2014 Cote Nicault

2014 Cote Nicault
2014 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.

The 2014 growing season got underway early with a warm, dry spring that set the stage for another hot vintage. Consistently warm temperatures throughout the summer resulted in an early start to harvest as well, but the Columbia Valley’s trademark balmy fall days and cool autumn nights allowed the grapes to reach full physiological maturity while preserving the fruits’ natural acidity to yield high quality grapes across the board. In short, a picture-perfect growing season that produced remarkably rich, flavorful wines.

Hand-picked grapes were partially whole-cluster fermented to enhance the finished wine’s mouthfeel and add some layers to the complexity of the flavor profile. Mourvèdre was aged in a French concrete egg to enhance the wine’s savory notes like hints of garrigue and bring out an appealing note of crushed white pepper. Grenache was 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, spicy character.  After 18 months of aging, the final blend was assembled and the wine was bottled.

The 2014 Côté Nicault GSM is a deep, vibrant wine with a broad flavor profile ranging from fruits like figs and plums to more savory notes of black olive tapenade and crushed white pepper.  Polished tannins dance across a seamless mouthfeel to express classic spiciness, while the wine’s liveliness balances beautifully with its firm yet refined texture.


Download Wine Notes
Varietal Composition35% Syrah
33% Mourvèdre
32% Grenache
AppellationColumbia Valley
Acid0.67 grams / 100ml
Volume750 ml


"Coming from Red Mountain, the 2014 Côté Nicault is a deep, rich blend of close to equal parts Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache. Ripe, sexy and voluptulous, with deep black and blue fruits, crushed rock and peppery herbs, it has full-bodied richness, a polished, elegant texture and a clean finish. This beauty has both richness and texture, and it will benefit from short term cellaring and keep through 2024+."



"A very vivid andn pure red with aromas of blackberries and blueberries. Hints of violets and licorice, too. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Shows tension and focus. Give it two or three years to soften. Drink in 2020 or beyond."





The 2014 Côté Nicault was grown on the Red Mountain with a strict selection of sites.  The Grenache from Red Heaven was manicured to obtain a canopy that dimpled the light on the clusters and allowed a good airflow to the fruit zone. Heart of the Hill’s site is remarkably suited to Mourvèdre, expressing a distinct varietal characteristic. The Syrah from LaCoye is located on a rocky ridge, and is harvested and fermented separately to capture its 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.

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