2020 Gersing Cellars Nebbiolo, Ciel du Cheval Vineyard
APPEARANCE – Vibrant ruby
AROMAS – Sour cherry, red raspberry, dried rose petals, warm soil, beet root
TASTE – Bright red cherry, raspberry, leather
LENGTH – Firm and lasting a full minute
Viticulture: Started in 1975, Ciel du Cheval Vineyard is situated in the geographic center of the Red Mountain AVA in Washington State and has a reputation for producing red wine grapes with intense character and dense yet supple tannins. Ciel adheres to a core set of principles: Employee Safety, Earth Friendly, Soil Conservation, Innovation, and Education & Research. Ciel does not use any herbicides, employs practices such as dust control, and harvests all grapes by hand.
Vinification: This Nebbiolo fruit is completely destemmed and undergoes a 5-day cold soak for color extraction, after which the cap is submerged for the duration of fermentation to fully extract the fruit’s potential. After completion of the primary fermentation, we employ extended maceration to develop and soften the robust tannins. Then the wine is gently pressed to tank, allowed to settle for 48 hours, and then transferred to neutral French oak barrels for 18-22 months of aging. Finally, the wine is bottled without fining or filtration.
Appellation: Red Mountain, Washington
3x 2020 Gersing Cellars Nebbiolo, Ciel du Cheval Vineyard
12x 2020 Gersing Cellars Nebbiolo, Ciel du Cheval Vineyard
Founded in 2015, Gersing Cellars is a small-production winemaking company housed at SE Wine Collective, an urban winery in hip SE Portland, OR. We source grapes from several select vineyards in the sub-AVAs of Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Washington’s Columbia Valley.
Founder and winemaker, Jason Gersing, is a longtime jazz saxophonist, and his passion for music influences both the wine’s style and its packaging. Each wine name contains a musical reference, and staff lines grace both the capsule and the label. Jason’s winemaking philosophy is informed by the jazz maxim that one needs to learn the rules in order to break them. Accordingly, Jason has studied Enology and Viticulture at Montpellier SupAgro in France and Chemeketa in Oregon. Before starting Gersing Cellars, Jason put his studies to practice at Argyle Winery for two years while also making wine at home.
Our mission is to showcase the diversity and quality of the Pacific Northwest wine-growing region by sourcing fruit from select vineyards in Oregon and Washington. We have a particular interest in crafting balanced, restrained wines from the bolder varieties grown in Yakima and Red Mountain, such as Merlot and Nebbiolo, as well as highlighting Pinot Noir’s expression in the Chehalem Mountains and Eola-Amity Hills.
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Red Mountain is one of the best local AVAs (I’m in WA state). However this is the first I’ve seen a Nebbiolo offered from there. (or from WA in general).
In an interesting co-incidence (or maybe more than a co-incidence), the de Negoce red wines in the previous day’s offer were also Red Mountain. Which is why I decided to go for that one; $13 for a Red Mountain anything is probably good. Tempted to go for this one as well though hesitant to pick up a whole case.
EDIT I checked the old thread from the previous offer of 2019, and I see the winemaker responded that it was 100% Nebbiolo.
@pmarin@rjquillin Everyvine map shows 1.9 acres of Nebbiolo at Ciel du Cheval. So back of napkin would say that site makes 400 cases, only? Wouldn’t even want to speculate how little is made by Gersing, but there wouldn’t be much else anyway.
Great to hear you enjoyed the “Brio”!
Aside from obvious changes to the packaging, I made some changes in the cellar. Since 2016 (‘Brio’) was my first vintage working with Ciel du Cheval Nebbiolo, I wanted to take a light-touch approach just to see get a sense of the fruit. In more recent vintages – including in 2020 – I’ve been a little more aggressive, doing a submerged cap to extract more tannin. So expect a bolder expression than that of the Brio. IMO this change is a positive move.
@gersingcellars Thanks! You might remember that i stopped by a few years back and you tasted us through your selections.
Are you operating out of Division Winemaking space after their move? I haven’t been up to Portland since that trip in 2019 and i’m really getting an itch to go. I’ve loved everything that they make as well.
Whoa…this is catching me off-guard. I live in Olympia, WA and have enjoyed a handful of Super-Tuscan’s from the area that I would argue rival those of Italy. Stand alone Italian varietals have been sneaking in… and this is apparently one of them!
What is the comparison to that of an Italian Nebbiolo? Heavier? More leather, tobacco or soil?
What is the cellar life?
I like the case price…but given the price point, you can pick up some nice Italians. Will need some convincing…
@Allieroon A couple days ago I opened a bottle of our Gersing Cellars 2016 ‘Brio’ Nebbiolo (also Ciel du Cheval) to see how it’s doing, and after 6 years it’s signing and still has more life to it. With continual changes in the vineyard and in the cellar, I expect the 2020 to be even more age-worthy.
In terms of flavors, the main difference I get is a scorched earth/warm soil note that’s distinctive to Neb (and other wines) from Red Mountain
@woopdedoo Definitely on the dry side. I use ‘sour cherry’ as a tasting note, but really just to convey the red fruit character. I certainly wouldn’t describe the wine as sour. The tannins are present but not overwhelming
Definitely on the dry side. I use ‘sour cherry’ as a tasting note, but really just to convey the red fruit character. I certainly wouldn’t describe the wine as sour. The tannins are present but not overwhelming