Château Gassier, Provence star
Gassier is a historical Provence family business that dates back to the 15th century. We visited the location that Gassier has been working from since 1982, which is a renovated building from the 1970s in Saint Victoire. The estate was bought by Jean Jean in 2004, but the Gassier family still run this 40 hectare vineyard. George Gassier, son of the ex-owner, works on the estate.
We are in the Saint Victoire valley, which is a special Provence terroir. The average altitude here is 350 m, and the sea is 40 km away, but with two mountain ranges in the way. The limestone mountain of Saint Victoire protects the valley from the Mistral wind. There are nice conditions for growing quality grapes here, with good diurnal shifts.
‘It’s a very dynamic region,’ says Bruno Descamps, marketing director of Château Gassier. ‘I really appreciate it. I compare it a bit to Champagne. We are at the high end of rosé wine: you can bring the fun and the party emotion that we have with Champagne.’ Gassier’s super-premium rosé, the 946 cuvée, retails for 30 Euros locally, but unfortunately has yet to make it to the UK. It’s a lovely wine.
For the last few years Gassier have been replanting vineyards, so have had a reduced production of 120 000 bottles (in time, this will double). The wines here are really good, and the vineyard sites are also beautiful.
Château Gassier 946 Blanc 2013 Coteaux de Provence Sainte Victoire, France
Half each of Rolle and Ugni Blanc, fermented in 500 litre barrels, just 800 bottles made. Lively and precise with delicacy and power. Fresh, nicely intense with floral citrus fruit and some richer pear and spice characters. Hints of lime cordial. 93/100 (09/14)
Château Gassier Le Pas de Moine Rosé 2014 Coteaux de Provence Sainte Victoire, France
12% alcohol. Full salmon pink in colour. Fresh and linear with nice texture and fine cherry and pear fruit, as well as some cranberry bite. Stylish, pure and clean. 91/100 (06/15)
Château Gassier 946 Rosé 2014 Côtes de Provence Saint-Victoire, France
12% alcohol. Quite a full vivid pink colour. Nicely textured and generous with fine pear fruit as well as some red cherry notes. Real finesse here: quite silky but not sweet. Just lovely fruit with lots of layers and a long, pure finish. 93/100 (06/15)
Château Gassier Le Pas de Moine Rosé 2013 Coteaux de Provence Sainte Victoire, France
Lovely aromatic fruit here: creamy, ripe and smooth with cherries and pears. Very textural and exotic with lovely peach and pear fruit. Broad textured and long. 91/100 (09/14)
Château Gassier Cuvée 946 Rosé 2013 Coteaux de Provence Sainte Victoire, France
One third is fermented and aged in 500 litre barrels. Very fine and fresh with lovely weight, detail and subtle spiciness alongside the pear and fine red cherry fruit. There’s real elegance here with great precision. Nice broad, smooth texture. 92/100 (09/14)