Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com
About this WINE
The modern era for this excellent Côtes du Rousillon estate dates from 1985 when the energetic Gérard Gauby took over the family estate. Previously the wines were sold in bulk to the local co-operative, but Gérard took the brave decision to go it alone.
The domaine is situated in the village of Calce, in the Vin-de-Pays appellation of Coteaux des Fenouilledes. As the name of the village suggests, the soils in this area are predominantly chalky and are suitable for both red and white wines.
A number of grape varieties are planted at the domaine, the reds include Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan, the whites are made from Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier and, unusually for this area, Chenin Blanc.
The wines are elegant and modern with great balance and concentration.
VDP des Cotes Catalanes
As its name suggests VDP des Côtes Catalanes is one of the most Westerly of the zonal Vin De Pays within the Vin De Pays D'Oc region. Located within the Pyrénees Orientales, this is one of the few designations that has forged a reputation in its own right. The wines tend to be dominated by Grenache and to be rich and ruddy of complexion.
Southern Rhône Blend
The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.
The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.