I recently noticed Tesco were doing their own Finest range GSM blend of red wine. But what is GSM? Grammes per square metre? No, that’s a weight of paper. Guaranteed severe migraine? Quite possibly, if you overdo it.
No, it stands for grenache, syrah (or shiraz), and mourvèdre, three grape varieties that are often blended together in the Côtes du Rhône region of France, home to the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape blend. Châteauneuf-du-Pape (of the red variety, at least) is the most famous blend to be based around the GSM grapes, although it does use a combo of other varieties too.
This one’s from McLaren Vale, near Adelaide and not too far from the Barossa Valley and Clare Valley in south Australia. That’s why the S stands for shiraz, in this case.
Personally, I’ve always thought the GSM blend works beautifully. The grenache provides sweetness and lightness, the syrah adds depth of colour, spice, dark fruits and body, while the mourvèdre adds structure, tannin and finish.
True to form, this one’s fruity and spicy, with cherry, strawberry and cloves on the nose and a satisfying lick of tannin on the finish. Thankfully, the producers haven’t overdone it on the oak, so the fruit flavours are allowed to dominate.
At £8, it’s a solid bet. It certainly went down well with my friends.
The only drawback? In my experience, GSM blends can give you a sore head the next day. And while this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule for everyone, it’s happened to me (and people I know) a few times. This one’s strong too, at 14.5%, so don’t overdo it, or Guaranteed Severe Migraine might not be far-fetched an acronym as it sounds.
4 NINJA STARS
Tesco Finest GSM, 2016: 14.5% volume, screw cap. £8.
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