Yeah, yeah, yeah - for a long time, we've all known about the Wine Aroma Wheel Ann Noble developed during her tenure at UC Davis. How many of us, though, have the Mouth-Feel Wheel (developed by Richard Gawel, A. Oberholster, Leigh Francis) up our sleeves?
It was one of many things that flashed upon my radar for the first time during last week's International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration in Niagara, and now I totally love it.
While recently tasting through a bunch of Michel Gassier's most recent releases with The Wine Syndicate at Vancouver's Homer Street Cafe & Bar, I particularly enjoyed the hell outta this Château de Nages 2015 ButiNages Costières de Nîmes Blanc. A combo of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, it was fermented naturally in stainless steel, which keeps it bright and buoyant with white peach, lemon curd and a good crunch of green table grapes. This kind of blend can certainly be made in a much weightier style, perhaps with some oak treatment as well, but I found myself awfully charmed by how this particular version is so light-on-its-feet, allowing its juicy acidity to provide a nice lift. You still get some of that lovely beeswax-y texture often accompanying whites from the Rhône, but here it's without any heaviness or drag.
Sure, it's more traditional to go the Pinot route with salmon, but I was totally impressed by how well the wine hit Chef Tret Jordan's (kick-ass) salmon with quinoa, pickled fennel, lemon, caper & yogurt. All the freshness, everywhere! (Incidentally, Gassier's Viognier is on Homer Street's wine list, and it's also a lively, delicious drop.)
Next time you're throwing some salmon on the barbecue ('tis the season, after all), ensure you have a bottle of this chilling in the fridge. In Vancouver, you can track it down at Marquis Wine Cellars, and other private stores...