Lieux Dits
Lou Coucardié
Nostre Païs
Blanc de Blancs
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Wine Advocate ##223 – March 2016

91+            2013 Michel Gassier Lou Coucardie
eeing just under two years in barrel, the 2013 Costières de Nîmes Lou Coucardie is 50% Mourvèdre, with the balance Grenache and Syrah. It was fermented with 40% whole clusters and aged all in 500-liter barrels and demi-muids. Tight, structured and tannic, with medium to full-bodied richness, it offers notions of liquid blackberries, leather, chocolate, graphite and crushed rock. It’s good, but it needs 2-3 years of cellar, at which point I suspect it will merit an even higher rating. It will have 10-15 years of longevity. -JD

92-94       2014 Michel Gassier Lou Coucardie
While always the most serious in the lineup, the 2014 Costières de Nîmes Lou Coucardie is noticeably more approachable and friendly than the 2013 (although the 2013 was similarly approachable this time last year as well). A blend of 45% Mourvèdre, 35% Grenache and 20% Syrah that saw 30% whole clusters and aging on lees in neutral 500-liter barrels (starting in 2014 this cuvee is aged in thicker staved barrels), it has stunning purity in its black raspberry, bouquet garni, pepper, licorice and sweet oak aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, ripe, layered and sexy, I suspect it will round into form with a year or two in bottle and have 10-12 years of overall longevity. -JD

91              2014 Michel Gassier Lou Coucardie Blanc
The richest and most textured in the lineup, the 2014 Costières de Nîmes Lou Coucardié is a blend of 50% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc and 20% Viognier that saw plenty of skin contact, and fermentation and aging all in 500-liter barrels with plenty of batonnage. Tasting like a top flight Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc with its buttered citrus, citrus oil, white flowers and apple blossom aromas and flavors, it’s medium-bodied, has bright acidity and a similarly tight, fresh profile found in the Nostre Païs. It should show at its best next year and evolve for 2-3 years, possibly longer. -JD

92             2013 Michel Gassier Nostre Pais
The 2013 Nostre Pais Costieres de Nimes is a Châteauneuf du Pape look-alike. Made from 45% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 10% Mourvèdre and the rest Cinsault, it saw a long maceration and slightly more oak than normal due to the higher acidity that was common in the vintage. Roasted herbs, licorice, black raspberries and toasted spices are some of nuance here, and it’s medium to full-bodied, mouth-filling and textured, with sweet tannin. It’s a sexy, gorgeous wine to drink over the coming 4-5 years.-JD

90-92      2014 Michel Gassier Nostre Pais
The inky purple-colored 2014 Nostre Païs Costieres de Nimes (35% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre) comes from rolled pebble and sand terroirs, and was aged in equal parts barrel and concrete tanks. It has beautiful fruit (wild strawberry, blackberries), medium-bodied depth and richness, and terrific purity. It’s a killer value as always and a no-brainer purchase. -JD

91             2014 Michel Gassier Nostre Pais Blanc
The 2014 Costières de Nîmes Nostre Païs is another winner. Made from 52% Grenache Blanc, 22% Roussanne, 17% Viognier and the balance Clairette and Bourboulenc, it exhibits outstanding notes of citrus blossom, white flowers, licorice and green apple. Medium-bodied, fresh, pretty and focused, it should be better in the next four to six months (probably by the time you read this) and drink well for 1-2 years. -JD

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