Our Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre Harvest!
The three red grape varieties indigenous to the south of France are Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. As you would imagine therefore a blend using these varieties (that has been baptised GSM by the Australians, who also produce them), is very common throughout our area. And rightly so, these grapes thrive in warm, dry growing conditions and if well-maintained and carefully vinified, can produce concentrated, characterful wines that evoke images of sun-drenched vineyards surrounded by the garrigue. The garrigue is essentially the low-lying plants and shrubs that cover the hillsides of southern France; small Holm oak trees, wild thyme, rosemary and olive. It is a wonderfully scented and hugely characteristic symbol of the south, hence why at Sainte Rose we named our GSM blend La Garrigue! It is our most iconic and popular red wine!
We also use Syrah to produce an oak aged single varietal wine called Le Pinacle, which is the top of our range. This is a powerfully coloured and structured wine that is given time in the most expensive oak barrels to mature and is designed to age even longer in bottle, if you can avoid the temptation to drink it early!
And a final mention must go to some of our Mourvedre, which is part of the most unusual blend we produce at Sainte Rose. Les Derniers Cepages (the last varieties) is a blend of Petit Verdot and Mourvedre. More on that when we bring in the Petit Verdot, which is always the last variety to be picked ….. !
At Sainte Rose we sample these berries continuously in order to harvest them at their optimum maturity. Grenache usually matures around the same time as the Syrah and Mourvedre a little later. Pick too early and the juice will taste ‘green’, too late and it will be too high in sugar and end up too alcoholic and overpowering. We think each variety is unique so we vinify each separately according to styles we want for our final products. As the basis of so many of our red wines, these varieties are extremely important.