Terrasses du Larzac: Mas de Daumas Gassac 'Blanc de Raisins Blancs' 2022
Mas de Daumas Gassac's blanc is a unique Viognier-based wine from a unique microclimate in heart of the Terrasses du Larzac. Alongside the 40 to 50% of Viognier, each vintage blend contains around 10 to 20% of rare and unusual varieties plus larger quantities of Petit Manseng, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.
Refreshingly brisk when young, this crisp, mineral white wine (technically an 'IGP Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert - Cité d'Aniane') has lashings of yuzu citrus and honeysuckle on the nose and stone- and tropical fruit lingering on the finish. This will develop even more depth and complexity as it ages.
The 'Grand Cru' of the Languedoc, Mas de Daumas Gassac's Viognier-based blanc comes from the heights of the Terrasses du Larzac. In a unique microclimate and with mineral-rich yet barren soils, vines are refreshed by cooler air at night from the peaks of the Massif du Larzac which surround the Guibert family estate. Planted on limestone slopes, 35-40 year-old vines yield around 25 hectolitres per hectare.
When the property was planted by Aimé and Véronique Guibert in the early 1970s, they took cuttings from vineyards of friends and domaines across northern Europe focusing on older plant material from the 1930s and 40s – an age before modern vine cloning techniques. Their Viognier comes from Domaine Georges Vernay in Condrieu, Chardonnay from Comtes Lafon in Burgundy, Huet in Vouvray and Petit Manseng from Charles Hours in Béarn (Jurançon).
Open the bottle (or decant) an hour in advance but replace the cork/stopper.
2022 vintage is comprised of 48% Viognier, 13% Petit Manseng, 13% Chardonnay, 9% Chenin Blanc and the remaining 17% rare varieties (comprising Marsanne, Roussanne, Petit Courbu, Muscat à Petits Grains, Muscat d'Alexandrie, Gros Manseng, Sémillon and Fiano). pH 3.28, total acidity 3.56, 6.4g/L residual sugar.
A cold winter preceded a warm, dry growing season. A heavy storm in August refreshed the vines and made the vintage – increasing freshness and phenolic ripeness.
|Style||White Wine, Sec, Full-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Languedoc, Terrasses du Larzac|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Other local varietals, Petit Manseng, Viognier|
|Food & Wine Matching||Chicken and Turkey, Oysters, White Fish|
|Cellarage||Drink in its first 18 months to enjoy its youthful fruit and minerality or from 4 to 12 years after vintage as it peaks for a slightly richer, honeyed wine with 'sherry' notes and crystallised fruit flavours.|
|Vinification||Hand-harvested between 29th August and 2nd September, fruit was macerated on the skins for 5 to 7 days before traditional fermentation in stainless steel vats. Matured for 4 months in stainless steel.|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||13.5|
Mas de Daumas Gassac
Aimé and Véronique Guibert - after successful careers in leather goods and Irish ethnology respectively - began touring Southern France in search of a property to develop and establish as a family home. By chance, they discovered an old farmhouse and mill on the Gassac river in the foothills of the Cévennes near Aniane. With little wine knowledge but boundless enthusiasm, they bought the property in 1970 and started investigating the surrounding countryside. They began planting Cabernet Sauvignon vines in 1972 and the first vintage of red Mas de Daumas Gassac was produced in 1978. Today, the estate extends to 50 hectares of vines set amongst 5,000 hectares of woodland and Aimé and Véronique's four sons - Samuel, Roman, Gaël and Basile - oversee the running of the estate. Samuel, the eldest, has been involved in the vinification of the last 23 vintages and has been assisted for the last 5 years by Benjamin d'Anglade - a gifted winemaker and highly-skilled blender.
Diverse free-draining soils of limestone, clay, red gravel and glacial sandstone provide an ideal environment for viticulture aided by a microclimate protected by the massifs of Arboussas and Larzac.
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