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Showing posts with label Malepère. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Malepère. Show all posts

08 December 2011

Languedoc: Domaine Gayda, pays d'Oc / Malepère

UPDATE: this quirky red, in the sense that you don't find much Cabernet Franc planted in the region and some growers / winemakers are getting interesting results from it, was tasted in London not so long ago...

2009 Figure Libre Cabernet Franc, IGP Pays d'Oc - leafy spicy nose, unusual 'inky' vs rich profile, nice tannins and pretty intense long finish. Good stuff and certainly different although again it's quite expensive at £16.99 (New Generation Wines, UK).
And this is what I said about Gayda (the winery rather than a device used by gay men to catch like-minded wavelengths...) and sampled in situ back in April 2010:
All the wines featured below are labelled up as Pays d'Oc (their winemaking policy) but, to help you pinpoint where to locate, in mind and on map, Domaine Gayda's impressive winery & restaurant complex (modern yet Mediterranean), it's found between Limoux and Castelnaudary just before the tiny village of Brugairolles (you can't miss it). Gayda is technically in the virtually unknown Malepère appellation, although, as I said, this isn't what motivates owners South African Anthony Record and Englishman Tim Ford's wine styles (Marc Kent of Boekenhoutskloof in the Cape is also listed as a "non-executive director," by the way). They bought the estate in 2003 with 11 hectares (27 acres) of vineyard circling the winery and another eight near La Liviniere in Minervois; plus they source grapes from other growers: e.g. in Tresserre, Opoul and Maury in the Roussillon; and Fontfroide in the Corbières. Their wines are sold by New Generation Wines in the UK, James Nicholson in Ireland, various importers in the US (see "where to buy" on their site, link below) and Sean Robson in Hong Kong. The premises are also used by British owned wine school Vin Ecole. I tasted these in April 2010 in situ:

2009 Sauvignon Blanc - nice towards New Zealand style with mix of ripe and exotic vs grassier side; pretty textbook zingy SB with a hint of class too. 85+
2009 Viognier - light peach and apricot with a touch of spice too; creamier mouth-feel with lees notes, aromatic crunchy yellow fruits with clean yet punchy finish. 85+
2007 Figure Libre Maccabeo - nutty oily and developed nose, toasty with "sweet" fruit too; lees-edged and mineral palate vs fair weight and nice nutty oily finish. 87
2009 Gayda rosé - attractive creamy vs red fruity style, crisp juicy and tasty. €6.50 85
2008 Gayda Syrah - attractive pure spicy black cherry aromas/flavours; juicy fruit with a bit of depth, a tad of oak and grip although nicely done. €6.50 87
2008 Figure Libre Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon - cassis and red pepper with spicy, "inky" and tobacco tones; lively and quite concentrated palate with tasty "sweet/savoury" finish, dry vs rounded texture. €14 87-89
2007 Chemin de Moscou (GrenacheSyrah etc. 14%) - showing more chocolate and coconut oak, although it's lush with dark fruit and appealing rounded tannins; powerful with fruity vs dry texture, perhaps lacks a bit of character but still good (although not value-wise at €19.50). 87
2005 Chemin de Moscou (14.5%) - maturing "sweet/savoury" nose, juicy and concentrated with solid mouth-feel and hints of coconut spice; firmly textured and powerful, still needs a couple of years or so to open up. 88-90

11300 Brugairolles. 04 68 31 64 14 / www.domainegayda.com.

20 April 2008

Languedoc: Château Guilhem, Malepère

Son Bertrand Gourdou-Guilhem has now taken over at the winemaking helm at this well-known property found on the southern side of the Malepère appellation, on the edge of the quiet village of Malviès (southwest of Carcassonne, northwest of Limoux). The old family château, built in Revolutionary times, is charming and timeless although a little flaking perhaps. Future renovation plans - the recent focus has been on upgrading vineyards and cellar - could include converting it into up-market 'chambres d’hôte' offering rooms and meals. The Malepère region itself isn't very well known and a bit of a final frontier ("to boldly go" etc...) for wine in the Languedoc, stretching out on its western side towards Castelnaudary almost. Growers were crowned with full AOC status in 2007, if that really makes any difference, and like Cabardès they've decided to base their wines on a mixture of Med/Southwest/Bordeaux varieties, although leaning more towards the latter as Merlot is central to their red wines. Guilhem is making some good reds crafted from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec; a lively dry rosé as well as decent Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. As part of a charity event, every year one parcel is left unharvested until October, after the other 30-odd hectares have been gleaned, to celebrate the Fete des Vendanges when customers and friends are invited to pick the remaining grapes, taste fermenting musts, play games, stick a couple of Toulouse sausages on the Barbie and contribute to local good causes, of course. I sampled these wines at Vinisud Montpellier, February 2008, and/or in situ when I visited in April 2008:

2007 Cuvée Tradition rosé, Malepère (Cabernet Franc Merlot 13%) - lovely zingy red fruits and roses style, crisp intense and elegant in a Provence kinda way. 87
2006 Cuvée Tradition rouge, Malepère (Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon) - nice mix of sweet and sour fruit with lightly rustic edges, creamy cooked cassis v tart tangy plum with lingering spicy black cherry on the finish. 85-87
2007 Cuvée Tradition rouge, Malepère (Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon) - more fragrant and spicier than the 06, showing good depth of black cherry and plum with tarter edges and grip on the finish. UK retail approx £7.99. 87+
2006 Cuvée Prestige, Malepère (Merlot Cabernets Malbec) - richer nose and palate, not too toasty on the coconut oak front; good depth of fruit and textured tannins, interesting mixed style towards Bordeaux but with more power and/or sunshine. 87-89
2006 Clos du Blason (Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon) - one selected parcel fermented in barrel: showing quite a lot of new oak at the moment but it has rich fruit as well; not sure, will have to taste it again later down the line.
2006 Grande Cuvée (Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon) - chunky fruit and tannins again with those spicy coconut flavours and texture but not too much; rounded, richer and more powerful yet has nice bite and a touch of elegance in the end. 89-91
2007 Sauvignon Blanc, vin de pays d'Oc - attractive fresh citrus tones, crisp yet soft mouth-feel with elegant zesty finish. 85
2007 Chardonnay, vin de pays d'Oc - juicy pear and white peach style, light yeast lees notes and a touch of cream adding extra dimension, then fresh and zippy. 87

Guilhem's UK importer/agent is Stevens Garnier, Oxford.

Le Château, 11300 Malviès. Tel: 04 68 31 14 41, www.chateauguilhem.com.


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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.