Michel Gassier Cercius Rouge 2011
Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
Cercius is a profound ruby color. The nose is intense and complex, with aromas of dark berries, licorice, and garrigue herbs. Opulent and velvety, without being heavy, this wine's fruity finish has an aerial expression of ripe tannins.
Pairs well with various meats and cheeses including wine-braised beef, raviolis with cepe mushrooms, roasted duck, veal chops with radicchio, white beans, grilled leg of lamb with thyme and allspice, brie, and for the more adventurous, epoisses, livarot, maroilles, or munster.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2011 Cercius Rouge Vieilles Vignes is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah aged completely in concrete tanks. This is a big wine, especially for a 2011, tipping the scales at 14.5% alcohol, with some Grenache lots actually higher. Sweet kirsch liqueur intermixed with notions of smoky camphor and roasted meats are followed by a powerful as well as elegant, opaque purple-colored wine with deep fruit, medium to full body and a long finish. With abundant glycerin and fresh, it is a sexy red to enjoy over the next 2-3 years."
Michel Gassier Winery
In the northern Vaucluse, on the right bank of the Rhone river lies the village of Visan where the legendary mistral winds of Provence sweep over the vines. The Latin name for these north-northwest winds is CERCIUS – the defining feature and raison d'etre for partners Michel Gassier, Philippe Cambie and Eric Solomon to launch this new project. Between the brisk winds and an elevation of 400 meters, the grapes' freshness is protected and then preserved during vinification in concrete tanks. View all Michel Gassier Wines
About Cotes du RhoneView a map of Cotes du Rhone wineries
The appellation of Côtes du Rhône encompasses much of the land of the area, not to mention much of the wine – over two-thirds of the wine produced here is of the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation. Wines here need only be from the Côtes de Rhône geographic area (which is fairly large) and consist of one or more of the 22 varieties permitted. Being such a wide classification, it's a surprise and joy that so many of these wines reach such a high quality. While there are areas in the Northern Rhône that meet the classification of Côtes du Rhône, most all of this appellation is in the Southern Rhône. Wines here are based mostly on Grenache, like other Rhône reds, while the whites focus on Marsanne and Roussanne. Viognier is also allowed although typically used in smaller quantities.
Notable FactsThere is one higher level in the Côtes du Rhône called Côtes du Rhône Villages. These wines are from specific village areas that have a few more standards the wine must reach to receive the village label. Some to take note of are Cairanne, Rasteau, Seguret and Beaumes-de-Venise. The good thing about both Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages is that big producers of the smaller appellations are taking the opportunity and freedom offered by this broad appellation and creating wines of very high quality, and lower in price.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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