2004 Chambers Rosewood Vineyards Gouais

Established in 1858 by William Chambers and now operated by fifth generation winemakers William and son Stephen Chambers. Rosewood has one of the very few commercial crops of this unique grape variety in the world. Apart from reported plantings in Bordeaux and Valais Switzerland, Chambers Rosewood in Rutherglen may well be the custodian of this variety in the world at present. 

Gouais or Gouais Blanc is a white grape variety that is seldom grown today but was important as the ancestor of many traditional French and German grape varieties. In 1999 researchers identified Gouais as a parent plant of a number of important varieties including Riesling, Chardonnay and Gamay and more recently have identified over 80 outstanding offsprings. A philandering grape variety ! The name Gouais derives from the old French adjective ‘gou’, a term of derision befitting its traditional status as the grape of the peasants rather than of the nobility who had more pressing matters to deal with at the time.  

It is comforting to know that the peasants were giving more than just their heads to the nobles !

Gouais is believed to have been brought in by the Romans on their westward conquests and known to have been widely planted in central and northeastern France in Medieval times before it fell victim to the Phylloxera blight of the mid-19th century.

This is a fascinatingly rare wine variety, delightfully fresh and slightly zesty with a subtle herbal aroma. Lemon characters can be picked up on the elegant palate and combine well with the soft oak flavours. Nice acidity. A slight resemblance to chardonnay on the palate. This is a good balanced wine with a clean, crisp finish. Goes well with asparagus dishes. 

Source: Winery Purchase. Rating: 88 Points. Website: www.rutherglenvic.com/wineries/winery