Mas de Daumas Gassac has an important place in the history of French wine. Back in the 1970s they showed the world that serious wine could be made in the Languedoc, which at that time was fully given to plonk production. Lots of plonk is still made in this enormous region, but in the wake of Daumas Gassac a sizeable band of quality producers have emerged.
The 40 hectare vineyard is based on a historic ‘terroir’ that was rediscovered in the 1970s by Henry Enjalbert, a professor of geography. Visiting the property, he was amazed by the potential of its limestone-based soils and moderate climate, and that encouraged owners Aimé and Véronique Guibert to plant a vineyard. The upper Gassac valley enjoys a cool microclimate, and vines have been planted in 50 small plots amidst the surrounding garrigue. Viticulture is organic.
The red is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remainder a fascinating melange of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Tannat, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Grenache, Tempranillo, Voskehat (Armenia), Kontorni (Armenia), Salte (Syris) and some Georgian varieties. First vintage was 1978, made with the help of famous Bordeaux consultant winemaker Emile Peynaud.
Mas de Daumas Gassac 2011 IGP Saint Saint-Guilhem-Le-Desert, Languedoc, France
13.5% alcohol. This is just so good. A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% other varieties, this is sleek and beautifully balance, and less ripe than many modern Bordeaux, even though it’s from the Languedoc. There’s a core of sweet blackcurrant fruit, as well as subtle hints of tar, spice and gravel. It’s sleek and enticing, but there is also an elegance and freshness, and at age 7 and a bit it has real harmony. Showing the first signs of development, there’s a long future ahead for this wine. 94/100
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