We’ve spilled more ink on these whites than any produced outside Burgundy, a simple truth serum that can happily stand in for the impulse to find new ways of describing the evergreen pleasure of Gauby vins blancs.
Superb reduction, magical reduction, young-winemakers-fall-over-each-other-to-stage-here reduction, guides the whites. There is always an intense salinity and sweet lemon quality to Gauby reduction that makes the wines easy to spot even in reductive company.
But the real magic here is the uncanny ability of the whites to channel location and producer style with equal persuasiveness. The terroir of Calce deserves its own long form article at some point, but it’s useful to shorthand that the geology here is as complex as any in France. High elevation aids the pursuit of freshness and mid-weight textures.
The ‘Vieilles Vignes’ has long stood apart as the finest value in the cellar. The cuvée blends Macabeu and Grenache Blanc from vines up to 100 years old covering a usefully representative swath of Calce terroirs.
Somehow the blend, parcels, or both seem especially suited to the Gauby style. The ’18 seems the strongest of recent renditions, leading with the classic Gauby sweet citrus reduction along with a sage-y top note. The fruit swells in a lemon/lime direction though the reduction keeps the ripeness lassoed in. I love the finish, carrying the herbal intensity but finding a salty register as impactful as a good Chablis ‘Vaillons.’