Mas du Domaine Gassac Blanc, Famille Guibert, Haute Valleé du Gassac 2020/21
MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC, FAMILLE GUIBERT, Haute Valleé du Gassac
The story of Mas de Daumas Gassac is one of vision, enterprise, passion and pride. When the Guiberts first purchased their farm (the mas) in the charming Gassac valley they little realised that they had a particular micro-climate which would give them the potential to make great wines.
A visiting professor, one Henri Enjalbert, identified a particular red soil that was common to certain great estates in the Médoc and Grand Cru Burgundies. Under the thick garrigue scrub and shrubs covering the Arboussas hills, he found some 40 hectares of perfectly drained soil, poor in humus and vegetable matter, rich in mineral oxide (iron, copper, gold etc). Formed from deposits carried in by the winds during the Riss, Mindel and Guntz glacial periods (ranging from 180,000 - 400,000 years ago) the terroir provides the three elements necessary for a potential Grand Cru: deep soil ensuring the vines' roots delve deep to seek nourishment; perfectly drained soil ensuring vines' roots are unaffected by humidity; poor soil meaning that vines have to struggle to survive, an effort which creates exceptionally fine aromas. Rock, scrub and tree clearing began in 1971 and the first vines, principally Cabernet Sauvignon, were planted on the 1.6ha plot.
The cellars have been created in the foundations of a Gallo-Roman mill; they now house 400 Merrain oak barrels; one in seven is replaced each year. There are two cold water springs under the cellar's floor, nature's own air conditioning system, which slows the alcohol fermentation down to between 8 - 10 days. This slow process means the complex flavours have time to develop, something that doesn't happen with modern high-tech fermentation. You cannot talk about Gassac without mentioned Emile Peynaud who effectively came out of retirement in 1978 to mentor the Guiberts in their early wine-making endeavours.
The wines do not lie; they have natural elegance and a purity that marks them apart. Each vintage is truly a testament to a wine-growing season; one tastes the terroir rather than the technique.
And yet Mas de Daumas Gassac grand vin blanc is showing an incredible finesse. It is masterpiece of white flesh fruit & tropical notes coming from 21 varieties that express their diversities in one magical symphony!
– 35% Viognier
(origin of the vine: Georges Vernay – Condrieu)
– 22% Petit Manseng
(origin of the vine: Charles Hours – Béarn).
– 16% Chardonnay
(origin of the vine: Comptes Lafon)
– 10% Chenin Blanc
(origin of the vine: Domaine Huet – Vouvray)
– 17% rare grape varieties : Bourboulenc, Petit Courbu, Muscat Ottonel, Muscat Petit grain, Muscat d’Alexandrie, Gros Manseng, Semillon (France). Neheleschol (Israël), Amigne (Suisse), Sercial de Madère (Portugal), Khondorni, Tchilar (Arménie), Albarino (Espagne), Falanghina, Fiano, Grechetto todi (Italie).