WTN: 3 vintages of Gauby's fine QPR entry level Roussillon

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WTN: 3 vintages of Gauby's fine QPR entry level Roussillon

Postby Tim York » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:09 pm

Gérard Gauby (Domaine Gauby) is arguably the finest grower in Roussillon. “Calcinaires”, made from Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Carignan, is his entry level cuvée costing €13 for the 2007 (c.$17.30 this afternoon) and represents excellent QPR although it is slightly dearer than most similar entry level cuvées from his local competitors which lie between €7 and €11. It is, however, much more elegant. Gauby is consciously moving away from the traditional full bodied high alcohol regional style by encouraging phenolic maturity early enough to avoid excessive grape sugar. His efforts have met with a lot of praise from the Parisian press but also a lot of criticism locally, for example from Hervé Bizeul of Clos des Fées.

He does not claim to be a biodynamic producer but his methods (no synthetic products, no chemical fertilisers, respect of life cycles, “natural” method of winemaking) sound close to it and may account for some early bottle variation which these notes seem to reveal.

At home April 1, 2009
Côtes du Roussillon Villages “Les Calcinaires” 2007. This bottle was completely different from the one at the tasting of March 22 with the same brightness of fruit and minerality as the last bottle of 2005 coupled with the generosity of 2006 with none of the oxidative hints of the March bottle but, instead, with a marked “animal” note towards the finish which was closer to barnyard than sweaty saddle. On this bottle the barnyard still contributed complexity but was not far from my intolerance threshold and it will probably increase with age; 15.5/20 for this bottle but others may be less affected and rate more.

Tasting March 22, 2009
Côtes du Roussillon Villages “Les Calcinaires” 2007 was quite different from the more elegant and fresher 05; generous red and dark fruit with a lot liquorice and raisin but was there a slight orange tinted oxidative note? It could have been a bottle opened the previous day. As every year, I bought some so we will see; this bottle 15/20.

At home December 2, 2008
Côtes du Roussillon Villages “Les Calcinaires” 2006 (red), as always, showed elegance and fresh purity of red fruit unusual for the region allied to tobacco and pepper notes on a full body with generous mouth-fill; however, after the first sip a curried sauce swamped its finer points; a heavier and sweeter more traditional Roussillon might have lost less; 16/20.

At home August 4, 2008
“Les Calcinaires” Côtes du Roussillon Vilages AOC- 2005 – Alc.13.2%; previous bottles were delicious and remarkably digestible, elegant and bright in fruit for a wine from this region. This bottle seemed to be darker, thicker and slightly more liqueur like than the previous. Maybe already past its best or merely in a relatively awkward phase. Still very enjoyable; 15.5/20+ and good QPR. (I recall but did not write up that a subsequent bottle was brighter and more elegant again with lip-smacking minerality; 16/20++ like the earlier ones.)
Last edited by Tim York on Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tim York
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Re: WTN: 3 vintages of Gauby's fine QPR entry level Roussillon

Postby Jenise » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:16 pm

I'm unfamiliar with these wines, but a tangential question: do you consider Roussillon to be part of the Rhone? I received a mailer from a local retailer yesterday whose heading was "Another killer 2007 Rhone" that turned out be about a wine from the Roussillon/Languedoc region. I understand the proximity of the two regions but I'm pretty sure I've never seen/read anyone claiming one to be the other.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: 3 vintages of Gauby's fine QPR entry level Roussillon

Postby Tim York » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:25 pm

Jenise wrote: do you consider Roussillon to be part of the Rhone?


Definitely not :!: My guess is that Perpignan, the main town in Roussillon, is about 250km from Avignon, at the heart of Southern Rhône. Grape varieties used are similar but with more Carignan in Rousillon but the climates, soils, sub-soils and therefore wine characters together with local dialects and culture are quite different.

PS I should add that Gauby's label carries the words "Catalogne Nord" = Northern Catalonia, which shows that his heart lies at least as close to his Catalan cousins in Spain as it does to the French of other regions. Incidentally I could get into a lot of trouble from Catalans for inferring the Catalan language is a dialect.
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Re: WTN: 3 vintages of Gauby's fine QPR entry level Roussillon

Postby Jenise » Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:10 pm

Thanks for confirming. Sure put me off buying the wine, which otherwise sounded like something I'd like and a great value.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: 3 vintages of Gauby's fine QPR entry level Roussillon

Postby Tim York » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:11 am

Jenise, out of curiosity what is the wine and producer on offer? I would blacklist for good a wine merchant who commits a solecism like that. :evil:
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Re: WTN: 3 vintages of Gauby's fine QPR entry level Roussillon

Postby Jenise » Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:18 pm

Tim York wrote:Jenise, out of curiosity what is the wine and producer on offer? I would blacklist for good a wine merchant who commits a solecism like that. :evil:


Tim, it wasn't a familiar name and I nuked the email for non-compliance :), so I'm unable to tell you now. I just recall noting that it had gotten 92 Parker pts, but that positive news was tempered by having thought this retailer a bit loose with the facts in other mailings, so perhaps best to pass.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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