Introducing ... Domaine Gauby, Roussillon

Domaine Gauby is located close to the small town of Calce in the Roussillon. Now run by Gérard Gauby, his wife Ghislaine and their son Lionel, who is responsible for the winemaking and has gained a reputation for making wines of exemplary freshness in a hot climate. Gérard took over his family’s domaine in 1985 when it had just five hectares of vines, which included three hectares of over 100-year-old vines planted by his grandfather. Gérard has now grown the estate to around 40 hectares and has meticulously replanted all of the recently acquired vineyards. The estate sits among rolling hills with a sweeping view of the Mediterranean on one side and a dramatic backdrop of the Pyrénées on the other. This unique climate and location mean the estate is exposed to both strong coastal and mountain breezes and a high level of sunshine.

Gérard has worked tirelessly to restore a sustainable and rich environment of biodiversity in the vineyards. Following the principles of agroforestry, rows of almond and olive trees are now planted between the vines to protect them from the wind and to attract wildlife. Certified organic since 1996, the vineyards are farmed sustainably. The Roussillon has incredibly diverse soils of limestone, marl and schist which, combined with the multiple aspects from the rolling hills, has given Gérard the freedom to experiment and maximise the potential of each grape variety.

All the grapes are hand harvested with low yields of 20 to 25 hectolitres per hectare. The ‘Calcinaires’ Blanc is a complex blend of 35% Chardonnay, 35% Macabeu, 15% Vermentino and 15% Grenache Blanc, sourced from 20 to 50-year-old vines. It is pressed directly with minimal sulphur and fermented using indigenous yeast before spending seven months in old Stockinger Austrian oak foudres. The resulting wine is fresh with delicate aromas of white flowers, stone fruit and a long mineral finish. The ‘Calcinaires’ Rouge is a blend of 45% Syrah, 40% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache and 5% Carignan, sourced from a selection of young vines. Whole-bunch maceration for 5 to 15 days gives this wine a lovely freshness. It is fermented with indigenous yeast and spends a further eight months ageing in  a mixture of Stockinger foudres and stainless steel to preserve freshness. The finished wine has bright red and black fruit, notes of wild rosemary and thyme with ripe supple tannins.

The ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Rouge is a harmonious blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 10% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre from vines ranging from 20 to 125 years old. The blend undergoes a longer ageing period of 16 months in a mixture of old oak, concrete and 500 litre barrels before seven months of ageing in bottle prior to release. The finished wine boasts rich fruit and notes of wild herbs, balanced by a lovely freshness and very well-integrated tannins. ‘Jasse’ is a blend of 80% Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains with 20% Muscat of Alexandria. 20 days skin contact before fermentation and ageing for seven months in Stockinger foudres, give this wine an orange hue and an expressive character. It has intense aromas of fresh peach and orange blossom on the nose while the palate is beautifully textured with floral notes and citrus fruit.