Terrasses du Larzac: Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge 2021
The 'Château Lafite' of the Languedoc, Mas de Daumas Gassac's Cabernet Sauvignon-based rouge comes from the heights of the Terrasses du Larzac (technically an IGP St Guilhem-le-Désert - Cité d'Aniane). Alongside the uncloned Cabernet Sauvignon, each blend contains around 20% of rare and unusual varieties according to vintage. With bright acidity, perfumed cassis and black cherry flavours and finely-furled tannins, this has the bones to last for decades.
The 'Grand Cru' of the Languedoc, Mas de Daumas Gassac's Cabernet Sauvignon-based rouge 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 north-east-facing slopes, red grapes ripen here around 3 weeks later on average, creating remarkable fraicheur and balance.
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. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines in particular consist of uncloned plant material dating from pre-1914 in the Médoc.
The 2021 vintage is comprised of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Pinot Noir, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Tannat, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 3% rare varieties.
Decant for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
|Red Wine, Sec, Medium-bodied, Non Sparkling
|Languedoc, Terrasses du Larzac
|Grape Variety (Cépage)
|Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Other local varietals, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Tannat
|Food & Wine Matching
|Beef, Casserole, Cheese, Lamb, Mushrooms, Pheasant and Game, Pork
|Drink in its first 3 years or so to enjoy its youthful fruit, from 5 to 20 years after vintage as it heads to its peak or at its apogee when fully mature from around 20 years after vintage.
|Hand-harvested fruit is destemmed and gently-pressed before a traditional vinification in stainless steel vats. Slow, cool alcoholic fermentation followed by a 3-week maceration of destemmed fruit with several pumping overs. Aged unfiltered in a mixture of 1 to 7 year-old Burgundy barrels for 12 to 15 months.
|Alcohol By Volume (%)
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. In the 1990s, the Guibert family wanted to create a more accessible range of wines and source the fruit for their Moulin de Gassac range from a number of winemakers in the Hérault around Villeveyrac covering some 250 hectares of iron-rich limestone-clay soils. They have strict sustainability standards to encourage biodiversity and use biological controls to counter pests and disease rather than using chemicals. Such conditions are certified by Terra Vitis as 'Viticulture Responsable.
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