Some wines are sui generis. They are extremely rare and carry such distinctive characteristics that trained tasters can call the wines blind more often than not. Mas de Daumas Gassac belongs in this category, but unlike others in it, is affordable.
Old-School Bordeaux Influences
Often called the “Grand Cru” of the Languedoc, Daumas Gassac has been around since the 1970’s when, in 1972, on the unique scree soils of the Domaine’s holdings they planted ungrafted Cabernet Vines from genetic material sources from vines planted in the top Bordeaux estates in the 1930’s and 1940’s. In 1978 Emile Peynaud visited the estate to consult on farming and wine-making. This means stainless steel ferments, short macerations, and shortish oak aging in mostly used barrels. We are thus talking about a domaine steeped in old-school Bordeaux, pre Michel-Roland and the days of big Parker points. I would venture to say that the soul of old Bordeaux may have relocated to Daumas Gassac.
The vineyards are located in a valley that is relatively high (250-550m above sea level) and cool for the Languedoc. Vines are predominantly Cab Sauv, but there are also 24 other varieties (including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Carmenere and Malbec, Tannat, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Tempranillo, Baga, Saperavi, Bastardo) and it is this remarkable diversity that ends up in the wine and gives it the sui generis character for which it is famous. Very much like classic Bordeaux spiced and spun with an uncommon rhyming scheme, Daumas Gassac is both a powerful and elegant wine. It almost never exceeds 12.9% ABV. The wine generally has moderate tannins, high acid and low Ph. This gives it freshness and elegance. At the same time, the wine is rich and flavourful as a result of its fruit quality.
The 2012 is outstanding. Medium tannin, fresh acids, but not overly bright, and wonderful complex fruit and non-fruit aromas and flavours even at this stage. Its medium+ body and spice make it quite versatile with food – much more so than Bordeaux and most Cab dominant blends. Undeniably a great wine of France.
Excellent to Excellent+ and Highly Recommended Value
$60 + tax hospitality (some BCLDB’s have this)