When it comes to the world of wine, few grape varieties hold the intrigue and charm quite like Mataro.
Also known as Mourvèdre in France and Monastrell in Spain, Mataro is a grape that weaves a tale of complexity, uniqueness, and mystery.
In this Mataro wine guide, I’ll delve into the fascinating world of Mataro, exploring its origins, distinctive characteristics, where it’s grown in Australia, popular producers, food pairings, and the captivating journey it takes your taste buds on.
Origins and Grape Profile
Mataro’s origins can be traced back to the Iberian Peninsula, where it’s been grown for centuries. It made its way to France’s Rhône Valley, earning the name Mourvèdre, and later journeyed to Spain, known as Monastrell. In Australia, it’s called both Mataro and Mourvèdre with maybe the latter being the more popular version.
The Mataro grape is known for its thick-skinned berries, making it well-suited for warm climates. This thick skin contributes to its ability to produce wines with rich colour, intense flavours, and robust tannins. It’s often used as a blending grape, adding structure and depth to red wine blends.
Distinctive Characteristics and Flavour Profile
Mataro’s unique characteristics are what set it apart. Its wines tend to be dark and brooding, with a full-bodied nature. Expect flavours of dark berries, plums, black cherries, and sometimes a touch of gamey or earthy notes. These wines are known for their complex aromas, ranging from spice and herbs to floral undertones.
One of the quirks of Mataro wine is its potential to age gracefully. Over time, the tannins soften, and the wine’s flavors evolve, unveiling layers of depth and subtlety.
Mataro Wine in Australia: From Coast to Coast
Australia’s diverse climates offer a multitude of regions for growing Mataro, resulting in a range of styles. Some notable regions where Mataro thrives include:
- Barossa Valley, South Australia: Barossa is a heartland for Mataro, where it’s often blended with Grenache and Shiraz. Look for wines that showcase the grape’s dark fruit and earthy character.
- McLaren Vale, South Australia: Here, Mataro vines thrive in the Mediterranean climate, producing wines with vibrant fruit and balanced acidity.
- Heathcote, Victoria: Known for its rich, dense wines, Heathcote’s Mataro offerings often exhibit a bold, concentrated profile with spicy nuances.
Producers and Recommendations
- Turkey Flat Vineyards: A historic Barossa Valley producer, they craft Mataro that’s both expressive and elegant.
- Yangarra Estate: With biodynamic practices, they create Mataro wines that truly reflect McLaren Vale’s terroir.
- Massena Wines: Known for their innovative blends, Massena offers Mataro-based wines with a modern twist.
Here are some Mataro wines from our affiliate partners here in Australia you may like to try out:
- Russell & Suitor ‘Alejandro’ Monastrell
- Château Tanunda Grand Barossa Mataro
- Seppeltsfield Mataro
- Schwarz Wine Co Meta Mataro 2021
- Tonic Wines Mataro
Mataro’s bold flavours make it a fantastic match for a variety of dishes. Its earthiness and structure allow it to complement hearty, savory fare like:
- Braised Lamb Shanks: The rich, gamey notes of Mataro harmonise beautifully with the flavours of tender, slow-cooked lamb.
- Grilled Portobello Mushrooms: The earthiness of Mataro complements the meaty, umami flavors of grilled mushrooms.
- Spanish Tapas: Given its Spanish roots, Mataro pairs splendidly with a spread of cured meats, cheeses, and olives.
Conclusion: Uncorking the Mataro Magic
Mataro’s enigmatic nature and unique flavour profile make it a grape that’s worth exploring for any wine enthusiast. From its journey through history to the diverse landscapes of Australia, this grape continues to captivate with its deep, complex wines.
Whether sipping a young and vibrant Mataro or indulging in a well-aged bottle, the Mataro experience promises an adventure for the senses.