A Grand Vin from Mas de Daumas Gassac
Mas de Daumas Gassac is an important estate for it demonstrated back in the 1970s that serious wine could be made in the Languedoc. It was purchased in 1970 by Aime Guibert as a family home but when his friend Professor Henri Enjalbert visited, he suggested they make wine. The estate is located in the Gassac Valley where there is a cool microclimate that delays ripening and unique, red glacial soils. The vineyards were immediately planted mostly with Cabernet Sauvignon, many vines of which were sourced from a nursery that purportedly obtained them from Chateau Haut-Brion in the 1930s and 1940s. The ties to Bordeaux ran deeper for not only did the famous oenologist Emile Peynaud advise on the first Medoc-based vinification of the 1978 vintage but a portion of it was aged in used barrels from Chateau Margaux and Chateau Palmer.
Nearly forty years later this Languedoc Grand Vin is true to its origins and still primarily made from Cabernet Sauvignon. What I remember from my reintroduction to this wine some ten years ago is that it also includes a portion of Pinot Noir. Having drunk only three vintages in recent memory I was pleased to find rounder fruit. This is, though, a generally understated wine with seamless mouthfeel, freshness, and a long aftertaste. It has those attractive greenhouse flavors from the Cabernet Sauvignon. You may enjoy this wine now but given the price and ability to age, I strongly recommend you lay the wine down for many years. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2013 Mas de Daumas Gassac, Rouge, VdP de l’Herault – $50
Imported by Roanoke Valley Wine Company. This wine is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Tannat, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Nebiolo, 2% Dolcetto, 2% Pinot Noir, and 2% Malbec sourced from 25-30 year old vine that was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged for 13-16 months in mostly used oak barrels. Alcohol 13.5%. The flavors were rounder than I expected with delicate complexity and a modest amount of fresh and drying structure. There are flavors of dried green herbs, some greenhouse, and black tea that are seamlessly integrated with the acidity. With air the wine shows good expansion of flavors followed by an appealingly flavorful, long, and mineral finish with just a touch of heat. ***(*) Now-2030.