2012 Cote Nicault

2012 Cote Nicault
2012 Cote Nicault

The Côté Nicault Rhône blend of equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre reflects winemaker Gilles Nicault's Rhône Valley heritage, bringing together his viticulture and winemaking training in the Old World with years of winemaking in the Columbia Valley.

Columbia Valley winemakers enjoyed a near perfect growing season in 2012. Early spring days were warm; April conditions were ideal, then temperatures cooled considerably in May and June before warming for the summer and remaining consistent throughout harvest. Small berries ripened perfectly, yielding wines loaded with intense flavor and rich, balanced tannins.

Hand-picked grapes were partially whole-cluster fermented to enhance the finished wine's mouth feel, then each variety was individually fermented and aged in its own vessel to bring extra layers of complexity to the blending table. Mourvèdre was aged in a French concrete egg to enhance the wine's minerality and bring out an appealing note of crushed white pepper. Grenache was fermented and aged in an oversized 500L oak barrel to capture its delicate, perfume-scented aromas. To complement the Syrah's intensity, the wine was aged in a combination of new and used French oak barrels, capturing the grapes' dark, savory character. After 18 months of aging, the final blend was assembled and the wine was bottled.

The 2012 Côté Nicault GSM is a deep, inky colored wine with a broad flavor profile ranging from fresh, vibrant fruits like figs and plums to more savory notes of black olive tapenade and crushed white pepper. Polished tannins dance across a seamless mouth feel to express classic spiciness, while the wine's liveliness balances beautifully with its firm yet refined texture.



Varietal Composition38% Syrah
31% Grenache
31% Mourvèdre
AppellationColumbia Valley
Acid0.66 grams / 100ml
Volume750 ml



"Long Shadows winemaker Gilles Nicault continues to fashion a brilliant GSM blend and his 2012 Côté Nicault is his best yet. A blend of 38% Syrah, 31% Grenache and 31% Mourvedre, it has fabulous notes of currents, plums and blackberry fruit to go with notes of graphite, licorice, beef broth and savory herbs/pepper. Opening up beautifully with time in the glass and full-bodied, layered and with beautiful purity of fruit, drink this thrilling Rhône blend anytime over the coming decade."


The 2012 Côté Nicault was grown from the top blocks at Tedd Wildman's Stone Tree Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope. With its steep slopes and gravelly soils, the site is remarkably suited to Rhône varieties, expressing a distinct terroir found in the wine's rich, fruit-forward New World character and Old World complexity. Vines struggle here, producing grapes with wonderful concentration and flavor.

Gilles Nicault
has served as director of winemaking and viticulture since Long Shadows inception in 2003. As resident winemaker overseeing daily operations at Long Shadows' state-of-the-art winery in Walla Walla, Gilles works with a group of celebrated vintners from around the globe. It is his job to ensure that each winemaker's vision is realized in the vineyard and the cellar.

While many winemakers would find this proposition a daunting task, French-born Nicault describes the position as his "dream job." Those who know Gilles best say it is his insatiable curiosity and desire to learn something new every day as well as his winemaking skills that make him uniquely qualified for the position. In addition to executing daily operations at the winery, Gilles is the winemaker for Long Shadows' acclaimed Chester-Kidder, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah blend that carries his signature.

Gilles grew up in southern France and graduated from the University of Avignon with a degree in Viticulture and Enology. He honed his craft in the fabled hillside vineyards and wineries of Cotes Du Rhone, Provence and Champagne. On 1994, already a vintner of rising fame in his homeland, Gilles traveled to Washington State to expand his winemaking skills.

Impressed by Washtington State's vineyards and the opportunity to be part of a growing wine community, he stayed in the Columbia Valley, working for Staton Hills and Hogue Cellars before joining Woodward Canyon in 1996, where he stayed until moving to Long Shadows in June 2003. Sharing Woodward Canyon's passion for world-class wine, Gilles soon found Woodward Canyon's founder Rick Small was his ideal mentor and biggest champion. In 1999, Woodward Canyon named Gilles head of enology and production.

Gilles is married to winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla of Forgeron Cellars, also an acclaimed winemaker. The couple wilves in Walla Walla with their two children.

Click on the links below to get information about our
other vintages.
2012 2010
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