Lou Coucardié Red & White
Nostre Païs Red & White
The Varietals
2016

Wine Advocate #228 – Dec 2016


91-93       2015 Michel Gassier Lou Coucardie – Rouge
Tasted as a barrel sample, the flagship cuvee of the estate is the 2015 Costières de Nîmes Lou Coucardié, which checks in as a blend of 50% Mourvèdre, 35% Grenache and 15% Syrah that’s partially destemmed, fermented with native yeast and aged in neutral barrels. It’s a tight, focused and undeniably backwards 2015 that has notable structure, medium to full-bodied richness and stunning purity in its black raspberry, crushed violets and graphite aromas and flavors. You can feel the Mourvèdre on the palate, and it’s going to need short term cellaring.-JD

93             2015 Michel Gassier Lou Coucardie – Blanc
Coming from pebbly soils on the northern edge of the estate’s Beck Vineyard, the 2015 Lou Coucardié (40% Roussanne, 35% Grenache Blanc and 25% Viognier) is total blockbuster that’s the richest, most textured and layered in the lineup, all while staying lively and fresh. Its medium gold color is followed by terrific notes of apple blossom, brioche, sautéed peach and a salty minerality. Possessing impressive complexity and impeccable balance, it competes with top whites from the Southern Rhone.-JD

92+          2014 Michel Gassier Lou Coucardie – Rouge
More fresh, tight and backwards than the Nostre Païs, the 2014 Costières de Nîmes Lou Coucardié is a beautiful wine that’s made from 45% Mourvèdre, 35% Grenache and 20% Syrah that was aged in neutral barrels. It offers abundant notes of ripe black raspberries, toasted spice and crushed flowers, with a hint of classy oak, full-bodied richness and fine, polished tannin. The tannin quality is first rate, the oak is nicely balanced and integrated, and it has a great finish. Bravo to this team for getting this level of quality in the vintage! Give bottles a year or two and enjoy through 2024.-JD

92-94       2015 Michel Gassier Nostre Païs – Rouge
Coming from the southern, cooler end of the appellation, mostly from the estate’s Beck Vineyard, the 2015 Nostre Païs Costières de Nîmes is always more perfumed and elegant than the Lou Coucardié cuvee. It offers fabulous notes of ripe black raspberries, toasted spice, crushed flowers and licorice. A blend of 45% Grenache, 25% Syrah and the rest Carignan, Mourvèdre and Cinsault, this Chateauneuf du Pape look alike offers a sexy, full-bodied profile and is already hard to resist.-JD

91              2015 Michel Gassier Nostre Païs – Blanc
The 2015 Costières de Nîmes Nostre Païs comes primarily from the estate’s Beck vineyard which is located in the southern, cooler end of the appellation. Made from 40% Grenache Blanc, 25% Roussanne and the rest Clairette, Viognier and Bourboulenc, it’s an elegant, impeccably balanced white that has crisp acidity, medium-bodied richness and perfumed notes of citrus rind, crushed rocks and subtle white peach. It’s ideal for drinking over the coming year or two.-JD

91             2014 Michel Gassier Nostre Païs – Rouge
One of the bigger, richer versions of this cuvee, the 2014 Nostre Païs Costières de Nîmes (35% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 20% Syrah and the rest Mourvèdre and Cinsault) was fermented with one-third whole clusters and aged in equal parts 500-liter barrels and concrete tanks. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by terrific notes of blackberries, blackcurrants, roasted herbs and licorice. It has serious mid-palate depth, integrated acidity and present, yet ripe tannin, all suggesting it will evolve gracefully for at least 4-6 years. -JD

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