far to reach when explaining just how great a grape it is.