At the southern end of the Rhône valley, the appellation of Costières de Nimes commences, and leads down to the wild beauty of the Carmargue. Stylistically, it is a wine region that manages to combine some of the intense flavours of the Southern Rhône with an underlying freshness from its proximity to the Mediterranean. Just south of Nimes we discovered Château Vessière two years ago. The vineyard covers 65 hectares, and has been in the family for seven generations.
It wasn’t until 1979 when Philippe took over the reins that they started to bottle their own wine for the first time. Now it is the enthusiasm of the next generation with his son Vincent (on the right) and wife Lucie that drives the vineyard into the 21st century.
We have been following the enthusiastic progress of the Teulon family, and seen their progression from organic (Bio) towards full Biodynamic winemaking
The terroir consists of galets roulés – large round stones – deposited by the Rhône and Durance thousands of years ago. The abundance of sun ripens the grapes and the galets retain the heat – like storage heaters – to release it during the cold nights.
These are wines made with the obsessional care and attention of a winemaker dedicated to making organic wines, well on his way to becoming certified as Biodynamic. The overriding hallmarks are freshness, good concentration of fruit without high alcohol levels, and finesse.
A Mixed Case consists of three bottles of each of the four wines:
Mas de Vessière Blanc 2016
This is made from a combination of 60% Grenache blanc with 20% each of Roussanne and Muscat.
Pale lemon in colour, this has a mouth-watering nose of grapes with hints of rose petal. It is bursting with juicy, zesty fruit flavours, finishing with racy acidity.
A great aperitif!
Château Vessière Blanc 2016
AoP Costières de Nimes
An altogether more serious wine, this elegant white is made from 70% Roussanne and 30% Grenache blanc.
There are aromas of honeysuckle and fresh pears. On the palate, there is lovely mouthfeel with flavours of ripe peach and pear, and a crisp green apple finish.
Mas de Vessière Rouge 2015
This bright, juicy red is a fascinating combination of 60% Grenache noir, 30% Carmenère – a Mèdoc grape previously lost to the disease of Phylloxera – and 10% Syrah. The dominant flavours are of ripe red fruits, especially red currants, with wonderful freshness and racy acidity.
A wine that cries out for charcuterie, alfresco meals and pasta!
Château Vessière Rouge 2015
AoP Costières de Nimes
To obtain more complexity of flavour, this is vinified in concrete fermentation vats. It is a 50:50 mix of Grenache noir and Syrah.
Bright purple in colour, it has an inviting minty/herby nose with lashings of juicy blackberry and damson fruit on the palate. The tannins are very soft and the hallmark acidity of the vineyard delivers a wonderful level of elegance and freshness. Perfect with lamb.