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Domaine de Gournier Sauvignon Blanc "Les Vieilles Vignes"  2004, V.d.P. des Cévennes

Colour: very light yellow white with some green.
Nose:  medium expressive, fresh, soft fruity, mineral, some spices, earthy and with a slight earthy whiff of well integrated wood, many -partly hidden- subtle nuances, some complexity and depth, some richness, but without that powerful and characteristic Sauvignon aroma, more laid back style, strong mineral terroir style.
Taste: dry, very fresh, intense, compact, with richness, depth and power, acidity, minerals and herbs playing the major role, nice restrained fruit, some well integrated spicy wood, matching the minerals perfectly, beautiful structure, well knitted together, multi layered, many semi hidden nuances, great balance, clean and very pure style.
Finish: very long, fanning out, fresh, some complexity, earthy, minerals, herbs, very clean, a touch of oak, excellent balance.

* An intense, minerally, earthy and compact Sauvignon Blanc, loaded with laid back nuances of herbs, minerals, earth, some fruit and flowers, has depth, concentration, richness as well as great freshness, some complexity and a tiny touch of restrained wood. Not an "easy pleaser" but a wine that grows on you.

- Already delicious now, will improve during 2006 and 2007, keep until mid 2008. Not a wine for extensive cellaring.

- Produced by a very reliable and modest producer in the lesser know Cévennes region (eastern part of the Midi, bordering the Rhône).  Many wines from this producer provide a lot of quality and enjoyment for little money. Intensity is the keyword here in most wines. The reds are honest and good examples of the terroir, sometimes a bit earthy and sturdy, the rosé is more elegant, but at least as good. The whites are catching up (quality wise) with the reds. This certainly is a producer to watch. Not a source for top wines but its middle class wines are difficult to beat in quality for the price, provided you don't look for elegance and refinement but for honesty and character.

This dry white is produced from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes harvested from very old vines. It is fermented and subsequently matured in wood (6-9 months). This is one of the two white prestige wines of this domaine. The old vines giving it its great intensity and depth of flavour. Normally wood and Sauvignon Blanc are a difficult pair to match, but in this case the aroma's of the wood perfectly parallels the herby and spicy aromas of the fruit: it is difficult to determine "where the wine stops and the wood begins" this restrained and intelligent use of oak enhances the high quality of the fruit (minerals and earth). This is not an easy wine. It is not jumping from the glass trying to impress. You need to delve into it and find the impressions yourself, but if you do you are rewarded with an impressive array of beautiful, low key impressions only to be found in a wine made from fruit of old vines.

- lotnr.: L no indication

- tasted: 16-02’06

- estimated retail price ca. 7,50 euro

- production: ca. 10.000 bottles

- Domaine de Gournier, Mr. Maurice Barnouin, Mrs. de la Porte, 30190 Boucoiran, tel.: + 33-466 83 30 91 / fax.: + 33-466 83 31 08 / e-mail :