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Mas De Daumas Gassac

I have been buying this wine on and off EP for a few years.
I withdrew a 6 bottle case of the 2010 from TWS storage.

My mate who’s in the wine business is a bit sniffy about this wine but I really like it - it suits my taste very well. I think it’s down unusual assemblage, that in this vintage is:

– 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.
– 6.2% Cabernet Franc.
– 5.3% Merlot.
– 3.6% Pinot noir.
– 3.2% Tannat.
– 2% Malbec.
– 9.7% rare grape varieties : Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Armigne, Arenie, Bastardo, Saperavie, Tchkaveri, Montepulciano, Areni Noir, Tchekavesi, Souzon, Brancalleo, Petit Verdot, Carmenere, Abouriou and Plavac Mali.

I’ve never even heard of some of these grapes. Perhaps though this is how winemaking once was before mono-viticulture took over.

It’s not cheap and I’m sure there’s better value elsewhere.
Anyone else a fan?

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I take it you’re a fan then :+1:t4:
Yes I too normally wait 10 years from a good vintage of any red.

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Two wines from Gassac’s neighbours Mas Laval have showed up in the list:

I strongly recommend trying Les Pampres. It’s excellent value for money, by any measure. I haven’t tried the Cinsault before, but looks interesting.

Laval is one of the three properties worth visiting if you happen to be around Aniane (the others being Grange du Peres - which don’t really take visitors - and Gassac - which has a fabulous tasting room and even cottages to rent spread around the property).

More info here:

ps: Mas de L’Ecriture (from the nearby Terraces area) also produced consistently good wines, but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere in the last 5-6 years - neither here nor at the Nicolas or Lavinia shops around Paris).

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I visited Mas de la Seranne a number of years ago and really enjoyed their range. They are right next door to Daumas Gassac on the Route de Puechabon but stylistically very different. I think many moons ago the wine society stocked something of theirs.
Thanks for the tip off on the Laval, I think I’ll try them both!

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Aimé Guibert was interviewed at some length in that slightly controversial film “Mondovino” he had a real row with the Mondavi brothers and the whole episode showed both sides at variance over who said what to whom about the possible sale of Daumas Gassac to Mondavi. The whole saga was one of Balzacian intrigue. Even the local parish priest had a walk on part in the film.

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I’ve watched that movie so many times, I even know parts of dialogue by memory (“wine is dead”). I attended a Q&A with Nossiter back when I was still living in NY and I have pretty much forced all my close friends to watch it. Even to the point of buying a dvd player to a friend who didn’t have one, so she could watch it.

Anyways, I will tell you a story about the Guibert’s and my wife. We were at a dinner at Galvin La Chapele, which Samuel was hosting, and his mother was there too (she had written a fabulous cookbook). At one point, my wife turned to Samuel’s mother and said she really enjoyed Mondovino, especially the section with her husband (the late Aime). That triggered Samuel to shout, from the other side of the table: “I was in that movie too”. The gives you an idea of the big shoes he has had to fill. We’ve seen them a few times subsequent to that, but that event always ends up being brought up. And, btw, for a man who spends half of the year in the US and the other half in France, away from his family, Samuel (and his brothers) have done a fabulous job with the Domaine since then.

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The first I heard of MdDG was in 1982. I was living in South Africa at the time, had just got married and the first Mrs D and I took a trip to Europe for 6 months as a honeymoon. We travelled far and wide and had a magnificent time.
In August we found ourselves in the South of France and stayed with the parents of a good friend of ours from South Africa in a tiny little village called Usclas d’ Herault near Pezenas for a week. The village was so small it didn’t have a single shop or bar or cafe. But set in the middle of the vinyards which we walked through each morning with Brian and Bessy and their dog.
With the area being best known for it’s local plonk, Brian was proud to tell one morning of a recent success concerning a vineyard nearby whose wines had been compared by critics to the finest of Bordeaux, namely MdDG.
I’d never got to try the wine but bought 6 of the 2009 EP and have kept it amongst my stash in my cavernous under the stairs closet. I tried the first bottle about 18 months ago and although awaiting my first try of this fabled cuvee with much anticipation and distant memories of halcyon days under the sun walking through the vinyards with Brian and Bessy, sadly I was to be underwhelmed.
I didn’t get much excitement through the nose, in fact struggled to pick up much aroma at all other than that of a cheap red wine.
On the pallet I thought it pretty much one dimensional with red fruits to the fore and little else.
I remember my over riding thoughts regarding the wine in general was of a thin ungenerous red wine probably made around 2 years ago.
I did write a small piece on my experience on the Rhone rangers thread.
I made a note on the box to leave it another 2 years to see what happens, but after some feedback shifted that out to 5 years.
Maybe the first bottle was a bit duff, but it wasn’t corked or oxidised. Maybe my tastebuds were having an off day, but Mrs D number 2 agreed with my feelings.
As you can imagine quite a dissapointment.

