Archives pour la catégorie TENETS

THE PUNDIT in VINOUS (antonio galloni) 90pte


2013 Tenet Wines Syrah The Pundit, 90 points

This deep ruby-colored Syrah, which includes some fruit from the exciting new Rocks appellation, offers perfumed scents of crushed blackberry, cassis, licorice and violet. Its very primary, intense flavors of black fruits and cocoa powder are given a youthful edge by penetrating acidity. (ST)


TENET 2013 94pte in international WINE REPORT


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TENET WINES ‘Tenet’ 2013


The 2013 ‘Tenet’ is an immense wine from Rhône Valley winemakers Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie along with Bob Bertheau of Chateau Ste. Michelle. This is a blend of 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 25% Mourvèdre which is sourced from some of the oldest vines in Columbia Valley. As this opens in the glass it releases striking aromas of ripe black raspberries and blueberry followed by fresh violets, pepper earth tones, black olive and some hints of bittersweet chocolate. This envelopes the palate with deep, rich layers of dark fruits, but there is just enough acidity to provide the lift needed. It continues to impress with its gorgeous velvety texture and polished tannins that make a wonderful transition into the long, mouth coating finish. Overall, this is a hedonistic wine with tremendous power and intensity that is drinking well upon release, but should also age gracefully for years to come. (Best 2017-2029) – July, 2015 (JD)



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Rhone superstars Philippe Cambie and Michel Gassier’s first foray into Washington, Tenet is a joint project with Bob Bertheau at Chateau Ste. Michelle, where all three collaborate on vineyard selections, farming and blending. They do to classic Syrahs, one from Michel’s estate in Costieres de Nimes and one from Columbia Valley, with the idea to present a textbook example of each region, and it’s a treat to taste these side by side. In addition, the top cuvee is the GSM blend, which comes from different sites in the Columbia Valley. These are all high-quality wines well worth checking out.

2013 Tenet GSM – 95

The real superstar in the lineup is the 2013 Tenet GSM, which checks in as a mix of 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 25% Mourvedre that spent 12 months in neutral French oak. Ripe, voluptuous and thrillingly textured, this beauty boasts fabulous aromatics of red and black raspberries, melted licorice, pepper and assorted floral characteristics. These all come together nicely on the palate where the wine is full-bodied, has no hard edges, a big, layered mid-palate and blockbuster length. Count me impressed. This Chateauneuf du Pape look-alike will have a decade or more of longevity.

2013 The Pundit Syrah – 912015 - 2

Coming from the Columbia Valley in Washington State, the 2013 Syrah The Pundit (94% Syrah, 3% Grenache, 2% Mourvedre and 1% Viognier, all cofermented) is a classic Washington State Syrah that saw roughly 15-20% stems and aging in 23% new French oak and 16% new American oak, with the balance all in neutral French oak. It has outstanding notes of black raspberries, violets, spice and vanilla bean, medium-bodied richness, an elegant, seamless texture and a great finish. Ripe, rounded, fleshy and a joy to drink, it should put a smile on anyone’s face over the coming 4-5 years.

2013 Le Fervent Syrah – 892015 - 3

Coming from the Costieres de Nimes AOC in the Southern Rhone valley of France, the 2013 Syrah Le Fervent is a delicious, balanced and textured Syrah that gives up lots of blackberry and black cherry fruits, pepper, violets and distinct minerality on the nose and palate. Fermented with one-third whole clusters and aged one-third in older barrels and two-thirds in tank, it’s medium-bodied, has solid purity of fruit and nicely integrated acidity, all of which suggest it will drink nicely for 4-5 years.

Harvey Steiman At Large (WINESPECTATOR) TENET WINE Tenet Wines is a new collaboration between Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Michel Gassier











Rhône in Washington

A promising new project from Syrah stars of France’s Rhône Valley and Washington’s Chateau Ste. Michelle

Posted: May 26, 2015

Even if Syrah still doesn’t get the respect it deserves, the grape makes some of Washington’s most compelling wines.

Tenet Wines is a new collaboration between Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Michel Gassier, the owner of Château de Nages in France’s Costière de Nîmes, which aims to apply a French sensibility to Rhône varieties in Washington. A preview of the initial releases suggests this is something to watch.

« Sandy soils are my favorite in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, » said Philippe Cambie, a leading wine consultant in the Southern Rhône Valley who is working with Tenet Wines. « They give finesse. You see them all over Washington, and the basalt underneath is unusual in the wine world. »

I tasted the first of the wines—two from Washington and one from France, all from the 2013 vintage—with Gassier, Cambie, Château Ste. Michelle winemaker Bob Bertheau and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates chief winemaker Doug Gore.

« We’re trying to find a balance between fruit and elegance, » said Bertheau. For a more savory style, he’s using techniques such as fermenting with stems and extended maceration, which he resisted for his own wines. Cambie and Gassier showed his team how it can work.

