2010 Mas de Daumas Gassac, Rouge, Pays d'Herault, Languedoc
16.5 points, Jancis Robinson, November 2011
About this WINE
Mas de Daumas Gassac
Famously described as the ‘First Growth of the Languedoc’, Mas De Daumas Gassac remains unique in the region.
The world-famous red is an intriguing blend of Cabernet Sauvignon along with a mix of indigenous and more unusual varieties from the south of France, such as Grenache, Cinsualt and Tempranillo. Mas De Daumas Gassac Blanc is a similarly fascinating blend of grape varieties, with Chardonnay and Viognier taking centre stage. Lauded across the wine world, not for nothing is this Domaine named the Lafite of the Languedoc.
VdP de l'Herault
Hérault is a Vin de Pays (Départementaux) French wine appellation, that encompasses vineyard area from the eponymous Hérault department in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon. Hérault is surrounded by the departments of Aude, Tarn, Aveyron, Gard, and the Mediterranean sea on the south.
The reputation of Hérault received its biggest boost by the success of the wine domaine Mas de Daumas Gassac, located to the north of Montpellier. Aimé Guibert, the founder of the domaine, planted an eccentric mixture of vines on fine, volcanic soil that was identified by oneologist Emile Peynaud to be capable of producing wines of Cru standard.
Plots of lands like this are rare in Hérault, but the ever-improving wine-making and the proliferation of international varieties deliver wines of excellent quality that compare very well with the DO appellation wines nearby. Syrah, Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache are the dominant red wine grapes, while Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Marsanne and Viogner are the main white varietals.
Mas de Daumas Gassac, Mas Conscience
There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.
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Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 80% of the blend, the balance an intriguing combination of indigenous varieties, such as Grenache and Cinsault, and those seldom found in France, let alone the Languedoc, such as Tempranillo and Nebbiolo.
The parcels are vinified separately, then afforded generous elevage of 14 months in barriques, some of which are new. The 2010 has a deep, plummy colour and a beguiling nose of smoked meat, ripe damson and hints of wood smoke, with a gentle herbal backdrop adding interest. The palate is, not unsurprisingly given the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, somewhat closed, the ripeness evidenced on the nose hitherto marginalised in the name of a serious vin de garde in the making. All well and good; the hints of herb have yielded a pleasing pot pourri of flavour, with firm acidity and a good but not overbearing level of alcohol respectful of the vintage conditions in a year when the summer was not intolerably hot, but the Autumn was long and pleasing. A most promising and pleasing Gassac; the children are now finally making wine in the style of father Aimé and the father is very satisfied with the results.
Simon Field MW, Berrys' Southern France Buyer
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