Spotlight on Languedoc-Roussillon: Domaine Gauby ‘Muntada’ Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2004
Gauby may be the leading producer not only in Roussillon but in the entire Languedoc-Rousillon region. The domaine is fully biodynamic, but more importantly Gauby is fanatical about hard pruning, green harvesting, low-yields and hand sorting. These sorts of practices tend to produce good wine. Gauby, however, makes great wine.
Hot Climate Finesse
These are also wines dripping tremendously with the trappings of terroir – which is not surprising given the limestone, schist, and sandstone soils. They taste nothing like we have come to expect from hot climate wines, particularly the reds. This wine, the Muntada, is made almost entirely from Syrah but you would never know it and would never place it amongst any other warm climate syrah.
Instead, the Muntada has an utterly compelling nose of violets, anise, herbs, red cherry and raspberry that broods as much as it expresses. This is a wine that tastes of stones and minerals but somehow makes them as delicious as a fresh orchard fruit. Light and long, the flavours yet remain intense and the 12.5% alcohol ensures an excellent accompaniment to many foods despite the intensity.
Old Vines, New Vines
The non-syrah Mourvedre and Carignan vines average 110 years of age in this blend and show how old vines and low yields can produce tremendous depth of flavour without requiring extreme ripeness. On the other hand, that Gauby is not only open to using syrah, but fully embraces it in his top wine shows that one can both honour terroir and be open-minded to the new.
Not only is this wine is of the same quality and finesse as a great Premier Cru Burgundy at a much better price, but it is also a personal favourite.
$78 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars