2014 Michel Gassier “Nostre Païs Rouge” Costières De Nîmes, Rhône Valley, France (Alcohol 14.5%) LCBO Vintages $21.95
I’d go as far as saying that I feel this to be one of the best value reds on the LCBO shelves right now, as you get one hell of a lot of bang for your buck with this little Southern Rhône beauty.
The wine is a cabal of the usual regional suspects, with 35% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 20% Syrah and the remainder made up of Mourvèdre and Cinsault. This cuvée is then fermented in a 50/50 combination of both 500 litre barrels and concrete tanks.
The absence of any real oak influence ensures that this wine’s ultra-ripe and yet pristine and gorgeous pretty fruit is allowed to shine. You’ll discover a gaggle of black berry fruits coupled with wild rocky mountainside herbs, subtle and slinky pot pourri, fennel, and a touch of cracked white pepper. The wine is decidedly well-balanced, with assertive acid giving the wine a thrilling vibrancy, alongside delightfully smooth and ripe (but pleasingly firm) tannins. It’s amazingly well structured for a Costières De Nîmes. The wine ends on an extremely pleasant mineral note.
I paired this very successfully with 48-hour-marinated (soy sauce/honey/garlic/apple juice/sesame oil/star anise), and then slow-braised (cooked in marinade for two and half hours) beef ribs, served over a Cauliflower and Chive Purée.
Experience has taught me that a decant does this Nostre Païs wine many favours, as it tasted even better the following day. I’m most fond of this lovely stuff.
(Four and a half apples out of a possible five)
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And this bottle really warmed the cockles of his heart.