Every now and then, I’m reminded how small producer, attention-to-detail, hands-on and earth-friendly farming and wine-making practices all conspire to produce some of the seriously fabulous wines of the world.
From the minute this was opened, I wondered where it had been all my life.
For those who adore a little wood on their Sauvignon Blanc, and the occasional field blend, this drink comes straight from famed Roussillon winemaker, Gérard Gauby’s Prugnanes property in the Agly Valley at the foothills of the Pyrénées just west of Perpignan.
It’s the kind of wine you should sit with and just breathe in for the first half an hour or so.
Most of it is Sauvignon Blanc (54%), but there’s also 27% Macabeo, 10% Grenache Blanc, 6% Chardonnay, a 3% blend of Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Gris, and 3% Malvoisie de Roussillon – all from biodynamically and organically managed bush vines.
The grapes were hand harvested and whole bunch pressed. Fermentation took place with indigenous yeast prior to sitting 18 months on the lees and in oak (39% new, 10% one use, 47% older and 4% tank) – all of which accounts for the rich mouth feel and beautiful body. The wine wasn’t fined and only went through light filtration, leaving all the good bits in for full aromas and flavours.
The nose is tremendous and shows overripe pear, dried apricot, ripe peach, honey, minerals, a toasty butteryness and lots of dried herbs. The palate is dry with juicy acidity and dried stone fruit – pear, peach and apricots – honeysuckle, crunchy dried tarragon, sage, and distinct beeswax.
And get a load of this – it’s a 2009 – they’ve done the ageing! It’s rare to find a winery that hangs on to its wines, ages them and then releases them that isn’t Spanish. It’s expensive for them to do it. Bonus for us.
WSET Very Good plus – 8 years old, complex with some development, amazing length, body and acidity that leaves you wanting that next sip. Order this at private fine wine stores.