Costières de Nîmes Wine
Having been somewhat overlooked for decades, Costières de Nîmes now seems to getting plenty of attention as it tends to get included in texts and treatises on both the Rhône valley and the Languedoc. That is fairly logical as it borders both areas and we'd rather it enjoyed a surfeit of reportage than be ignored. Wine has been made here in the Camargue on the western flank of the Rhône delta since Roman times. Indeed, it was legionnaires returning from Africa to settle here that gave the city its' exotic 'palm tree and crocodile' motif that today adorns many bottles. With plentiful sunshine, cooling sea breezes and free-draining alluvial soils this is an ideal location for cultivating vines and the quality of the local wines has improved immeasurably with 21st Century investment.
The Molinier family's Château Roubaud, based below the village of Vauvert off the D6572, is a terrific one-stop shop for red, white and rosé wine. Their Costières de Nîmes blanc is made from a blend of 60% Roussanne and 40% Grenache Blanc. It has delicate wild flowers scents and an orchard fruit palate offset by herb and mineral notes. A popular brick pink rosé, with a magnificent art deco label by Léon Dupin, is blended from equal volumes of Syrah and Grenache. It has a bright berry bouquet and ripe redcurrant flavours preceding a zesty, dry finish. Their Cuvée Plaisir is a chest-thumping red, made from 30% each of Syrah, Grenache Noir and Carignan and 10% Cinsault. Redolent of dark hedgerow fruit and tapenade with fine-grained tannins that will support 3-5 years bottle age, it drinks well from release with kitchen-table collations of cheese and charcuterie. A Cuvée Passion rouge completes the range, made from Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Syrah, a dash of Grenache Blanc and a splash of some local varieties to add texture and structure. It will cellar well for 4-5 years, longer in a good vintage and is chock-full of savoury, dark fruit aromas and flavours.