In his book on the Languedoc and Roussillon, Paul Strang writes of Domaine Gauby: “There is no price-list or publicity material: There is no point, because the demand for the wines exceeds the supply.” So imagine my surprise when I walked into the shop the other morning and found bottles of his white vin du pays on the shelf. Gérard Gauby’s “intervention” in winemaking involves using his own fragrant compost, pruning his aged vines rigorously year after year to keep yields among the lowest in France, fermenting in unlined concrete tanks, and using oak sparingly for ageing.
Domaine Gauby Cotes des Catalanes Blanc “Vielles Vignes” Vin de Pays 2004: Made from 50% maccabeu, 45% grenache blanc, and a smidgen each of carignan blanc and malvoisie. On the nose, melon, toasty oak, lemon, mandarin orange, and honeysuckle. The citrus flavors follow through on the very pure-tasting palate. There is a long, long finish of sweet citrus flavors. Remarkably, for a wine made in such a hot climate, the alcohol content remains at 12.5%. Great balance, great purity. I still wish he had forgone oak entirely, but that’s a quibble. This is a great, unique, wine. $35. NB: Drink this barely chilled for maximum impact.