It is almost 8 years since I last visited Languedoc’s most famous estate Mas de Daumas Gassac and I had forgotten what a truly unique place it is. Beautifully situated in the Gassac valley amongst olive groves sitting below the Garrigue forests it is one of the wine worlds most wonderfully tranquil spots and the perfect location to create a truly outstanding Grands Cru of the Languedoc.
The terroir has long been known but it was the inspiration of Aime Guibert under the guidance of two of Frances most famous 20th century wine professors, Henry Enjalbert professor of geology at Bordeaux university and the great Emile Peynaud, that Mas de la Daumas Gassac was born. The soil and location was selected for its extraordinary ability to maximise the opportunities and flavours of the classic Bordeaux grape varieties and in particular Cabernet Sauvignon. Almost immediately it hit the headlines and it is a testament to its specialness that it continues to make the most sought after wine in the region
The winemaking is now in the hands of Aime’s charismatic son Samuel. Following 7 years in New Zealand he returned to the estate to join his father in 2000 with the two of them working together up to 2005 and then from 2005 onwards Samuel took over total responsibility for the wine making. He continues to have the same respect that his father had for this great terroir but has possibly added another dimension to the wines. They retain the famed power but have a more sophisticated touch of refinement, with hints of elegance which whilst not reducing the age worthiness certainly makes vintages such as 2013 more approachable in style at an earlier age.
The visit was in preparation of our 2013 en primeur offer to be released later in the month. The red 2013 is a beautifully sophisticated and refined style with class and poise its only downside is that it was such a small harvest that yields were down enormously. I also had the chance to taste the 2014 white, although only just having completed its fermentation, the excitement on Samuel’s face was easy to understand reflecting why the growers in the south are getting so excited about the white wines in this region..
The primeur Mas de la Daumas Gassac Offer is to be released end October 2014.
A huge thank you to Mas de Daumas Gassac for the photos above and the stunning insight into their 2014 harvest below.