Had a look at some samples yesterday after getting home from New Zealand, and these two, from Domaine Gayda, stood out.
Gayda Figure Libre Chenin Blanc 2015 Pays d’Oc, France
13.5% alcohol. Organic farming, sandstone soils, 200 m altitude. Harvested in two tries, with 10% botrytis, and fermented in concrete egg. Full yellow colour. This has a lovely detailed, complex palate of stone fruits, fine herbs, spice and pears. There’s a bit of that Chenin straw-like quality too, and an appealing stoniness. There’s also a trace of baked apple sweetness on the finish. A thought-provoking wine with appealing fruit but also a savoury side, this is pretty serious stuff that should age well. Has a lovely stony, mineral mouthfeel and good acidity. 93/100
Gayda Figure Libre Cabernet Franc 2015 Pays d’Oc, France
14% alcohol. Organic farming. This is a really convincing expression of Cabernet Franc, with fresh, slightly chalky/gravelly raspberry and blackberry fruit. It’s a bit grippy and savoury with nice balance, and a really expressive fruit quality that’s not at all overripe. Really satisfying. 92/100
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Great scores to two varieties you wouldn’t usually associate with the region too.
Makes you wonder what France could do if the regulations were relaxed a little. And whether they might have too given climate change?