Lou Coucardié Rouge & Blanc
Nostre Païs Rouge & Blanc
Les Cépages
2019

Jeb Dunnuck – 2019 Issue


Michel Gassier’s Domaine Gassier continues to be the reference point estate in the Costières de Nîmes, and this is a terrific terroir that’s been unjustly regulated to larger production, so called “value” wines. Don’t believe stunning wines emerge from the Costières de Nîmes? Taste these wines. In addition, they fashion an outstanding Côtes du Rhône!

2016 Domaine Gassier Grenache de Beck    94 pts

A new release from the family estate’s Bek Vineyard, the 2016 Costières De Nîmes Grenache De Bek is nearly 100% Grenache (there’s a splash of Mourvèdre) and has Châteauneuf Du Pape-like aromas and flavors of kirsch liqueur, blackberries, peppery incense, and garrigue. With medium to full-bodied richness, silky tannins, solid mid-palate depth and a great finish, it can be enjoyed today or cellared for upwards of a decade.

2016 Domaine Gassier Lou Coucardié Rouge    95 pts

Bottled earlier this year, the 2016 Costières De Nîmes Lou Coucardié checks in a blend of 50% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, and 20% Syrah that was 66% destemmed and aged two years in 500- and 600-liter barrels. This blockbuster beauty boasts a deep purple color as well as a smoking good bouquet of blackberries, cured meats, ground pepper, Asian spices, and flowery incense. Deep, full-bodied, and concentrated, it’s still seamless, balanced, and weightless on the palate, and shows why 2016 is such a great vintage in the southern Rhône Valley. This wine just about maxes out the value scale and can be drunk with incredible pleasure today or cellared for a decade.

2017 Domaine Gassier Grenache de Beck    93-95 pts

In the same ballpark as the 2016, if not slightly better, the 2017 Costières De Nîmes Grenache De Bek (99% Grenache and 1% Mourvèdre) is another magical, Châteauneuf Du Pape look-alike from Gassier that does everything right. Ripe, sexy amounts of black raspberries, cassis, peppery incense, violets, and spicy notes all give way to a medium to full-bodied, layered, and seamless Grenache that has ripe tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish.

2017 Domaine Gassier Lou Coucardié Rouge    92-94+ pts

Not yet bottled, the 2017 Costières De Nîmes Lou Coucardié might just match the sensational 2016. Based on 55% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache and the rest Syrah, it will see the same two years in barrel before bottling. Loads of blackberries, chocolate, spice box, and plenty of meaty notes emerge from the glass, reminding me of a top Bandol from the likes of Tempier. Full-bodied, concentrated, and powerful, with plenty of tannins, it’s another remarkable wine from this terrific estate.

2017 Domaine Gassier Nostre Païs Rouge   93 pts

I loved the 2017 Costières De Nîmes Nostre Païs, and I think it’s a step up over the 2018. Based on 55% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and the rest Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Carignan, from the cooler, southern part of the appellation, it offers complex notes of sweet red and black fruits, ground herbs, incense, and peppery spice. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and layered, with sweet tannins, it would easily stand beside wines running 2-3 times the price in a blind tasting.

2017 Domaine Gassier Fleur de Syrah    89 pts

The 2017 Costières De Nîmes Fleur De Syrah is a Syrah-dominated blend that includes 5% Grenache and 5% Carignan. It has one foot in the Northern Rhône and one foot in the Southern Rhône with its ground pepper, meaty black and blue fruits, and violet aromas and flavors. With fine tannins, good balance, and a great finish, it’s another head-turning value from Gassier.

2017 Michel & Tina Gassier Côtes du Rhône Rouge    90 pts

The 2017 Côtes Du Rhône (70% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, and 10% Syrah) has a pretty, medium-bodied style as well as classic notes of cracked pepper, violets, garrigue, and sweet raspberry and blackberry fruit. It sells for a song yet has tons of character and is a balanced, complete Côtes Du Rhône to enjoy over the coming 4-5 years.

