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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 - see the 2015 vintage also available from Wines With Attitude®. 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 (blog to come on that meeting at a later date). Damian 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 a nuance in style and partly due to the excellent vintage conditions.
The 2010 vintage is typical Gaby style, elegant and yet very concentrated. The aromas of this vintage when the wine fully opens (decant the bottle or swirl your glass to aerate the wine) 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 quite high because of the warm weather in 2010 but it is not noticeable as it is well balanced by all the lovely fruit flavours and just the right amount of acidity. This is a very round, smooth wine.
A general rule is that the better red Bordeaux should be kept 10 years before drinking so this wine is ready to go, in fact drinking beautifully now. And it's on Pied à Terre's wine list.
Recommended with steak, beef casseroles, lamb, chicken, turkey and smooth enough to have with pork dishes also. Also good with cheese, tomato-based dishes, mushrooms, roast vegetables etc. The producer says "All the wines from Château Gaby pair well with buttery foods, sharp cheeses, roasted meats, and veal."
It is worth decanting and letting this wine breathe for an hour or so before serving - read my blog on decanting for more information. There may be a little sediment
"Château Gaby is a blend of three grape varieties - Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon - grown on the clay limestone hills of the estate.
This wine is lovely in color: an intense red with bright tints. Hints of pretty, red fruit are complemented by flavors of black fruit in some vintages. Discretely woody undertones highlight the classy nature of this wine. Very ripe, very elegant flavors with slightly toasted and spicy hints linger on the finish."
92 points Decanter
"A blockbuster Fronsac, opaque red in colour, and with a very oaky nose that is sweet and intense without being Port-like. Very concentrated, this is dense, powerful and compact, with firm tannins. Yet it also has sucrosity and persistence, saving it from heaviness or excessive extraction."
92-93 points Wine Spectator Tasted from Barrel in 2011
"Still very primal, but enticing, with sappy raspberry, sweet spice, melted licorice and linzer torte notes that have yet to stretch out fully. There's racy acidity as well, so this should knit nicely."
In Vivino's top 1% wines in the region
A beautifully developing 2010 Merlot-dominant Right Bank Bordeaux. Still full of fruit - damsons, ripe plums, mulberries etc – and sweet spices and fudge from the oak ageing; very smooth tannins