MCF Rare Wine

Regenerative Rhône
Regenerative Agriculture is gaining a lot of traction these days in the talk-o-sphere, on platforms like wellness/nutrition podcasts, where some seriously big names are mentioning it more and more.

As someone who lends most of his listening attention to these kinds of shows, every time I hear the words 'regenerative' and 'agriculture' spoken together, I think to myself, 'man, we really gotta get some winemakers in there to speak about this...'

And that's the complete truth - if you ever get the chance to hear a winemaker speak about the idea of their farm being a living, breathing, self-recycling ecosystem, and just how beneficial it is for not only the crops they produce, but for the environment as a whole, you'd know what I mean.  

If you combine very passionate views and insane levels of know-how, and you get a winemaker.


The other week, one such winemaker leading the charge for Regenerative Ag in southern France came in to show me these wines, and, we talked...for a long time.

Without getting too into the weeds on it, ultimately, RegAg is about soil health.  Not only does it produce healthier, and more nutritious crops, but it preserves the health and future of the everything living in and around the farm.

The metric for being Regenerative?  It's quite simple really - amount of organic material in the soil.

There's obviously a lot more to it, but all the good stuff starts there... the soil.  

So, yeah, the producer who I spoke with the other week - Michel Gassier of Domaine Gassier in the Costieres de Nimes  (once part of the Languedoc, but now, more appropriately, part of the Rhône). 

This estate is the real deal when it comes to both RegAg, and, most importantly, when it comes to the wines.

They make about a dozen different wines, but today we're focusing on their top two blends - the Lou Coucardié Blanc and Rouge.

Made from the estate's oldest and best vines, both Coucardié are made with ageing in mind...

...and are then held back at the estate before release... you're getting that extra level of character that only time in bottle can impart...

...but without waiting...

...but you could continue to wait if you want to, because, while they're showing a lot of beautiful Chateauneuf-y character, they're honestly still juveniles.

The Lou Coucardié Blanc is 40/40/20 Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier, it's from the benchmark 2016 vintage, and it's just delicious.  It's flowery, it's mineral, it's textured, it's herbaceous and it has great lift and energy.  To this day, Rhône whites are still largely viewed as niche items, but then you taste one like this and it's like, 'man I need to drink more of these.'

The Lou Coucardié Rouge is from the deeper, darker, more powerful 2015 vintage, and is a 50/35/15 Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah, and is my kinda wine on so many levels.  Being half Mourvedre gives the wine that perfect amount of edgy structure, that keeps all the dark red fruits moving, and that beautifully iron-y/leathery/incense-y character you love is lurking underneath, probably another 2-3 years from really exploding.

Good soil.

Good grapes.

Good wine.

Time in bottle.

It's about as perfect a formula as there is for experiencing a great glass of wine...

...get the experience...

Lou Coucardié Blanc 2016
Lou Coucardié Rouge 2015

You may order by calling 212.255.8870.

Matt Franco
MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011

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