February Wine Club Selections 2016
Michel Gassier Wines
With encyclopedic knowledge of the wines and terroirs of the Rhône
as well as his native Costieres de Nîmes, Michel Gassier is a restless and
innovative vigneron. Usually inquisitive personalities like Michel start as
outsiders, enfants terribles, iconoclasts. Such is not the case with Michel,
whose family has been growing grapes and making wine in the Costieres de
Nîmes for four generations. Together with his wife Tina, they are helping
to establish a new level of quality for Costieres de Nîmes without forsaking
the uniqueness of their terroir.
They have achieved this through nurturing their land, farming organically,
promoting biodiversity, and respecting their employees as much as their
vines. They are proponents of indigenous varieties and taking advantage of
the diversity of climats to make wines that are dense and pure but elegantly
balanced. Cercius is made in partnership with Eric Solomon and Philippe
Cambie from several sites throughout the Rhône valley. Nostre Païs is the
epitome of the terroir of the Costieres de Nîmes while Lou Coucardié
represents the aspirations of Michel and Tina through conversation with
the land and its history.
Cercius 2012 Cotes du Rhone $ 13.99
91 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
A joint venture between Gassier, Philippe Cambie, and importer Eric Solomon, the 2012 Cercius Vieilles Vignes is a year in, year out ridiculous value that also drinks well past its humble price point. Comprised of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah that was aged for 6 months in concrete, it has loads of raspberry, licorice, mineral and Provencal herbs as well as a soft, supple and silky textured feel on the palate. Coming from old Grenache vines (70-90 years in age) located on the Plateau de Domazan – which lies on the right bank of the Rhone river, just west of Avignon and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it is a quintessential Cotes du Rhone that will deliver the goods for 4-5 years, possibly longer. The leading estate in the potential rich Costieres de Nimes region, these knockout wines are made by the talented Michel Gassier, who is leading the way in this appellation and showing what’s possible when you focus on quality. Both the 2011s (which are as good, if not better than his 2010s) and 2012s are incredibly strong here. (JD) (12/2013)
Cercius Blanc 2012 $13.99
“a blend of 70% Grenache Blanc and 30% Sauvignon that was aged all in concrete, with plenty of lees contact, the 2012 Cercius Blanc delivers a knockout bouquet of peach, tropical, and pit fruits to go with a core of edgy minerality. Containing a full 40% of declassified Nostre Pais, it delivers an absurd amount of quality for a wine that sells at this price. Full-bodied, rich and gorgeously textured, yet also brilliantly pure and precise, it should be purchased by the case load and consumed over the coming 3-5 years.” WA on the 2012
Lagar de Costa Albarino 2013 $24.99
This 100% Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain is grown in the Atlantic climate with mild temperatures throughout the year in granite soil with good drainage. On the palate you will experience pale lemon-green, medium-intense balsamic, herbal and citric (grapefruit and lemon) flavors and white fruit aromas. Fresh and penetrating on the palate, recurring citric fruit notes as well as white flowers. Unctuous and long. This wine received an 89 Rating by Robert Parker and a Gold Medal at the Brussels International Contest. Perfect with almost any seafood and especially mussels or oysters.
Aster Ribera del Duero 2010 $29.99
100% Tinta del País from the Fuentecojo, Otero Joven and La Cueva estate-owned vineyards surrounding the winery in Anguix, Burgos. They are on silt loam soils located at an altitude close to 780 meters. They picked the grapes manually, very early in the morning, taking advantage of the cold to preserve the integrity of the clusters until they arrive at the winery sorting table. After destemming, the grapes were crushed and then put in tanks, where alcoholic fermentation took place. 80% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels, with weekly bâttonages for two months. The wine was aged for 22 months in new French oak barrels (70%) and the rest in French oak barrels with two wines.
Flavors of intense dark cherry red; very clean and bright, with a lively ruby-red rim. The nose uncovers intense notes of wild berries and ripe fruit enveloping a rich balsamic core of sweet spices, cocoa, liquorice and mild herb scents. Impressively strong in the mouth, with nerve, a delicate acidity and good balance. Soft, tamed, round tannins give this wine the imprint of Ribera del Duero.