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 2011 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. Both chateaux are now fully organic, certified from 2018 but using organic practices for many years.
In Bordeaux you can find value in a chateau's second & third wines. Gaby leaves its grapes long on the vine in order to develop "the aromas specific to their variety" and because they produce high quality grapes they are able to produce a third wine, Château Gaby
being their second wine.
Like Château Gaby, Princess Gaby is 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon & 10% Cabernet Franc and also a Canon Fronsac AC. It's also organic & elegant but because the aspect and the soils in its vineyards are different (clay & sand vs. clay & limestone), the wine is lighter in style. Previously known as Chateau Les Roches Gaby, Princess Gaby is a very fruity Canon-Fronsac. It reminds me of the fruit forward Château Gaby 2004, its aromas demonstrating fruits such as damsons, plums, raspberries and blackcurrants. On the palate the fruit intensity is very high and the spices from the oak ageing subtler. The wine is aged in used oak barrels so the oak effects are not too strong. The wine is really mouth-filling, easy to drink and smooth.
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.
It is worth decanting and letting this wine breathe for 30 minutes before serving - read my blog on decanting for more information. There may be a little sediment.
"The Château Gaby vineyard produces such great quality grapes that we can create three tiers of excellent wine. Princess Gaby, our third wine, is a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Well-balanced with elegant flavors and fine tannins, the wine tastes of transformation. Strong on the nose with red fruits and licorice notes, Princess Gaby softens on the palate with a long finish and traces of vanilla. To add complexity, Princess Gaby is aged in barrels used to make the award-winning Château Gaby."