2016 Cote Nicault

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2016 Cote Nicault
2016 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 2016 vintage was another hot growing season that required extra care in the vineyards. Building on the success of our canopy management program over the last few vintages, we worked with growers throughout the season to encourage growth of the canes and outside foliage to protect against the sun while opening up the fruit zone for even maturation. Warm temperatures in the fall hastened ripening, while the Washington’s cool autumn nights protected the grapes’ acidity to yield a balanced, concentrated wine.

Using diverse fermentation and aging techniques to build Côté Nicault’s layered complexity, one-third of the grapes were whole-cluster fermented to enhance the wine’s viscosity. The Mourvèdre was aged in a concrete egg to capture the grape’s Old World character, a perfect complement to the perfume-scented aromas of the Grenache, aged in 500L oak barrels. New and used French oak barrels allowed the dark, spicy character of the Syrah to develop fully. After 18 months in the cellar, the final blend was assembled, bottled, and aged to perfection for two years before release.

A beautiful, dark garnet color, the 2016 Côté Nicault offers delicate notes of sage and a hint of fig that gain intensity as the wine opens up to display cracked white pepper and garrigue, a French term describing the hillside fragrance of Southern France, reminiscent of Herbes de Provence. These rich and distinct aromas are complemented by fresh plum and dark Morello cherries. An opulent, textured and balanced wine, with welcoming viscosity and vibrancy that stretches across a bright, racy finish.

Vintage2016
VarietalGSM
Varietal Composition37% Mourvèdre
36% Syrah
27% Grenache
AppellationColumbia Valley
Acid0.56 grams / 100ml
PH3.78
Alcohol14.90%
Volume750 ml

The 2016 Côté Nicault showcases the best of Red Mountain’s Rhone varieties, all grapes that love the growing region’s heat. Fruit for this iconic blend was sourced primarily from Red Heaven, a southwestern facing vineyard with a varied soil profile that grows grapes with outstanding character 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.
2016 2010
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