I have known the wines of Fabrice Gass for a number of years. I was first introduced to them by a friend of mine, Sebastien, who used to work at The Sampler in London’s West Kensington. Sadly, it was at that time when I was getting swept away by introductions to the likes of Selosse etc and the Speciale got rather lost on me. Standing on it’s own it is a young, rich wine but the step up in quality between it and Confidence is monstrous (even though they are just the same wine with more bottle age) and I didn’t feel the love at the time.
Spurred on by a long needed catch up with Sebastien I made the call to Fabrice and visited him in Damery in the Vallee de Marne.
No signs, no indication of address. Not even a door! I knock on a garage door in hope of something. A window three down opens and I am met with a radiant smile from Mme Gass and a man in a singlet vest who I guess is Fabrice. His hands certainly tell a story. Well weathered and obviously working shovels they are cleaning parts of his machinery…not I might add his yard which is quite frankly all over the place! His winery, which by the way is his garage, is filled to the brim with parts of barrels, pipes and a 2000kg traditional press. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest it might just be the time of year that we arrived!
We are taken down to his cellar, a delightfully rich cellar full of wonders from years gone by and one that I would love to raid.
And with a whoosh I am back in the yard fighting with barrels and hoses to make my way into the tasting room (outdoor kitchen). Fabrice grabs three bottles and a clip of the pliers (all wines are matured on cork) we enjoy the wines a la volee…
Three wines are made:
Speciale – 45% Pinot, 35% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier. No malolactic. 6g/ltr. The wine tried is 2012/11 base. The nose is focused and bright. The palate lush and rich but seems so young and in need of ageing. So to the the Confidence…
Confidence – 45% Pinot, 35% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier. No malolactic. 4g/ltr and made from 2 years. The wine tried was 2008/2009. It shows immense structure, lovely apple and spice notes with a wonderfully complex and rich mid palate. Seashell, cassis and a delicate mousse. This is what ageing on the lees is all about. Lovely.
And so to my first try of his vintage wine. Cuvee Sensuum Vertigo 2007. 100% Pinot Noir. No Malolactic. It has tiny bubbles, a lovely saline, toasty juiciness. Dry, tropical notes mix with this amazing sweetness and then this dry rasping finish of bruised blackcurrant. Impressive extraction and incredible length.
I am impressed now where can I find some?
Region: La Vallee De La Marne
Contact: Fabrice Gass
Cuvée De Prestige: Confidence
Bottles produced: 5000
Style: Rich, saline, extracted.
Vinification: All wines vinfied in oak for Pinot Noir and Meunier and acacia for Chardonnay. No Malolactic. 2000kg traditional press. No cold filtration
Recent Tasting Notes from Alexandre Filaine