Regular customers will be aware that I am very picky about the wines in my portfolio and rarely have any below £12, simply because it truly is difficult to find really well made wine below that price. However I could not ignore this Languedoc dry white wine from my friends at Domaine Gayda whose Figure Libre Cabernet Franc is very popular with customers.
The team at Domaine Gayda has great connections with Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek, producers of the famous Chocolate Block wine and the lovely Semillon that I stock.
Gayda's winemaker, Vincent Chansault, used to work there and Boekenhoutskloof winemaker, Marc Kent, is a Non-Executive Director of Domaine Gayda helping "...with advice and motivation.... and a fanatical approach to quality
." And it shows as all their wines are well made using organic principles and minimal intervention.
Viognier is not grown very widely - it is notoriously difficult to grow well - and has a tendency particularly in warm climate areas to be a bit OTT with exotic fruit flavours and oily texture. One of the best examples of the grape however is Condrieu wine from the Northern Rhône and Domaine Gayda's is of a similar profile - bags of classic Viognier fruit - principally apricots, peaches and lime, but also floral and spicy aromas and flavours and yet retaining a lovely dry, crisp, refreshing style. Its texture is soft without being oily and the body is more medium than light so it is not an unsubstantial wine. Yet there is a certain finesse which belies the price tag. Perfect for spring and summer.
Recommended for drinking with oysters, other shellfish and fish generally - I can vouch for the fact that it complements rich paella. It also matches well with herb-based dishes, roast chicken, creamy sauces, mild curries, Thai cuisine, tagines, sweet potatoes, parsnips, butternut squash and creamy cheeses. As it is an easy-drinking wine, it is also perfect as an aperitif and for parties
"A wine made from the heart with creativity and respect of our natural environment, bringing together tradition and innovation. Pale lemon gold with an explosive nose. Lovely flavours of apricot, peach and acacia blossom give way to an elegance and freshness balancing perfectly the richness of the grape."