Wine Advocate #223 – March 2016

91  –  2013 Château de Nages JT
Reminding me a solid Crozes Hermitage, the 2013 Costières de Nîmes (93% Syrah and 7% Mourvèdre) has medium to full-bodied richness and some rusticity to its tannin, as well as lots of blacker fruits, licorice, toasted spice and earthy minerality. It continues to freshen up with time in the glass, has loads of fruit and no shortage of texture, all of which suggest it will be better with a year or two in the cellar and drink nicely through 2023. -JD

(90-92)  –  2014 Château de Nages JT
The 2014 Costières de Nîmes JT checks in as a blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache (I also think there’s a tiny portion of whole cluster Viognier) that was aged one-third in barrel and two-thirds in concrete tanks. Michel commented that they added the Grenache to add a touch more hedonism to the wine. Inky-colored, perfumed and pure, it offers lots of black raspberries, plums, crushed flowers, violet and pepper on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and silky, it has fine tannin and no shortage of length on the finish. It’s another terrific wine that will drink well for 7-8 years. -JD

91  –  2014 Château de Nages JT White
A bigger, richer wine, the 2014 Costières de Nîmes Blanc JT is made from 69% Roussanne, 20% Viognier and 11% Grenache Blanc that spent eight months on lees in neutral 500-liter barrels. Roughly 20% of the blend went through malolactic. Flowers, white peach, citrus blossom and honeysuckle all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, elegant, yet textured white that gains a saline-like minerality with time in the glass. This is a beautiful southern Rhône white that readers can’t go wrong with. I’d drink it over the coming couple of years, but wouldn’t be surprised to see it evolve for longer either. -JD

90  –  2013 Château de Nages Vieilles Vignes
Tasting like a mini Châteauneuf du Pape, the 2013 Costières de Nîmes Vieilles Vignes is a terrific blend of 66% Grenache, 22% Syrah, 6% Mourvèdre and 6% Carignan. Fermented with one-third whole clusters and aged in 25% French oak and the balance in concrete, it reveals a healthy purple color as well as classic black raspberry, pepper, licorice, dusty earth and bouquet garni. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, nicely textured and with some tannic grip on the finish, it’s a smoking value that will drink well for at least 5-7 years. -JD

(90-92)  –  2014 Château de Nages Vieilles Vignes
Tasted out of barrel, and competing with any number of more expensive and prestigious wines, the 2014 Costières de Nîmes Vieilles Vignes is 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 10% Carignan that saw 30% to 40% whole cluster in the fermentation; it was aged in equal parts one- and two-year-old demi-muids and cement tanks. Ripe, sexy and voluptuously textured, it has smokin’ purity of fruit, classic southern Rhône notes of pepper, orange peel and black raspberries, and a great finish. It should easily be an outstanding wine and drink well for 4-5 years. -JD

91  –  2014 Château de Nages Vieilles Vignes White
Even better than the Butinages, the 2014 Costières de Nîmes Vieilles Vignes Blanc is 40% Roussanne (which is up from previous vintages), 30% Grenache Blanc, 15% Clairette and the rest Viognier and Bourboulenc; it spent eight months on lees in a mix of neutral barrels and concrete tanks. Medium-bodied, tight, focused and crisp, with notes of lemon curd, citrus blossom and buttered grapefruit, it has stunning purity, solid texture and a great finish. It’s another wine that checks in at the top of the value spectrum. -JD

90  –  2014 Château de Nages Butinages White
One sensational value is the 2014 Costières de Nîmes Butinages Blanc, which is made from 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Roussanne that comes from rolled pebble soils very similar to what’s found in Châteauneuf du Pape. Aged three months on lees in concrete, it offers lots of lemon, tangerine and citrus notes to go with a medium-bodied, elegant, lively and crisp style on the palate that still packs plenty of fruit. Buy this beauty by the case and plan on drinking bottles over the coming year or two. -JD


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  • France
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