New Release: Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge 2016 & Blanc 2017

October 31st 2017

In the past we have offered the enchanting and unique wines of this vanguard Languedoc estate alongside our Rhône en primeur release. But in fact, these wines are done a disservice by being tacked on to another region. They are genuine stars in their own right. It is with great pleasure that we shine a light on this unique parcel of land in France’s sauvage south with the release of their magnificent 2016 rouge and joyful 2017 blanc.

Mas de Daumas Gassac is one of the Languedoc’s greatest estates. Its rich southern accent and substantial ageing potential mark them out as quite exceptional. Much like the Southern Rhône, they enjoyed an exceptional growing season in 2016 and have produced a truly great red. 2017 was a more difficult vintage to manage, with spring frost affecting the domaine for the first time in its history. A hot dry summer also reduced yields, and there is precious little wine available from the 2017 vintage, although we are delighted to offer a small amount of their white, which will be shipped along with the red 2016 in May 2018.

The red has intoxicating combination of fruit, power, fondant tannins, creamy texture, mineral acidity, and richness and, unsurprisingly, the domaine has experienced overwhelming demand this year.

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Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc Vin de Pays de l’Hérault 2017
£135.00 per 6 Bottles IB
£145.00 per 3 Magnums IB (very limited)

80% of the blend is made up of Viognier, Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, and Chenin. The remaining 20% is a mysterious blend of rare local varieties that thrive on the rough scrubland soils. Early picking and blocking malolactic fermentation means the estate always guard the natural freshness of these varieties grown on the patchwork of vineyard parcels scattered over the wild hills. Fermented and raised in stainless steel, this wine has the scent of ripe waxy lemons. The acidity of this wine is so gorgeously ripe in character and marries beautifully with the peachy depth of fruit from the Viognier and Petit Mensang. It will drink well from youth. Drink 2018 – 2022

Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge Vin de Pays de l’Hérault 2016
£135.00 per 6 Bottles IB
£145.00 per 3 Magnums IB (very limited)

80% of this blend comes from an old massale selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, first planted at the estate in the 1970s. The rest is made up of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Pinot Noir, and other rare varieties (the estate grows some 40). After a long maceration period and fermentation with wild yeasts, the wine is aged for one year in oak barrels (15% new). In its youth it has the scent of sweet, ripe, dark Cabernet and has a distinct energy. This wine feels so alive, with its intoxicating combination of fruit, power, fondant tannins, creamy texture, mineral acidity, and richness. Drink 2019 – 2030

Click here to order

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About the estate

Set up in the wild hills of the Hérault in the Languedoc, the Guibert family seized an unlikely opportunity to plant atypical varieties in this garrigue-strewn region of southern France after the geologist-viticulturalist Professor Henri Enjalbert visited their isolated, enchanting, and beautiful estate in the early 1970s. The terroir was perfect for Bordeaux native Cabernet Sauvignon, a variety little seen in the region at the time (and still scarce today beyond the bounds of the Mas de Daumas Gassac estate). By the time eminent oenologist consultant Emile Peynaud came on board in 1978 there was no looking back.

Surrounded by thick garrigue scrub and glacial, mineral-rich earth, the valley in which the property is nestled has a unique micro-climate for the region. Despite its southern location in the Hérault, this deep valley draws in cool air from the mountains, particularly in the summer evenings, which creates extraordinary diurnal temperature swings ranging from 5 – 30°C. As a result the domaine is able to grow up to 40 different varieties successfully, all the while attaining excellent ripeness and retaining the varieties’ fresh acidity. Two major soil types are found across the 100 hectare estate: chalky limestone and friable glacial deposits. 50 ha of the estate are planted to vines, the rest given up to the mysterious garrigue forests, which conceal the troublesome wild boars who have irritatingly good taste in grapes.

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