Friday, 14 January 2011

An unexpected treat for Friday night - a magnificent Languedoc red

Domaine Gayda Chemin de Moscou 2006 Vin de Pays d'Oc
Deep, semi-opaque purple colour, fading to a bright, deep ruby rim. The nose on this wine offers a veritable array of heady - not to mention, considerably complex - aromas, with dark bramble fruit and something vaguely citrus leading the way,  accompanied by notes of meat, leather, sandalwood and allspice. There's also an undeniable touch of brett, but at a level which shouldn't offend the purists, and which is nicely offset by a perceptible whiff of lifted acidity and just the right level of oak. The palate is squeaky-clean and again dominated by brambly fruit, though it certainly doesn't come across as too "sweet" - in fact, there's a sour cherry element which gives the palate plenty of lift, and everything is held together beautifully by a combination of grippy but fine tannin and simply mouth-watering acidity. The finish is gently warming, but very fine and very, very long.

Unusually, for a fine "estate" Languedoc wine, the fruit is actually sourced from various corners of Languedoc and Roussillon, from La Liviniere to the Fenouilledes (if you want to know more, you can read the technical data here on the Gayda website). The mix is 68% Syrah, 24% Grenache and 8% Cinsault, with the various constituents being aged in oak barrels ranging from new to 3 vintages old, for a total of 21 months. It sounds a long time, but the effect is masterly in it's execution. And whilst it is already fiendishly drinkable, all of my instincts tell me that this wine will evolve beautifully for at least another 5 years, and should still be holding on nicely by 2020. At around £20, it certainly isn't cheap, but as the estate's flagship wine, it really does tick all of the boxes - in fact, a Languedoc classic in the making.

One final thought........ With it's collection of fruits from across the region, the lavish oak treatment, the thick, heavy bottle (my only slight gripe) and the minimalist labelling, it would be tempting to pre-judge this wine as being "modern" or "international". But I only ever judge a wine by what is in the glass - and this one absolutely screams Languedoc, from start to finish. It absolutely could not be from anywhere else. So if this is the face of "modern" Languedoc, then please give me more! Another lovely wine sent to me by my friend Stewart Travers at Cambridge Wine Merchants - although there is a fair chance that I myself will stock this wine, in due course.

1 comment:

AlanM said...

Interesting Leon. I have a couple of bottles of 2006 or 2007 tucked away somewhere because we stayed near Limoux in a lovely gite and the owners told us to visit Gayda. We had lunch on the terrace overlooking the vineyard. I think they are South African owners if I remember rightly. They had invested heavily in the place. Steven Spurrier gave it a favourable review a while back in Decanter. I will go hunting in the back of my racks somewhere