Michel Gassier Costieres de Nimes Nostre Pais White 2011
Blend: 90% Grenache Blanc, 5% Roussanne, 5% Viognier
I know some readers will find it hard to believe, but the 2011 Nostre Pais Blanc’s aromas and rich, honeyed, full-bodied texture reminded me of the famous white Chateauneuf du Pape made by Beaucastel, which sells for three or more times the price. An amazing blend of 90% Grenache Blanc, 5% Roussanne and 5% Viognier aged six months in French oak, the Roussanne component jumps from the glass, offering notes of acacia flowers, honeysuckle, white peach, quince and pineapple. The flamboyant, intense aromatics are followed by a full-bodied, exuberant, dry white wine that must be tasted to be believed. I suspect this offering has some aging potential, but why risk it given how beautiful it is showing at present.
Michel GassierView all wine
Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production...
Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.
Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.