The Costiéres de Nîmes is the southernmost wine growing region of the Rhône Valley. Located southwest of Chateuneuf-du-Pape, the Costiéres de Nîmes appellation includes part of the Camargue Rhône delta, bordering the Rhone to the east and including the ancient, Roman city of Nîmes and its spectacular ruins (including this Roman aquaduct) to the west. Michel Gassier’s Château de Nages is one of the more dynamic, quality-oriented producers of the region. We review several of his current releases, including two of his superb wines made from white varieties, which represent a very small portion of the Costiéres de Nîmes plantings.
Michel Gassier is the fourth generation of his family to make wine. He organically farms his 70-hectare vineyard, Château de Nage, and grows Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Grenache Blanc. Michel’s wines are all nicely crafted expressions of their terroir. We especially like his old vines white and reserve rosé, but all his wines are a pleasure to drink and are offered at excellent prices. USA Wine Imports, New York, NY is the importer.
TASTING NOTES AND RATINGS
Michel Gassier 2010 Château Nages La Réserve White Costières de Nîmes ($14) 89
This blend of 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Roussanne has a ripe golden color and a perfumed nose of apple and pear. It has a rich, creamy palate of white peach and pear, crisp acidity and a long finish. Great value.
Michel Gassier 2010 Château de Nages La Réserve Rosé Costières de Nîmes ($14) 90+
This attractive dark salmon-colored rosé is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. If offers pleasant aromas of cherry and raspberry that are mirrored on the palate. It shows good acidity and balance with a dry crisp finish
Michel Gassier 2009 Château de Nages La Réserve Red Costières de Nîmes ($14) 89
This medium dark ruby La Réserve Red is more fruit forward that the Vielles Vignes. It is soft and elegant on the palate with ripe red berry fruit flavors, round tannins and is slightly dry on the finish.
Michel Gassier 2010 Les Piliers Viognier Vin de Pays d’Oc ($18) 89
This Viognier has a yellow-gold color and perfumed aromas of stone fruit. On the palate it offers very ripe flavors of golden apple and lemon custard. It has a creamy mouth feel and a dry finish.
Michel Gassier 2008 Le Piliers Cabernet Sauvignon Vin de Pays d’Oc ($18) 89
Dark ruby in hue, this100% Cabernet Sauvignon boasts black currant fruit and toasted oak with nuances of lead pencil and roasted meat on the nose. It is soft and round on the palate with silky tannins, medium high acidity and a firm finish.
Michel Gassier 2009 Les Piliers Syrah Vin de Pays d’Oc ($18) 90
Opaque ruby. The Syrah exhibits sweet aromas of blackberry fruit and cassis, with notes of black pepper, leather and licorice. It has sweet black fruit flavors on the palate with soft and silky tannins and a pleasant finish. Great value.
Michel Gassier 2010 Château de Nages-Vieilles Vignes White Costière de Nîmes ($20) 91
This is a refined and elegant wine. Yellow gold in color, it is a delicious blend of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne with a touch of Viognier. It displays a fragrant nose of citrus with a creamy palate of green apples, good acidity and a crisp finish.
Michel Gassier 2009 Château de Nages Cuvée JT White Costières de Nîmes ($28) 90
The JT White is a blend of 95% Roussanne and 5% White Grenache. Oak fermented and aged on the lees for 5 months, it exhibits a dark yellow gold color, ripe melon and toasted oak aromas, and a rich and creamy palate with medium plus acidity and a crisp long-lasting finish.
Michel Gassier 2009 Château de Nages Vielles Vignes Red Costières de Nîmes ($20) 90
The Vielles Vignes Red is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvédre. Medium dark ruby, it offers aromas of light black cherry fruit and minerals on the nose. It is fresh, crisp and spicy on the palate, with good acidity and tannic grip on the finish. With time in the bottle, it will likely show even better.
Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler