Philippe Cambrie grew up studying wine. Having a background in microbiology, Cambrie completed a masters in oenology from the University of Montpelier in 1986. More recently he has gained prominence with his consulting for Rhone wineries such as Domaine Grand Tinel, Bosquet des Papes, Jean Royer and many others. His countryman, Michael Gassier, grew up helping manage his family vineyard in Southern France. Gassier also has a masters in engineering but has been making critically acclaimed wines in the Cotes du Nimes for many years. Tenet wines is a project that combines the eminent Rhone winemaker Michael Gassier with the consulting knowledge of Cambrie and Chateau St. Michelle head winemaker Bob Berthau. These three superstar winemakers have combined to make three wines, Le Fervent (made by Gassier), the Pundit (made by all 3) and the Tenet (made by all 3).
These wines were serious. I was particularly impressed with the value in Le Fervent and The Pundit bottlings, as these wines retail at $25.00. There was lovely terroir and aromatics on Le Fervent bottling, showing a wonderful mineral streak and a saline streak from the Mediterranean climate. The Pundit also impressed with nice richness and depth for the price. The Tenet was a huge and masculine style Syrah that will need another year in the bottle for everything to amalgamate beautifully. Check out these wines at Northwest wine shops such as Met Market, Esquin and Total Wines, as well as tenetwines.com #tenetwines
2013 Tenet ‘Le Fervent’-This wine is a blend of 91% Syrah, 6% Grenache, 2% Mourvèdre, 3% Viognier. Aged 12 months in concrete (67%) and neutral oak (33%) before bottling in January 2015. Michael Gassier has selected Syrah north facing sites in the Cotes du Nimes that impart a strong mineral content. The wine opens with aromas of smoked meats, provencale herbs and beef blood with wet gravel. There are flavors of raspberry, cran-cherry, cooked figs and orange rind. This is complex and delicious with nice richness and a strong mineral streak. Drink 2015-2022. -92 $25.00
2013 Tenet ‘The Pundit’-The wine is made from 94% Syrah, 3% Grenache, 2% Mourvèdre, 1% Viognier that’s cofermented with Viognier. The wine was aged 12 months in 61% neutral oak with 23% new French oak and 16% new American oak. The resultant Columbia Valley Syrah has an super dark color. There are lovely aromatics of smoked meats, tar, black olive and black cherry. Flavors of blackberry, cloves, black olive and smoked meats. Lovely smooth finish as this one glides. This open and polished dense wine is one to pair with a juicy ribeye and is strikingly familiar to the Ethos style of Syrah. Drink 2015-2022. -92 $25.00
2013 Tenet ‘Tenet’- This wine is made from 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 25% Mouvedre, this saw 12 months in neutral oak and was bottled in December 2014. This wine is currently slightly more subdued on the nose than the other two wines, having aromas of blackberry, smoked meats, and cedar. There are flavors of milk chocolate, blackberry jam, tar, and black cherry. This open wine is polished and smooth, with almost a Merlot-like character. Give this dense effort from a hot vintage one more year in the bottle to develop. Drink 2016-20256. -93 $75.00