Mas de Daumas Gassac White Blend Vin de Pays de l'Hérault Blanc 2008
Exquisite and sublimely subtle wines that are unique for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the terroir is exceptional, the vines growing on a deep, well-drained soil formed by glacial deposits. Secondly, the upper Gassac valley has a cool microclimate that allows a longer growing season. Thirdly, the vineyards have been created in small plots or clearings surrounded by forest and garrigue. The wines consequently soak up the fragrances of the surrounding plant life of laurel, thyme, rosemary, lavender, arbutus, fennel, wild mint and lentisque. Fourthly, Daumas Gassac embraces an organic culture, eschewing chemical fertilizers, using only natural dung compost as well as tree and straw cuttings. Fifthly, yields are low (35hl/ha), allowing the wine to express the terroir more than the grape variety & the vines are manually harvested. The white grapes undergo skin maceration for 5-7 days followed by fermentation in stainless steel, whereupon the juice is transferred briefly to Burgundy oak casks and filtered with an alluvionaire filter. The white grape varieties are grown on the surrounding white lutetitian limestone. This vineyard is composed of 25% each of the following grape varieties: Viognier from Condrieu, Chardonnay from Burgundy and Petit Manseng from Jurançon. The remaining 25% of vines include grape varieties from Georgia, Armenia, Madeira etc. etc. as well as the slightly better known Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette, Muscat and Chenin. These wines are quite beautiful. Treat them with reverence and you will reap rewards. This white should not be served too cold. Decant it and witness how the primary pearfruit Viognier aromas melt into the wine to be replaced by an impression of warm butter, pollen and dried fruits. Roll the wine gently in your mouth and you will understand harmony.
Way back in 780 CE, Charlemagne’s advisor, Saint Benedict of Aniane, founded the first vineyard in the Gassac valley. Indeed, there are good reasons to believe that he introduced Charlemagne to some of the valley’s early wines. Thus, in common with most truly great wines, the Daumas Gassac Grands Crus were born under the aegis of a prestigious Abbey.
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