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The 2009 was one year where I decided to drink earlier. 2005 was very powerful, but here’s some guidance on drinking windows:

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Thanks for that Andre, I had been following the MdDG’s drinking window chart waiting for the 09 to be moved into the drink or laydown window, which it did at about the time I opened the first bottle.
I was totally thrown and very surprised by my tasting experience.
I’ve had other cab sauv blends from the Languedoc which have been splendid. The Dom’ de Perdiguier sold by TWS is lovely, the 2008 was sublime.
When I’m down that way I love going to Dom’ Morin-Langaran just behind the Basin de Thau who do a couple of nice cuvees from cab sauv and merlot. They also do excellent box wine we fill the car with to enjoy through the summer and as gifts for friends.
There is an excellent wine shop/ co op in Meze offering a wonderful tasting experience and I’ve tried some very nice cab sauv wines there also.
Just couldn’t believe how lack lustre the MdDC was.

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It’s a shame that this thread seems to have run out of steam. After my own experiences I was looking forward to some positive reviews and maybe some tasting notes perhaps pointing the way towards the desirable qualities that have illuded me so far, albeit after only 1 bottle! I do hope my assault hasn’t killed this thread.
I’ve looked for reviews for MdDC on line but they seem rarer than hens teeth which is quite strange in itself. One can usually find reviews from known critics pretty easily for wines as well known as this.

I like the wine Drainhole, but my palate is changing towards crunchy reds from the Loire!

Usually plenty on CT. Pro and amateur…though you often have to subscribe to see the pro ones.

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Thanks Mark, I’ve not used CT much in the past.
I looked at the amateur reviews for the 2009 and some of what I felt myself was evident from the other reviewers: Red fruits, not a lot of complexity, on the acidic side, short on finish. Only getting an average of 90.8 points. Not a particularly grand showing considering the hype. Some reviewers said that it’s just at the start of a long drinking window so I’m hoping that means still room for more improvement.
Not being a subscriber I couldn’t access the pro reviews but as mentioned earlier there seems to be a shortage of these and the only ones available for the 2009 are from Jancis Robinson or her reviewers. I briefly checked out other vintages and occasionally Decanter seem to chip in with a review.
A year or 2 ago I read several online articles re the best wines from the Languedoc from various sources, sorry but can’t remember exactly who wrote them, and none of these mentioned MdDG.
Although I’m hoping to be proved wrong, I can’t help thinking that there is a degree of the 'emperors clothes, surrounding this wine.

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This is a wine I have mixed feelings about. The backstory is great but I’m afraid I could never get on with it. I purchased 1999 and 2001 (from Adnam’s in the Simon Loftus days) and have worked my way slowly through the 2001 - 4 left - in the hope either it or I would mature enough to make it an enjoyable experience. Sadly after the last bottle I decided it would not happen so I disposed of the 1999 case. I will keep sampling the remaining bottles of the 2001 every couple of years. I realise this is a small sample but thought I would share.

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I have had a number of vintages of this wine over the years. If asked to sum up my thoughts, my impression would be “inconsistent”. There have certainly been some which have hit the spot - others have left me somewhat disappointed.

But in a way, that’s how I feel about many Bordeaux, and given the aims of the grower, maybe he has succeeded in this as well.

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I might add it’s a gentler, more old fashioned style, and it isn’t for everyone (and quite rightly, because what is? I’ve got over 2.5k unread posts on the Rhone Rangers thread apparently).

I’d agree it can be hit and miss, but I’ve found it’s as much to do with the timing of opening bottles rather than necessarily vintages - it seems to swing in and out of drink ability as it passes through phases. Once you get a good one, drink all the other bottles quick! :smiley:

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I have a bottle of the 2006 and 5 bottles of the 2010. I have also had and drunk several earlier vintages back to the 80s.

The 2006 has been challenging throughout its life IMO. I have found it a dour, hard wine. Just opened one 2010 and it was clearly still pretty young - dense, massive and almost overwhelming, but you can see that it probably will be very good, unlike the 06. The 2010 reminded me of a Northern Rhone despite being largely Cab Sauvignon. It gets a lot better write ups than the 09 and 06 on CT. I won’t be touching it again for 2 or 3 years.

Some of the earlier vintages were more charming, probably because I drank them young for the most part. I would agree that it’s inconsistent. The description of the 09 sounds atypical of a wine from that year.

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Thanks Mark,
I totally agree with you the 09 is atypical of a wine of that year. It was a good year throughout Europe, cracking and generous across France and a year where I’d have thought it a struggle to produce a naff bottle across most, if not all appelations.