Spring 2020 Winemaker Insider

Like a living soul, wine has to be respected, taken care of and understood. Wine has roots and energy. It has longevity where it evolves from a vivacious youngster to a more refined and intricate grown-up. Each wine has its own character. The robust ones with backbone, almost aggressive. There is also the elegant type displaying sophistication, often delicate and sexy. We have the bubbly, the sweet and the fortified personalities, too.

Wine is mesmerizing and intimidating. It unleashes passion and even jealousy, but more often than not, it has the ability to bring us closer together, generating memories and happiness. Especially in these trying times, while looking for little pleasures and distractions, don't hesitate to reach for a great bottle of wine from your cellar.

2016 Côté Nicault Release
Since 2010, Long Shadows Vintners and I have partnered in making a wine that bears my family's coat of arms and wine philosophy; respect of the earth and the terroir while letting the fruit express itself. The 2016 Côté Nicault, sourced from the Red Mountain AVA, brings layers of complexity and an intense aromatic profile balanced with a soft vibrant grip. Distinctive and assertive, it shows restraint yet power. Carefully assembled, the Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre often known in the wine industry "GSM" create a wine reminiscent of my old world Rhône Valley roots. Only 300 cases of this limited production were made and offered to the Long Shadows Vintners Key Club members.

Côterie Bons Vivants
With this upcoming release, we are unveiling the creation of the Côterie Bons Vivants. This exclusive group of 30 wine collectors will receive a personalized signed magnum with their purchase of 12 bottles of the Côté Nicault. Once you enter the Côterie, you will be allocated a case of the new release along with your signed magnum every April.

In addition, you will be notified in priority about the special events I will be hosting around the Pacific Northwest. In the near future, also be on the lookout for underground dinners to celebrate the pleasures in life with my Bons Vivants companions.

Ceramic Amphora
The new addition to the Côté Nicault's winemaking tools is a ceramic amphora, similar in concept to a concrete egg. To create an oxygen permeability (porosity) close to a new oak barrel, this amphora is baked over a period of 42 hours, reaching 2300 degrees Fahrenheit multiple times. These are hand made in Italy under the watchful eye of third-generation ceramist, Francesco Tava. The wine kept in this vat will evolve similarly to a new barrel without imparting oak aromatics and extraction of wood tannin; therefore enhancing the terroir and varietal characteristics reminiscent of the Rhône Valley.

Please stay safe and healthy; unified, we will prevail and come out of it stronger.

Santé! Gilles Nicault

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