Ever since I lived a couple of years in Montpellier I knew about the iconic wines of the region but being a student, I rarely had the opportunity to get a taste. Mas de Daumas Gassac was one of these wines: a legend. Founder and owner Aimé Guibert built up a Grand Cru estate out of the blue – a greenfield project, as the businessman would say. He planted Cabernet vines in 1972 and with the help of some reknown oenologue,s achieved to bottle a convincing wine which the French magazine Gault Millau called ‘a Languedoc Château Lafite’ in 1982.
What I finally achieved in 2012, was to pop a bottle of 2007 Mas de Daumas Gassac. The occasion was a spontaneous pre-Christmas dinner with some American rib-eye steaks in the pan. But let’s go straight to my notes now:
What beautiful nose: dramatic aromas in between pencil shavings and burned charcoal, with depth and a mystical feel to it. This sounds a little harsh, but those aromatics do not appear overdone or artificial by any means. A hint of herbs is coming through as well. On the palate the wine instantly captivates with a great body and a nice balance, not showing big or alcoholic but muscular in an elegant way. It shows lots of red berries and the same smokiness than in the nose, but a little more retained. Tannins are still there but very fine-grained. Nice presence and length. Still lots of potential. Actually one to store another 5 years and one I’d love to seek out in bigger sized bottles. ++
This is not your typical Languedoc wine, but a good example of what can be achieved when you add a twist of Languedoc grape varietals (10%) to the classic Bordeaux varietal Cabernet Sauvignon. On the other hand it unmistakably is a typical Languedoc wine with lots of fruit and herbs, the Cabernet just might be adding that touch of austerity that is lacking in many other Southern wines… Anyhow, I am very impressed and it payed out to finally try this wine. The price of around 30 Euro is not low, but this bottle still beats many Bordeaux’ in the same price range.