The tried-and-true blending of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes (“GSM” for short) has been at the heart of the best reds from Southern France—especially Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacquereys, and Gigondas. There’s just no denying the winning combination of power, elegance, flavor, silkiness, and intensity that those three varieties deliver when they’re brought together.
But as Lot 915 2021 California GSM will prove, Southern France isn’t the only place where GSM blends thrive. These three grape varieties handle the California sun and heat without breaking a sweat—retaining balance and acidity as they reach perfect ripeness levels. Grenache and Syrah bring the layers and complexity of flavors, while the Mourvèdre provides the structure and backbone to the wine. It’s truly a wine where the sum can be greater than its parts. This wine is sourced from a variety of vineyards within California, meaning we can bring you an unbeatable price for your next on-hand red wine perfect for your next barbeque or any Tuesday night dinner.
Lot 915 is a deep red in the glass. Explosive flavors lift from the incredible nose, calling to mind a basket of raspberries and a bit of bramble intermixed with rhubarb, dried purple flower petals, and rosemary. The aromas alone are difficult to resist. All this re-emerges on the supple palate in a delicious and heady mix of crunchy red fruit and seductive flavors of cherry and even some blueberry, along with floral, black pepper, and baking spice hints.
At $13 price, getting this wine is an easy decision: buy a case or two—some to drink now and some to enjoy over the next 3-5 years.
Watch as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting of this California Rhone Blend.
Wine Tasting Video Highlights:
00:14 About Lot 915
00:28 Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre
01:25 On the Nose
02:19 The Taste
03:09 Where does it belong in your cellar?
Chris Lafleur says:
Welcome back to the CH Wine tasting room, everyone. I’m Chris LaFleur, a friendly neighborhood sommelier. And we’re going to be tasting Lot 915 a GSM blend from California. It’s from 2021. So it’s still fairly youthful, but it’s got just enough development to give you a nice little sparkle as you’re tasting. So let’s have a look at it. I think it’s too much to not tell you about what we have here.
This is Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. For those of you that are not familiar with the GSM blend, this is usually something you see in the south of France, usually in the southern Rhone region. Some of the great ones would be Chateauneuf du Pop. But what we’re talking about here are grapes that handle the heat of the southern Rhone really well.
So here we are in California. I don’t know about you guys. I’m from Canada. Feels pretty warm here to me. So I think these are going to be the grapes that match this climate and give it a little bit of balance. One of the things I love about a wine in this climate is that if you have grapes that adapt to it really well, you maintain acidity, which also translates to maintaining freshness, racing electricity on the palate.
Let’s look at it and I promise we’ll taste it real soon. So you can see this is a semi-opaque wine. If I put my hand underneath of it, I can still see it, but it’s a little bit fuzzy now. It’s not completely opaque. They can see through and it’s not completely clear. So we’re writing that middle, which is kind of where we want to be when you want to ride the tension of this wine on the nose, it’s incredible.
I have to tell you about it. And that’s the only reason I will, because I want to just sit here and smell this on my own. But I’m getting a lot of red fruit, I’m getting raspberries, I’m getting like bramble, crunchy fruits here. I think I’m getting a touch of apple and plum, but also a great note of rhubarb, which is really cool.
I’m also getting a slight lavender hint and that to me says that we’re dealing with proper Grenache. Grenache usually is defined by notes of Grieg, and some people will say it’s because in the south of France you’ve got a lot of scrubby bushes that give you lavender notes in the final wine. But I think this is also a key to showing that Grenache just has this character unto itself because I’m getting it here with maybe a touch of Rosemary.
It’s great. Very well-balanced with Serrano Mourvedre. I normally expect a little more pepper, but this is really Grenache dominated and you can feel it when you smell it. Let’s taste it. I’m not going to take it any longer. I promise. Mm mm. There we go. I’m only spitting because you’re watching. I have other things to do today. Wow, that’s really good.
It feels crunchy on the palate. That red fruit character really coming through. I’m also getting a lot more fennel in a nice than I did before on the nose, and it feels wonderful on the finish. I’m getting some tannins here. Likely from the more veg in the Sierra, so I would say medium. They’re not overpowering, but they’re nice and coarse, a little chunky and I’ve also got a little bit of that lavender rosemary note that we want when we’re talking about a grape-driven wine like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre.
So I mean that’s incredible to me and I think you’re going to find it good as well. But let’s talk about where it belongs in your cellar. I think this is going really well right now, and I think it can age for a little bit. So let’s say 3 to 5 years for a wine like this one, even though I think it’ll last.
Well past that. I think if you’re going to put this with any kind of food, you want to put it with something weighty as well, but also perfumed a little bit. So let’s say some pork tenderloin with some rosemary to go alongside it for some spice, to give it some lift, some air. And that’s going to meld really seamlessly.
The tannins here, like I said, are just enough that it’s going to offset the richness of that tenderloin. Oh, I can’t stop talking about this wine. It’s incredible. But I think that’s enough to sell you on it. So I’m going to stay here with this bottle and I will see you at the next class.