June 12, 2020|In Winery Spotlight

Château Gassier: The Provençal Powerhouse of Pink

“Rosé was once a colour, now it is a name.” – Château Gassier


Blush pink evokes such a good feeling in us. The colour of a pastel sunset, the colour of cherry blossoms against a crisp sky, and the colour of some of the world’s finest vinos. If the words “Provençal rosé” don’t immediately make your mouth water and your brows raise expectantly, then we wholeheartedly accept the challenge and will have you eager to partake in this rosé revolution by the time you’ve tasted these little numbers.

Dhall & Nash is elated to present the newest addition to our exclusive portfolio collection – the ravishing Provençal rosés from none other than Château Gassier.

Chateau Gassier in St. Victoire, Provence

Château Gassier is run by the Gassier family who originated from Barcelonnette and hold links to Provençal nobility dating back to 1421. They purchased the Château Gassier and its vineyards in 1982 after looking for a fresh start following the French Revolution and in 2004, the Jeanjean family came on board to collaborate in cultivating these lands. This same year, the Sainte-Victoire mountain was certified as a ‘Grand Site de France’. Georges Gassier, the family’s fifth generation of winemakers, now runs the domaine in close collaboration with Maison Gassier and the Château has been certified organic since 2016.

This Provençal powerhouse of pink is based in the Sainte-Victoire sub-region (“AOP Côtes de Provence Sainte -Victoire”) at the foot of the Sainte-Victoire Mountain, where the soils are generally limestone and shale sandstone based with superb drainage. “Just look at the Sainte-Victoire. Such a sight to behold, the compelling thirst of the sun, yet such melancholy when, at night, its heaviness fades.” – Paul Cézanne. It is one of the cooler regions of Provence, which make for exceptionally fresh tasting wines. “When you first eyes on Sainte-Victoire Mountain it is easy to imagine that you are witnessing the first day of creation, in the midst of a larger-than-life, authentic, and preserved setting.” Château Gassier is the proud farmer of 40 certified organic hectares of this vinous wonderland, on which they grow a number of varieties. Their main plantings are Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault.

Grenache is largely planted in their northern and southern vineyards, where soils are clay with large stones and dry and shallow with stones, respectively. Syrah is planted to the west where soils are sandy and clay-based, and Cinsault thrives to the east where the soils are deep and stony. [Picture of 3D vineyard map in the 2019 presentation] They also have smaller plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Ugni Blanc and Rolle (AKA. Vermentino).

The Wines

We are stocking three tiers of tasty rosé from this wonderful estate, their Esprit Gassier IGP Mediterrane, Le Pas du Moine, and Cuvée 946. This terrific trio covers all possible rosé bases…

Château Gassier Esprit Gassier IGP Mediterrane Rosé:

This entry level rosé punches far above its weight. It has serious ‘cool-factor’ whilst remaining extremely elegant and is just as at home on a bar’s top shelf as it is in your picnic basket. In 2016, Forbes Magazine highlighted this cuvée as one of “The Coolest Wine Labels Of Spring.” It was designed by a local french artist and is silk-screened directly onto the bottle. It’s chic, it’s fun, and it gets great accolades too. A wine under $20 that routinely earns 90 point scores – where’s the downside?

Château Gassier Le Pas du Moine Rosé:

Our mid-tier Gassier rosé is the epitome of elegance. It’s modern, it’s striking and it’s present in over 30 countries, in Europe’s main airports and is served to First Class American Airlines passengers. From this, it was elected “best rosé in the air”, served in First class by Business Traveller. Grapes for this wine are harvested by night and then cold direct pressed. This modern muse is the proud owner of a number of 90+ point accolades and it’s sleek, curvy bottle is every bit as eye-catching as the pale blush nectar it holds.

Château Gassier Cuvée 946 Rosé:

Tipping the scales is our Gassier Queen – Cuvée 946. This elegant and gastronomic phenomenon is aged in oak barrels and is among the Top 3 Provence rosé wines. This fine rosé comes with no less than a landslide of professional praise under its belt, too. Wine Advocate’s Jeb Dunnuck has stated it is “Easily one of the finest Provencal rosés I’ve ever tasted,” and it won the title of “Best Provence Rosé Wine” in 2019 by Vinous. Its name comes from the Croix de Provence, situated at 946 metres above sea level, at the highest point of the Saint-Victoire mountain range. You could find this esteemed rosé at both Le Crillon Hotel (5 Stars) in Paris and Le Bernardin restaurant (3 Michelin Star) in New York, or right here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Kissed by the midday sun, Provence in France is synonymous with wonderful rosé and is the benchmark for all lighter styles of rosé throughout the world. It’s landscapes are a picture of “idyllic french wine country” with vineyards in the valleys, lavender fields and turquoise waters – it wouldn’t be a stretch to say the grapes grown in these fabled grounds live a better life than most of us do.

Typically rosé wines, particularly the lighter styles like those of Provence, are intrinsically linked to the summer months, bright brunches and poolside sipping but this refreshingly tasty wine style works year round. As the reputation of these wines has evolved, so too has its demand and therefore its defining styles. It was once thought of as being overly fruity and glorified “lolly-water”, but in recent years these pink tipples bely a very serious flavour profile, in part thanks to the tireless efforts of regions such as Provence. Dry, mineral-driven wines displaying a range of notes from herbs, crushed oyster and summer melon to richer berries, rose and spice have upped the game and brought a plethora of newfound rosé-fans from all walks of life. “Our ambition in the years to come is also to spread the word that Rosé wine, as well as being a symbol of festivity, joy and conviviality, is also a product of the terroir, born of ancestral know-how. And we are proud that our wines now feature in the wine cellars of the very best restaurants.”