Written by Stephen Lesefko
Production Winemaker of Kerloo Cellars
Blended wines are often some of the best wines in the world, chiefly due to the fact that winemakers can decide on overall taste and flavor profile by modifying the ratios of different wines. While originating from the Côtes du Rhône region in Southern France, the GSM, as its colloquially called, is now blended together across the globe. Stellar regions outside of France include: the Columbia Valley, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara and the Barossa Valley among others.
GSM stands for Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, but the blend can be of any proportion. Grenache is lighter in both color and body than Syrah and Mourvèdre, and adds red fruit, candy, spice and a rounded mouthfeel. Syrah on the other hand, adds body (especially in the mid palate) and dark fruit characters, pepper and meat (think green olives too). Mourvèdre is similar to Syrah in some ways but has a longer finish while contributing dark fruit, spice, earth and gaminess to the blend. Often these wines show great value for the price, as sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Did you know that the black and white pepper aroma in Syrah and Mourvèdre comes from a compound called rotundone, which is the same compound found in pepper?