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Mourvèdre comes from Mars, Syrah from Venus – the “buddy” grape varieties at Domaine Santa Duc

2 August 2012, by Sebastian Nickel, Domaine Santa Duc
Yes it’s true: In Gigondas the Grenache dares to overshadow Syrah and Mourvèdre. But even if it seems to rule out all in the Rhone Valley, it also appreciates good company.

That’s why Mourvèdre, and to a lesser extend Syrah, occupy an important place in our vineyards, for different reasons. La Syrah, one of the few ladies amongst French grape varieties, offers certain qualities that a Grenache may appreciate: A dark, mysterious colour, aromas reaching from violet and raspberry to truffle and tobacco in old wines, and its legendary elegance that may temper the ardour of a Mediterranean Grenache.

The Mourvèdre, a grape variety we particularly appreciate, often watches the other grape varieties from a distance. More serious and discreet, he acts like a real shadow man in our wines, who controls the cuvee from the wings. Black in colour and fruit, he’s mainly loved – and feared – because of the specific structure of his tannins.

As a grape variety that ripens late, it should only be planted in specific places, to avoid the risk of unripe fruits that shall only give a rude wine. The lower, alluvial parts of Les Hautes Garrignes, as well as the higher, calcareous parts of Gigondas, both terroirs where grapes ripen lately, particularly suite to Mourvèdre. It gives straightness and calmness to our wines, as well as crispy, fresh tannins.



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