Southern Rhone Red Blend refers to a wide range of over ten grape varieties, based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, with some minor constituents including even white wine grapes in small proportion.
The two main grapes, Grenache and Syrah, have a long history together, having coexisted for at least 400 years in the southern Rhone Valley and Provence, as well as in Spain. Mourvedre has been grown in vineyards all around the western Mediterranean for centuries and is thought to have originated in Spain, where it is known as Monastrell.
Famous examples of the Rhone Red Blend are found in Chateuneuf-du-Pape and the southern Rhone Valley. In California, the main proponents of the variety have become known as the "Rhone Rangers", while in Australia, the brand has acquired the term "GSM".
Notable examples are found in Chateuneuf-du-Pape, Australia’s Barossa Valley and in the Paso Robles region of the Californian Central Coast.
Southern Rhone Red Blend wines are usually have Grenache and Syrah as the dominant partners. Grenache is a sweet, thin-skinned grape giving the blend a rich fruity nature, high in potential alcohol, full body with soft tannins. Syrah brings structure, extra colour, spice and tannin. Mourvedre, the minor partner, brings deep colour, very high tannin and length.
Typical southern Rhone Red Blend’s profiles shows aromas and flavours of: strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, dark cherry, blueberry, pepper, cinnamon, licorice, tar, toffee, gamey, savoury, leather.