Come late February, the weather is just plain unpredictable. Although it should be snowing and cold, we start seeing freakishly warm days that move us straight into that springtime mentality. Days are warm, nights are cold, and we just don’t know what the hell we should be drinking. Our heads scream red, our hearts beat for rosé, and the weather just can’t make up its mind what it’s appropriate for. When in doubt, a fuller-bodied white generally does the trick.
Fuller-bodied whites are great compromise wines. Their heartier bodies and richer flavors make them great for cooler weather, yet the perfect balance of acidity will tingle on your tongue like your favorite bottle of summer rosé. If you’re not sure where to start, check out Michel Gassier’s “Nostre Pais” Blanc for a phenomenal intro.
The Gassier family has been making wine for four generations in Costieres de Nimes, located between the city of Nimes and the western part of the Rhone Valley, in the department of Gard. The family farms in conjunction with nature, using sustainable and respectful techniques. The vineyards are also farmed organically, with land composed of pebbles and red clay.
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“Nostre Pais” is composed of grapes from different old-vine plots, manually harvested and directly pressed to maintain high acidity levels in the fruit. The grapes undergo partial fermentation in barrel, followed by lees aging for six months. The result is a pale yellow wine, showing floral and citrus aromas. The palate is full-bodied and warming, with floral aromas carrying over and meshing with flavors of honeyed apples. The finish is soft, with a bright, lingering acidity. The wine feels like a soothing hug for your palate, yet presents a prickly acidity that both comforts and ignites something in your nerves. Try it for yourself — you’ll see.