Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre
Cellar Craft Sterling Collection
Bottled September 2014
11.5% alcohol by volume
This is the standard Southern Rhône blend, commonly referred to as “GSM”. While France offers up the greatest quantity of GSM, Australia produces its own version, as does California. A group of winemakers in California, fondly referred to as the “Rhone Rangers” collaborated in the 1980s to begin to produce wines in the Southern Rhône style, based mainly on availability of quantities of the various grapes; and on a desire to move away from the heavy, alcoholic, tannic offerings of each variety that had been produced to date.
This GSM is a clear, dark ruby colour with no visible residues or cloudiness.
My nose was immediately met with multiple aromas, each distinct from the other. Those included cherry; fresh, ripe strawberry; nutmeg; earthy tones (of forest floor); dark chocolate; new fine leather; hints of tar; violet; with underlying toasted oak notes.
The flavours were at once distinct and complex, each standing separately from the other. I found darker fruit flavours, intense cherry and blackberry; dark chocolate; ginger; mint; white pepper notes, olive and anise.
The GSM mainstay is Grenache which provides its sweet fruit flavours and herbal notes with low tannins. Grenache can be as much as 80% of the GSM blend.
Syrah (known as Shiraz in some other parts of the world) brings its perfumed aromas and polished textures to the blend. Its dark skins provide colour and tannic structure.
Mourvèdre (also known as Monastrell or Mataro) is a very dark-skinned grape, high in alcohol and tannins, with great intensity of flavours.
This is a very well-integrated blend with a delightful softness and elegance in the mouth; very well balanced as to acidity and tannins; dry; full-bodied. There is a lively peppery fairly finish. Exhibiting these characteristics at 9 months of age, I would expect further melding of flavours and softening of tannins in the next 6 – 9 months.
This Cellar Craft Sterling Grenache Syrah Mouvèdre blend will pair beautifully with a grilled steak; Provençal meat stews; roast lamb; Provençal vegetable casseroles. The tip is to use as a guide the type of food served where the wine originates.
Prepared for Wine Kitz Ottawa Iris
By Wendy Smyth, Certified Sommelier