For the initial 2013s, the team tried every likely site in the 100,000 acres of Syrah in Ste. Michelle’s estate vineyards and available in long-term contracts. After looking at more than 100 lots, Cambie saw distinctions among Wahluke Slope, Red Mountain, Yakima Valley and Horse Heaven Hills, especially in the company’s Canoe Ridge estate. Future vintages should zero in on favored sites.

Of the two wines rolling out now, I preferred The Pundit, a $25 Syrah. It corrals deep black fruit flavors with lightly crunchy tannins, a touch of roasted red pepper on the persistent finish. Less showy than many Washington Syrahs, I liked its sense of integrity.

A wine from Gassier’s vines in Costière de Nîmes, Le Fervent ($22) plays its crisp texture against a hint of wet concrete in the ripe fruit and spice, finishing with charm. A pioneer in modern Costières, Gassier has earned outstanding ratings since he took over his family’s estate in 1993.

Due in autumn, the top wine, called Tenet ($75), blends Grenache with Syrah and Mourvèdre. « Grenache needs older vines, and there aren’t too many of those in Washington, » said Gore. The core is Grenache from Ste. Michelle’s Cold Creek vineyard, just south of Wahluke Slope, planted in the 1970s for rosé.

« Washington Grenache has ideal balance, » said Gassier. « It has freshness, fruit and elegance. » The wine has precision. Its crisp structure reins in the generous nature of Grenache and Syrah. And the Mourvèdre shows no extra gaminess or earthiness.
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The Tenet Wines labels are distinctive, too. A bold image of a stern-faced owl defines the shape of the Pundit label; the Tenet label is an ambigram in a stylized medieval font on a diagonal sticker. They’re meant to appeal to wine drinkers in their twenties and thirties. « For the first time we went to an outside designer, » Gore said. « If we’re going to restore the sparkle to Syrah, it will have to come from a younger generation. »


Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Head Winemaker Bob Bertheau and his Washington team, along with Rhône valley collaborators, winemaker Michel Gassier and enology consultant Philippe Cambie, have combined their experience to produce two wines: Tenet GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) and The Pundit Syrah. Philippe and Michel provide expertise and use local techniques honed through centuries of experience with Rhône grapes in their birthplace, while the Chateau Ste. Michelle team provides expert knowledge of Washington fruit and the best in modern winemaking techniques. The combination of the two approaches produces wines that are balanced and vibrant and have a true sense of place. The goal is to break the old paradigms and have people look at Syrah and other Rhône varieties in a new light, leaving old prejudices behind. They share the strong belief (or “tenet”) that Syrah and its Rhône brethren can thrive in the Columbia Valley.
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In addition, Gassier has crafted a companion wine, Le Fervent, from the Costières de Nîmes AOC of the Rhône Valley. Offering wines from both regions, the aim is to show their respective character and their common excellence.

The goal with these wines is to exhibit the growing regions by letting the opulence and vibrancy of the varieties shine through while maintaining finesse and balance. Rhône Valley techniques for managing vine canopy and cluster size in the vineyard, and minimal use of new oak, delicate and precise handling of the fruit, fermentation with stems and extended maceration in the winery all help to accomplish this goal.

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From vineyards grown at a similar latitude to the Northern Rhône, a region where French winemakers have mastered the art of terroir expression, the sand over basalt terroir is the perfect situation to make wines with a lot of finesse and balance, rather than just power. Favoring larger sizes and once-used barrels for aging, the oak print is kept to a minimum, leaving room for the minerality to shine through.
Cooler vineyard sites were selected, canopy size and load were adjusted, and grapes were hand-harvested to include whole clusters. The winemaking team then embarked on long macerations, reduced vineyard stress and used various techniques to ensure smaller clusters. This effort led to grapes with more concentrated flavors, without the decadence and intensity that result from more traditional domestic Rhône varietals.
The Chateau Ste. Michelle winemaking team also applied techniques perfected by Philippe. All grapes at Chateau Ste. Michelle are subjected to rigorous sorting and are treated with the utmost care. Inclusion of stems in fermentations, however, provides very specific and unique characteristics that are certainly a departure from more fruit–driven Chateau Ste. Michelle wines, as is the use of extended maceration. These techniques lead to increased complexity and a different expression of terroir. Their employment, followed by minimal handling of the wine in barrel and the increased use of neutral oak and large format barrels preserves these different characters all the way to the bottle.
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The birthplace of Syrah, the Northern Rhône, with its signature of elegance and freshness, is the touchstone for all Rhône Valley Syrahs. So it’s no surprise that Le Fervent takes its cues from its northern neighbors like Cote Rôtie and Hermitage. Produced in the Costières de Nîmes AOC (the southern-most appellation in the Rhône Valley) on some of the coolest spots of the Southern Rhône, thanks to the influence from the Mediterranean Sea, Syrah and a bit of Viognier are co-fermented and accompanied by whole cluster (stem inclusion) maceration. These techniques highlight the mineral nature of the fruit, while increasing the overall impression of freshness.

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