While tasting wines at my local shop, The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, I also got a chance to try two wines from the same winery, as they were making decisions for both the shop and for their restaurant Vertical in Downtown Detroit. Chateau du Gaby is located in Canon-Fronsac. This appellation is for red wines in a small section east of Bordeaux and a smaller part of Fronsac. There are two-hundred-forty hectares of vineyards in Canon-Fronsac of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chateau du Gaby Canon-Fronsac 2010 was the first wine that we had from the estate. The first vines were planted in the 1600’s and the Chateau is a beautiful Eighteenth Century building, that looks like what one would equate with a chateau. The wine is eighty percent Merlot, ten percent Cabernet Franc and ten percent Malbec and the vineyards are on a limestone and clay soil. Fermentation takes place in a mix of concrete and oak vats. Then the wine is aged for twenty-four months in French Oak, of which half is new. The wine had a nice deep Claret color, with notes of dark fruits and spices. On the palate, the wine offered ripe fruit, soft tannins with a balanced taste with toasted spiciness and a nice medium count finish with some terroir. A fine affordable wine with dinner, or even just noshes with friends.
Chateau du Gaby “Cuvee Gaby” Canon-Fronsac 2014 is the winery’s premier wine, as it is at least three times more expensive compared to their basic wine. This wine is eighty percent Merlot and twenty percent Cabernet Sauvignon. I have to surmise that the production notes must be similar, with perhaps a longer aging period. The wine had a similar color with notes of dark fruits and spice. On the palate, the fruit was jammy, with silky tannins, but the finish left a lot to be desired; the finish was rather thin and it had a rather odd aftertaste, that I could not identify, one person thought it was thyme. With such a price difference and the unusual finish, this wine didn’t make the cut, for me.