946, Côtes de Provence-Sainte-Victoire – 2018
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 in the EU 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 2016 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.
- Aging: The vintage 2018 has been partially aged for 6 months in Austrian oak barrels
- Filtration: tangential filtration
- Fining: Bentonite fining
- Varietal Composition: 45% Grenache, 45% Syrah, 10% Rolle (Vermentino)
- Alcohol: 13%
Medium pink with hints of pale apricot. An intense nose with predominant notes of peach and subtle notes of pineapple and mango. On the palate we discover a powerful and round wine with delicate notes of banana and peach. Fine and elegant tannins.
Château Gassier 946, Côtes de Provence-Sainte-Victoire – 2018 – Wine Spectator – 90 Points
Lush, with tropical flavors of mango and pineapple, this rosé has a toasty edge, along with a creamy-textured profile, leading to details of mineral, herb, spice and white tea.
Château Gassier 946, Côtes de Provence-Sainte-Victoire – 2018 – The Wine Advocate – 91 Points
A partly barrel-fermented (in Austrian demi-muids) blend of Syrah, Grenache and Rolle, the 2018 Cotes de Provence Sainte Victoire 946 is a spicy, oaky wine, completely different in style from most Côtes de Provence rosés. But once you wrap your head around the style, it's an impressive effort, offering enough citrus, melon and peach flavors to support the wood. Just drink up, as I suspect with time the wood will dominate.
Château Gassier 946, Côtes de Provence-Sainte-Victoire – 2018 – Vinous – 94 Points
Shimmering orange-pink. Powerful, oak-spiced aromas of nectarine, strawberry, blood orange, vanilla and honey, plus a hint of smoky minerality in the background. Deep-pitched, mineral-driven red berry and pit fruit flavors pick up fennel, vanilla and candied lavender nuances with air. Clings with serious tenacity on the penetrating finish, leaving notes of peach nectar and raspberry preserves behind. Fermented in new Austrian oak demi-muids and raised in concrete tanks.
Château Gassier 946, Côtes de Provence-Sainte-Victoire – 2018 – Wine Enthusiast – 92 Points
This wine is a rich, smooth blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. The ripe, smooth texture gives intensity and complexity to this wine that should be ready to drink from late 2019.