Château Gaby Canon-Fronsac 2008 is typical new-Gaby style, elegant and yet still very concentrated. The weather in 2008 brought hailstorms to some areas of Bordeaux which reduced yields. A rather lacklustre summer was fortunately followed by a hot September which helped to ripen the grapes. In any case Chateau Gaby usually pick late to ensure full phenolic ripeness.
The aromas of Château Gaby Canon-Fronsac 2008 when the wine fully opens (decant the bottle or swirl your glass to aerate the wine if the aromas seem a little shy at first) show fruits such as damsons, ripe plums, mulberries with hints of blackcurrants plus some spice. On the palate the dark fruit intensity is very high; there are savoury notes with hints of liquorice and chocolate and the spices from the oak ageing are subtler. The alcohol level is muted in this vintage due to the lower temperatures and that gives the wine a certain finesse; it is well balanced with the lovely fruit flavours and just the right amount of acidity. This is a very round, smooth wine.
I came to know, via an ex-colleague, the Gaby wines and the previous Château owner, David Curl. David owned this and Château Moya in nearby Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux. I was lucky enough to visit Château Gaby with its renowned river view and to meet the winemaker for both Châteaux, the amiable Damien Landouar. Since that visit Gaby and Moya have seen investment from new owner, Tom Sullivan whom I met in 2019 but unfortunately a fire struck Chateau Gaby in 2022 (the winery was unaffected). Damien remains the wine maker which is great news for both châteaux and for the other châteaux in the Vignoble Sulivan group. So what’s new? New name (previously Château du Gaby), new labelling and both chateaux are now fully organic, certified from 2018 but using organic practices for many years. There’s also a deeper intensity to this wine which is partly an intentional nuance in style.