Chateau de Nages JT, Costieres de Nimes, France 2016
Deep, fruity and smooth, the JT 2016 has that more-ish quality you find in ripe, perfectly balanced wines, and a complexity that reveals something new with every sip. I thought it was completely delicious and as Rhône expert, Jeb Dunnuck said, it has the class of Syrahs at twice the price.
Château de Nages has been in the same family for four generations and under current owner and winemaker, Michel Gassier, it has become one of the leading estates in the Costières de Nîmes. They farm organically and as sustainably as possible, keeping the use of copper fungicides to a minimum (although they are allowed in organic farming) and grazing sheep on the land between October and March to fertilise the soil, keep weeds under control and avoid compaction of the soil caused by tractors.
Costières de Nîmes is a small region in southern France where the Rhône meets the Mediterranean. It boasts enviable growing conditions, with plenty of sun, a plateau of well drained pebbly ground and the Mistral breeze acting as a natural fungicide by keeping the air moving among the vines.
Vintage report: Superlative. Winemaker Michel Gassier reckoned this was the best vintage of his 23 year career.
Drinking window: 2020 - 2024.
Food matching: Roast lamb; hard, flavoursome cow's or sheep's milk cheeses.