Lionel Gauby’s whites are among the most distinctive in all of France, and the extent to which they transcend the quality of their regional peers may be the widest anywhere. Biodynamic farming and tiny yields are part of the equation, but there is a magic to these wines at their best that cannot be reduced to a blazon of their viticultural particulars. That certain wines offer us an emotional appeal that we can describe but never truly understand is part of the mystifying force that makes drinking and discussing wine a central part of our personal and social selves. That specialness is here.
The single vineyard whites, including Coume Gineste, are intensely reductive in a way that for me evinces comparison with Loire Chenin from the likes of Richard Leroy and Stéphane Bernaudeau. This 2014, produced from Grenache Blanc and Gris, is the single greatest Gauby white I’ve tasted. It is an experience, wild and savory, a changeling in the glass, with a reductive power that is mind boggling. The wine seems to suck you in as if mere participation is not enough. It is a wine to fall into and get lost in. Tasting is believing, folks. - Jason
You will find Domaine Gauby about 15km West of Perpignan, amid the sun-drenched hills of Calce. Somehow, Gauby's magical wines avoid any raisination, or even any sense of fatness or fatigue- instead it feels as if their wines are prismatically aligned, capturing all of the light and none of the heat, and thrilling with their energy.
The Gaubys farm biodynamically and they have clear respect for the old vines they have been blessed with. Here, we see the fruit of their greatest and oldest parcel- a blend of Grenache Blanc and Gris from centenarian vines on schistous soil.
The 2014 vintage pours pale in the glass, yet that belies its age and the density of flavors that fan out from the palate. The nose is gently reductive with a touch of flint, brioche and lightly toasted almond. All the same it is shot through with shockingly bright lime. The palate is voluminous, airy and tense all at the same time, showing a similar flavor composition to the nose. The finish has remarkably crisp acidity, with lovely lime and mineral length. Astonishing wine no matter its place of origin. A recent bottle shared with an old friend disappeared before there was time to hear even the most basic description of algebraic number theory. This is the only availability in the US - don’t miss out.