2018 Domaine Gassier Nostre Païs Rouge    90-92 pts

As with the 2017, the 2018 Costières De Nîmes Nostre Païs comes from the southern, more marine-influenced part of the Costières (it’s primarily from the Gassier estate’s Bek Vineyard) and is 50% Grenache, 20% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, and the rest Cinsault and Carignan, aged in equal parts used barrels and concrete tanks. It offers a pretty, finesse-drive, elegant style as well as perfumed notes of black raspberries, garrigue, and violets. Balanced, lightly textured, and seamless, it’s certainly an outstanding wine and will be a great buy.

2018 Domaine Gassier Fleur de Syrah    89-92 pts

A slightly tweaked blend, the 2018 Costières De Nîmes Fleur De Syrah checks in as 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache that saw a tiny amount of stems followed by aging all in concrete tanks. It’s another blue fruited, peppery, violet-scented beauty that’s medium to full-bodied, pure, and elegant on the palate. It’s going to shine right out of the gate.

2018 Michel & Tina Gassier Côtes du Rhône Rouge    90-92 pts

A similar blend to the 2017, the 2018 Côtes Du Rhône is in the same ballpark and offers loads of dark fruits, ground herbs, and peppery garrigue in its classic Southern Rhône style. Drink this medium-bodied, rich, fleshy, exuberant beauty on release and over the following 4-5 years.

2018 Michel & Tina Gassier Cairanne Rouge    91-93 pts

A new release from this estate, the 2018 Cairanne comes all from hillside parcels and is 65% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and 5% Syrah. It has a terrific, full-bodied, sexy profile as well as loads of blue and black fruits, licorice, and bouquet garni-like aromas and flavors. It’s pure, balanced, and a terrific looking barrel sample.

2018 Domaine Gassier Lou Coucardié Blanc   93 pts

A deeper, richer wine, the 2018 Costières De Nîmes Lou Coucardié Blanc is a barrel fermented blend of 40% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc, 20% Viognier, and the rest Clairette. It would give many a top Châteauneuf Du Pape Blanc a run for its money and boasts loads of ripe peach, tangerine, honeysuckle, spice, and brioche aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, textured, and balanced, it has subtle background oak, a great texture, and a big finish.

2018 Domaine Gassier Nostre Païs Blanc    92 pts

Coming all from the estate Bec Vineyard, located in the cool, southern part of the appellation, the 2018 Costières De Nîmes Nostre Païs Blanc checks in as a mix of 45% Grenache Blanc, 20% Roussanne, 20% Clairette, and the rest Viognier and Bourboulenc, raised in old barrels and concrete tank. Readers looking for a superb white to drink over the coming 2-3 years should snatch this up. It offers terrific notes of white peach, rose petal, crushed citrus, and spice. With a touch of White Burgundy class, medium body, beautiful freshness, and a great finish, it was over-delivers. Don’t miss it.

2016 Domaine Gassier Embruns de Viognier    89 pts

The 2018 IGP Pays D’Oc Embruns De Viognier tastes like a baby Condrieu and is well worth a multiple bottle purchase. Lots of apricot, lychee nut, and white peach give way to a medium-bodied, rounded, textured white that has classic Viognier opulence yet stays fresh and lively. Drink it over the coming year or two.

2018 Domaine Gassier Gris de Grenache    91 pts

From Michel Gassier (Chateau de Nages) and based on Grenache Gris, the 2018 Costières de Nîmes Gris De Grenache Rosé is an elegant, seamless effort that’s up there with the finest Provençal-styled rosés out there. Beautiful white peach, ripe strawberries, and white flower notes all emerge from this medium-bodied effort that has a silky, rounded texture, good yet integrated acidity, and a great finish. It’s another winner from an incredibly talented winemaker. It can certainly stand on its own, but its slightly richer style is going to make it shine on the dinner table.

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