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). The 2018 has a deep purple colour and a nose of wild damsons and Black Forest fruits with hints of toffee. On the palate there is an appealing intensity and a profound texture with a light touch of freshness. The tannins are ripe but provide a degree of boldness. A wine of truly exceptional class.
In the 1970s, a Parisian glove manufacturer named Aimé Guibert was looking for a calmer life. He purchased property at the bottom of a valley that was once an ancient Gallo-Roman settlement. Surrounded by thick, garrigue scrub and glacial, mineral-rich earth, it seemed a perfect site for viticulture...that is, to Bordeaux oenologist Henri Enjalbert. He convinced Aimé to plant grapes and with the help of oenologist extraordinaire, Émile Peynaud, he began producing wine. Despite their southern France location, they have a markedly unique micro-climate. Housed in a deep valley, cool air is drawn down from the mountains, particularly in the summer evenings, creating extraordinary, daily temperature swings ranging from 0 - 30'C. As a result, they are able to grow a plethora of varieties successfully from both cool and warm areas including Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier and Petit Manseng for the white and Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir and Tannat for the red - all the while attaining excellent ripeness while retaining the varieties fresh acidity. With their extraordinary terroir and determination, they have over the years established a reputation as the "Grand Cru of the Languedoc". Anyone who has tasted them would most likely concur. These are truly exciting wines worth discovering.
Originally intended to denote simple country wines that showed broad regional characteristics, the Vin de Pays category now includes many shining stars that fall outside the strict appellation regulations. Herault is a Departmental Vin de Pays covering the region surrounding Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast of France. Largely producing red wines from the classic southern grape varieties (Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, etc), a few rosés and whites can also be found. The most celebrated wines from the area, both with a cult following, are Mas de Daumas Gassac and La Grange des Peres.