Pierre Gaillard Asiaticus Seyssuel Cuvee Unique 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from Cote Rotie, Rhone, France
- red wine
- collectible wine
Produced in cooperation with Rhône vintners François Villard and Yves Cuilleron, "Asiaticus" was raised on historic terroir once cultivated in Roman times (and praised in antiquity by Pliny and Plutarch). These historic vineyards, now revived, sit just north of Côte Rôtie on the east side of the Rhône. Steep slopes covered in schist soils are blown by northern winds that keep vines healthy and cool; a 100% Syrah that exhibits a Côte Brune style, with its ripe, round and penetrating flavors. Black cherries, plum jam and salted licorice characterize the nose, while ribbons of dark chocolate wind around a full, structured and zesty mouth of black fruits and Moroccan spices.
"Ruby-red. Intensely spicy scents of vibrant raspberry, cherry, cinnamon and clove are underscored by zesty minerality; smells like a suave Burgundy. Fine-grained, silky and sweet, offering sexy red berry flavors, gentle tannins and a whiplash of Asian spices. This boasts terrific energy and clarity, as well as superb finishing cut and persistence."
-International Wine Cellar 91-93
Pierre Gaillard Winery
About Cote Rotie
The Rhone appellation furthest north, the translation of Cote Rotie is "roasted slope," named after the region's very steep, south facing slopes that have ideal exposure to the sun. There are two main slopes, Cote Brunes & Cote Blondes. They are just as they sound, with the darker Brunes soils consisting of rich clay and iron, producing firm and robust wine. The lighter soils of the Blondes slope contain more slate and limestone, making elegant and soft wine. Wine can be from one designated slope, or a blend of both – the label will designate which it is.
Like all Northern Rhone appellations, Syrah is the only grape allowed in Cote-Rotie. However, Cote-Rotie allows up to 20% of the more aromatic and elegant white grape, Viognier, to be blended into the red wines. From the Cote-Blondes slope, the grape makes no single-varietal white wines, it's only used to blend. In fact, no white wines at all come from Cote-Rotie. The reds, from both slopes, are marked for being elegant and complex, as well as ageworthy.
About France - Other regions
When 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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most 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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.