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Mas de Daumas Gassac Estate Red 2003
Such characteristics, strong personality, complexity of aromas and extraordinary vinous qualities have contributed to the success and worldwide recognition of Daumas Gassac notwithstanding the absence of any appellation status.
The vinification is completely classical as carried out in the Médoc; long fermentations (three weeks), "élevage" in wooden casks, light fining with egg whites and no filtering of the Reds. Daumas Gassac is a "terroir" which saturates the red wine with the most wonderfully majestic tannins.
• soil so deep that the vine roots are forced to seek nourishment at great depth,
• soil so perfectly drained that it retains almost no humidity even after the most violent rainfall,
• soil so poor that the vine suffers to the very limits of endurance, thus creating unique aromas of exceptional originality.
At Daumas Gassac, every effort is made to protect the wild and natural beauty of the Gassac Valley and to preserve the "garrigue," the dominating feature of the landscape. The choice was made to create vineyards in small parcels or little clearings, engulfed by the extensive surrounding "garrigue". The wines at Daumas Gassac are, thus, enriched by the innumerable scents of Mediterranean shrubs packed tightly round the clearings. This practice which develops the individuality of the "terroir" is in complete contrast to modern viticultural techniques which tend towards vast areas of production with no other vegetation except for vines.
All our plants come from very old non-cloned vines. With our 6,000 plants per hectare we have 6,000 original plants instead of one single clone. Low yields, but prodigious richness and ability to stimulate all the senses. The introduction of clones is responsible for a dramatic decline in individuality to the advantage of standardization and high yields.
An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good-quality and value-priced wines, Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the world’s largest wine-producing region, spanning the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to Rhône. Languedoc forms the eastern half of the larger appellation, while Roussillon is in the west; the two actually have quite distinct personalities but are typically grouped together. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and a frequent risk of drought. Roussillon, on the other hand, is defined by the rugged Pyrenees mountains and near-constant sunshine.
Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Dry wines are often blends, and varietal choice is strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône Valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Maccabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc.
International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Roussillon, excellent sweet wines are made from Muscat and Grenache in Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury. The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.