After hearing its name, one could easily believe that Mouvèdre must have originated in France. While best known for its French name, Mouvèdre can also be found under the name Monastrell, which reflects more of its Spanish origin. Since being brought to Spain by the Phoenicians in 500 B.C., the wine has continued to evolve and travel, existing now in France, Australia, and United States. Mouvèdre is a grape that enjoys its time in the sun and heat. It does not flourish in cold or particularly wet climates. It is even a grape that can persevere during a slight drought.
Like many people, Mouvèdre prefers to be in the company of others. It is often blended with other grapes that compliment its natural flavors. Mouvèdre creates full-bodied and dark wines. Mouvèdre wine creates an explosion in the mouth due to its high alcohol content and tannins. It pairs well with game stews, braised meat, and more floral spices such as thyme and rosemary. Some usual aromas are blackberry, licorice, cinnamon, and pepper. One can also pick up some notes of red meat.
Interestingly enough, Monastrall (remember this is its Spanish name) is often known as a wine in Spain that is cheap and sometimes coarse to drink. This is probably due to its run in with Phylloxéra, an insect that devastates vineyards. In France, Mouvèdre is the M in the popular GSM wine (Grenache-Syrah-Mouvèdre) that is typically created in the Rhône region.