Jeb Dunnuck of The Wine Advocate came back to moderate this panel Saturday morning, April 16. The panelists were Diane de Paymorin of Château d’Or et de Gueules, Francois Collar of Château Mourgues du Grès, Michel Gassier of vignobles Michel Gassier, and Luc Baudet of Clos des Centenaires.
Jeb started off by joking that perhaps 4% of wine enthusiasts had ever had a wine from Costières de Nîmes, and a small fraction of CdN wines were white, very few of us had ever tasted CdN white wines. He might not be that far off; I probably had tasted only one or two prior to this seminar. CdN is a relatively young AOC (1986), but wine grapes have been grown here for over two thousand years due to the Romans. CdN is the southernmost appellation of the Southern Rhone. CdN has two rivers; the Rhône and the Durance. Because of the moderating effect of the sea breezes (it’s just north of the Mediterranean Sea), the wine grapes manage to maintain a freshness that they might otherwise have.
The wines poured at the seminar were uniformly good to excellent, and many of them represented impressive value for the quality delivered, although not much is imported to the US. My favorite wines poured included:
- 2015 Château d’Or et de Gueules Les Cimels Blanc. Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, and Rolle (Vermentino). White, juicy fruit throughout, mostly pear with a touch of peach/apricot. A strong “yum plus.” Tough to find in the U.S., but about $15.
- 2015 Château Mourgues du Grès Les Galets Dorés. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Rolle. A bit of smoke, but more white fruits and a longer finish, with a touch of salt/minerality in the midpalate to the finish. Again, not much imported here, but also about $15.
- 2013 Château Mourgues du Grès Capitelles des Mourgues, Blanc. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Viognier. A sweeter nose, with more ripe nectarines. A more unctuous midpalate, and a noticeably longer finish. Sadly does not appear to be imported!4. 2013 Vignobles Michel Gassier Lou Coucardie, Blanc. Viognier, Roussane, Grenache Blanc. Again, lots of pear and apple, with a weightier midpalate than many of the other wines tastes. About $23 retail.
- 2012 Mas Neuf Armonio Blanc. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Viognier. Pear and apricot skin, with some vanilla notes that I assume are from a bit of oak. Another very interesting CdN white that doesn’t appear to be imported to the US.