2013 Mas de Daumas Gassac, Grand Vin Rouge, Vin de Pays de L'Herault
2013 Mas de Daumas Gassac, Grand Vin Rouge, Vin de Pays de L'Herault

2013 Mas de Daumas Gassac, Grand Vin Rouge, Vin de Pays de L'Herault

Languedoc, France 2013 (750mL)
Regular price$169.00
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2013 Mas de Daumas Gassac, Grand Vin Rouge, Vin de Pays de L'Herault

This is an exceptional library release from one of the greatest names in all of French wine. Perhaps the best way to introduce someone to Mas de Daumas Gassac is to mention they single-handedly spearheaded the movement to produce ‘Grand Cru’ quality wine in the sprawling “wine lake” of Languedoc-Roussillon (once a pariah among French winemaking regions).

As with many major movements, there was skepticism upon their 1978 inaugural release: People were already buying big-ticket Bordeaux and Burgundy with pleasure, so who would buy a wine from this region at this price? A prominent Bordelais professor even went as far to say it could be two centuries before Daumas Gassac could be recognized as a ‘Grand Cru.’ When, then, was the first mention? In 1981, just three years later. What followed was pandemonium: distinguished critics began discovering this exclusive, Cabernet-heavy gem and comparisons to Lafite-Rothschild, Latour, Pétrus, and many other blue-chip estates soon followed. What is self-evident, however, is that Mas de Daumas Gassac unequivocally deserves all the grand praise that has poured in over the decades, and today’s wine is no exception: It’s a special library and late wine release—having rested in their cellars for over a decade. This is a rare opportunity to discover an estate that revolutionized an entire region and influenced experts around the world.

The vines at Mas de Daumas Gassac have never been tainted with chemicals: their sweeping estate consists of pure, unadulterated land that has only been farmed sustainably. Additionally, the Guibert’s eschew the use of clones and, to this day, there isn’t one cloned vine on their property. Overall, it’s a true “dirt under the fingernails” process—they farm naturally, yields are incredibly low, and all grapes are hand-picked. In the winery, the grapes undergo a three-week maceration and a fermentation on indigenous yeasts before aging 15 months in mostly used French barrels (their ancient cellar is from the Gallo-Roman era). The wine is bottled unfiltered. 

Though their Grand Vin has always been a Cabernet-heavy blend, there’s a dizzying number of rare and unique varieties (23) that round it out, which means pinpointing the wine can be tough—comparisons to Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Piemonte in the same sentence are not uncommon. Here is a list (brace yourself) of 2013’s assemblage: After 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine was blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir (it’s true), Tannat, Malbec, and Syrah, followed by trace amounts of Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Armigne, Arenie, Bastardo, Saperavie, Tchkaveri, Montepulciano, Areni Noir, Tchekavesi, Souzon, Brancellao, Petit Verdot, Carmenère, Abouriou, and Plavac Mali. It’s an incredible array that speaks to Peynaud’s research efforts in his quest to enshrine Daumas Gassac as a world-class terroir.

Mas de Daumas Gassac’s 2013 library release reveals a deep ruby core in the glass leading out to a garnet rim with slight bricking. The nose offers an aromatic mashup that is sure to stump even the best tasters. You’ll pick out an illimitable number of aromas like créme de cassis, black raspberry, wild plums, dried berries, stewed strawberries, garrigue, dried herbs, raw leather, purple flowers, red licorice, white pepper, smoke, and clove. On the palate, the wine comes in medium-plus bodied and mellow, with a bevy of black fruits beneath a large presence of earthy savoriness. The pronounced levels of tannins and freshness lead me to believe this effort will perform at high levels over the next decade. Cheers!
2013 Mas de Daumas Gassac, Grand Vin Rouge, Vin de Pays de L'Herault

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