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Rhône / GSM Blend

Written by Madeline Puckette


GSM stands for Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre – three important grapes grown in the Côtes du Rhône region of France. Today, this blend is produced throughout the world and is loved for its complex red fruit flavors and age-worthy potential.

Primary Flavors

  • Raspberry
  • Blackberry
  • Rosemary
  • Baking Spices
  • Lavender

Taste Profile


Medium-full Body

Medium-high Tannins

Medium Acidity

13.5–15% ABV


    55–60°F / 12-15°C

    Aroma Collector

    30 Minutes

    3–5 Years

Food Pairing

The Rhône / GSM blend is a versatile food pairing wine that works particularly well with dishes featuring Mediterranean spices including red pepper, sage, rosemary, and olives.

The Rhône Blend is one of top wine blends of the world – and it’s well worth exploring!

Rhone / GSM Taste Profile Wine Infographic by Wine Folly

The Rhône / GSM Blend is a colloquial term for red wines based on the blends made in the Côtes du Rhône region of France.

In truth, there are at least 19 unique grape varieties used in wines in the Côtes du Rhône, but Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre are arguably the most important.

What makes this blend special is the complexity created when boisterous and fruity Grenache is blended with brooding and peppery Syrah and Mourvèdre.

Many vineyards in Châteauneuf-du-Pape are covered with stones (called “galets”) that were originally the bottom of an ancient river. Photo by Jean-Louis Zimmerman

Fun Facts About Rhône / GSM Blends

  • Producers in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (“CdP”) developed France’s wine appellation system in 1936. CdP was the first official appellation and the first to codify the Rhône Blend.
  • The first official Rhône / GSM Blends from Châteauneuf-du-Pape were allowed to use up to 13 different grape varieties (and included white grapes). Today, the number is 19.
  • Australia is a popular spot for the production of GSM Blends. In Australia, the grapes are commonly called Grenache, Shiraz, and Mataro. (By the way, Australian wines list grapes in order of proportion on the label.)
  • Rhône grapes started to appear more commonly in the United States when Tablas Creek Winery imported them to Paso Robles, California in 1990. The first cuttings came from the CdP estate, Château de Beaucastel.
  • Several 100-point rated Rhône Blends from France are noted to have a higher proportion of Grenache. (For example, Château Rayas typically has around 90%!)

You’ll find variations of the GSM Blend produced around the world. This style excels in warmer climates such as in Spain, South Australia, South Africa, parts of the United States, and Southern France.

Written byMadeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly

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