946, Côtes de Provence-Sainte-Victoire – 2017
946 is named for the Croix de Provence that was erected at the top of Sainte-Victoire’s western peak, at an altitude of 946 meters (3,104 feet), above the Provençal vineyards. The cross was built in 1875 by local priests, after Provence was spared the plague. In cuvée 946, Château Gassier captures the elegance and most beautiful expression of the Saint-Victoire terroir.
- Vineyards: The 40 hectares vineyard is composed of the following grape varieties: 30% Grenache Noir, 30% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, 5% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 2% Rolle and 3% Ugni Blanc. The Estate’s wines have been officially certified organic wines since 2016. The majority of the wines have the Côtes-de-Provence Sainte-Victoire protected designation which allow a maximal production of 50 hectolitres/ha (vs 55 hectolitres/ha for the Côtes-de-Provence wines.)
- Grape Source: Grenache, Syrah, Rolle (Vermentino)
- Appellation: Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire was acknowledged as an appellation in its own right in 2005. The vineyard area of Sainte-Victoire is viewed as one of the most unspoiled in France. It has been classified as a natural reserve ”Grand Site de France.”
- Viticulture: 100% organic; officially certified organic with the 2017 vintage
- Vine Age: Grenache planted in 1982; Syrah in 2002; Rolle (Vermentino) in 1998
- Soil: Clay and limestone pebbles and sand caused by erosion from Mount Sainte Victoire
- Density: 4,000 vines/hectare (1,619 vines/acre)
- Training: Cordon de Royat (double and single)
- Fermentation: The creation of 946 Rosé requires precise winemaking based upon the fine and delicate assembly of three basic components: To begin, we select a wine from the heavier parts of the juice (lees) previously stored at a low temperature of 4 C (39 F) and then filtered. This base gives the wine its roundness in the mouth. The next derives from the alcoholic fermentation in half muid (500-liter/132-gallon barrels) of new Austrian wood (Stockinger) which gives complexity to the wine. The final component comes with cool fermentation between 14 C (57.2 F) and 16 C (60.8 F) in concrete tank to reveal the delicate aromas.
- Filtration: tangential filtration
- Fining: Bentonite fining
Light pink with pale peach reflections. The nose is intense and fruity, with aromas of citrus fruits (grapefruit, clementine), passion fruits, yellow fruits (peach, apricot), almond and acacia flowers.On the palate, the 946 is fresh, lively and long. This smooth wine has a great aromatic complexity and silky, fine tannins.
- Varietal Composition: 45% Grenache, 45% Syrah, 10% Rolle (Vermentino)
- Alcohol: 13%
946, Côtes de Provence-Sainte-Victoire – 2017 – 93 Points – Wine Enthusiast
This is a rich, impressive cuvée, named after the cross perched above the vineyards at a height of 3,000 feet. It is packed with ripe strawberry fruits as well as a full and rounded character.