Joostenberg Small Batch Collection No. 21 Mourvèdre 2017
By Christian Eedes, 23 February 2022
Grenache gets all the airtime but at the end of 2020, there was slightly more Mourvèdre planted locally – 495ha compared to 477ha at the end of 2020, making them 19th and 20th most widely planted varities in the country respectively.
Mourvèdre is probably never going to be a huge commercial success as it can often have a gamey, almost animal scent but my sense is that it tends to fare well under local growing conditions producing wines of good fruit intensity and structure.
The most recent single-variety example I’ve come across is the Small Batch Collection No. 21 Mourvèdre 2017 from Joostenberg in Paarl and again it’s smart. From a 17-year-old vineyard farmed organically, winemaking involved 30% whole-bunch fermentation before maturation lasting 10 months in a single, previously used 500-litre barrel.
The nose initially shows dark berries, a slight meatiness, earth and spice but notes of red berries and dried herbs emerge with time in the glass. The palate, meanwhile, has good depth of fruit before a finish that’s long and dry. It’s a wine that’s not slight but equally does not come across as sweet or hot – it carries its 14.5% alcohol well. It’s also no longer totally primary but should drink well for a few more years even so.
CE’s rating: 92/100.
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