2011 Mas de Daumas Gassac, Rouge, St Guilhem-le-Désert Cité d'Aniane,Languedoc
16.5+ points, Jancis Robinson, December 2013
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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2011 was relatively-speaking a cooler year in the Aniane Valley, and the wine has greater freshness than sometimes, greater purity and perhaps a greater sense of terroir. The fruit ripened nicely, if later, and the tannins are finely drawn, not for a moment forsaking the virtues of balance, structure and length. Small grapes with thick skins are reliable qualitative precursors, it seems.
The Cabernet dominates, as always, with the supporting cast made up of Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Tannat, Pinot Noir, Neboilo, Dolcetto and Tempranillo to name but a few. Peonies, wild berries, sousbois and spice (the wines has seen 16 months of new barrique) are the dominant notes at present; but the precise descriptors will evolve as much as the wine over time, taking on even greater complexity and harmony.
Simon Field MW, Berrys' Southern France Buyer
The dominant Cabernet Sauvignon in this blend leads to lovely rich dark fruits and a pleasing sense of style. However, for me the real interest comes from the other varietals that are blended with this, they add real interest to the palate, with meaty, smoky characters coming through and a powerful structure that clearly indicates this will age very well indeed. Mas de Daumas Gassac is a wine with a big reputation and in 2011 it clearly demonstrates why it is in such demand!
Matthew Tipping, Fine Wine Sales Manager - 29-Nov-2012
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