In 1971, our parents bought an abandoned farmhouse in a wild valley in the remote Hérault countryside, and planted vines in clearings in the middle of 4,000 hectares of forest… They were visionaries. Let us tell you our story…
The harvests are carried out in the traditional style, in other words, by hand. The bunches are initially sorted in the vineyard by the harvest team: only healthy, perfectly ripe grapes, picked by careful, expert hands are selected for the vats. We monitor the ripening process very closely to ensure that each variety is picked at just the right time, for an optimal expression of the sun-drenched grapes.
Each vintage has its own characteristics: this is the strength of these grands vins that continue to improve with age for many years.
During the harvests, Véronique Guibert prepares the meals for the entire team of pickers. And the least we can say is that the pickers are very appreciative of the quality of the menu! Welcome to Véronique’s table!
The domaine’s 41st harvest began on Monday 3 September and ended on Friday 28 September 2018.
19 days of picking for 50 ha of vines spread over 30 plots. We always wait until each grape variety reached perfect ripeness, offering a unique expression of their flavours: this is what makes each vintage at Mas de Daumas Gassac so exceptional.
This year, 50 pickers, aged from 16 to 75 years-old, worked over a period of nearly four weeks. Coming from China, Japan, the Comoros, England, Austria, Argentina, Romania, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, the United States and France- we welcomed students and retirees, but there are also people who take a holiday specifically to participate to this special occasion!
2018 OVERVIEW OF THE WEATHER
After a particularly rainy first-half of the year, the well replenished groundwater reserves enabled the vines to cope with a very hot, dry summer and early autumn. The summer was hot and sunny.
There was just enough rain in July and August to enable the grapes to gradually reach maturity. The Gassac Valley also experienced substantial differences in temperatures – from 8°C to 12°C at night up to 35°C during the day. This resulted in a concentration of aromas.
This 2017 and 2018 vintages produced the lowest yields since the domaine was created in 1972. Working with nature requires acceptance of the vagaries of the climate.
HARVEST OF THE MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC WHITE
MONDAY 3RD TO SATURDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER
The vats of Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc have several strings to their bow. Each offers its rendition, where among more than 16 rare varieties, a quartet reigns supreme, consisting of Petit Manseng, which gives structure and a chalky minerality to the finish, Chenin, ensuring an overall smoothness, Chardonnay bringing full-bodied curves, and Viognier, adding a hazelnutty creaminess.
The white grand vin has an incredible finesse, ranging from citrus flavours to a tropical symphony, and with an innate richness that comes from the white flesh that has been perfectly ripened and turned golden in the sun.
HARVEST OF THE MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC SPARKLING ROSE
LUNDI 10TH TO THURSDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER
After a day of rest for the pickers, the harvest resumed with the Rosé Frizant. This took three and a half days.
This saignée from the Cabernet Sauvignon was created in 1984, a rarity in France and in the world.
HARVEST OF THE MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC RED
WEDNESDAY 14TH TO FRIDAY 28TH SEPTEMBER
Finally, the time came for the red grand vin and its ochre-coloured plots. This year the harvest lasted nine and a half days. We stopped on two occasions in order to wait for the plots, planted in 1972, to reach perfect ripeness!
We are now devoting our full attention to the 24 red grape varieties, that are currently undergoing maceration. The Mas de Daumas Gassac Red will have plenty of freshness! The winery is filled with aromas of red fruit, black olives and blackcurrants!
The Cabernet Sauvignon will also ensure a good balance between structure, aromas and acidity. Which already suggests an excellent potential to age.
With a bewildering diversity of expression, Mas de Daumas Gassac’s terroir gives body to a beautifully structured wine, that has come to be among the most famous in the world.
The structure, acidity and complexity are matched only by the exceptionally refined aromatic expression of the Mas de Daumas Gassac White and the Mas de Daumas Gassac Red.
With yields very similar to 2017 – between 25 and 30 hl/ha – the wines are very elegant, with plenty of length on the palate and superb density.
Be prepared! A rich, complex vintage is on its way!
Photos Crédit Jarosław Praszkiewicz
The 40th harvest began on Thursday 24 August and ended on 13 September 2017. This is one of the earliest harvest in 40 years!
An average of 46 pickers worked for a total of 14 days!
2017 Weather Report
Thanks to plenty of rain during the first half of the year, and a magnificient dry, sunny summer, the vines hardly suffered any water stress.
Conditions were optimal for perfectly ripe grapes.
A few words on this vintage:
Cool nights and fairly warm days accompanied us throughout the harvest, it had a distinctly autumnal feel!
“Rare” is the best adjective to describe the 2017 vintage.”Rare” because the quantities harvested are unfortunately low – we estimate a 40% decrease in production for the three Grands Vins.
In the vats 2017 already presents signs of being an outstanding vintage!
For this 40th vintage, Véronique Guibert de La Vaissière, the owner, prepared delicious lunches for the pickers, mouth watering break full of Mediterranean flavours!
Harvest of the Mas de Daumas Gassac WHITE
From Thursday 24 August to Monday 28 August
All the grape varieties that go into the Mas de Daumas Gassac White blend were picked over five days.
The quality of the harvest was perfect! Well-balanced notes of citrus fruit, apricots and honey emerge with strength and freshness.
Harvest of the Mas de Daumas Gassac ROSÉ FRIZANT
From Tuesday 30 August to Friday 1 September
The entire harvest of the Mas de Daumas Gassac Rosé Frizant 2017 was picked in three days. Bled rosé from our youngest vines of Cabernet Sauvignon. A very small crop this year for this wine.
Notes of red fruit – strawberries and raspberries – low alcohol content and tremendous freshness!
Harvest of the Mas de Daumas Gassac RED
From Saturday 2 September to Wednesday 13 September
The “Non-Cabernet Sauvignon” (Merlot, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Petit Verdot, Khondorni, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Tannat, Tempranillo, etc…) and young Cabernet Sauvignon vines were haversted from 2 to 5 September. Lots of richness, fruit and freshness.
The Cabernet Sauvignon from the Peyrafioc and Peynaud plots was harvested after a five-day break to reach perfect ripeness. This grape variety, so valued in the Gassac Valley, concentrated its aromas with the effect of the wind, giving magnificient strength in the vats!
Copyright : Guilhem Canal & Genevieve Motsch
Spring was rainy and cool. A very sunny summer followed, with no rainfalls after early June, but was marked by intense heat last week of August and first week of September.
This weather allowed the grapes to reach maturity evenly throughout the vineyard.
42 pickers worked for a total of 14 days!
FROM SUNDAY 4 TO WEDNESDAY 7 SEPTEMBER
HARVESTING THE MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC WHITE
In four days all the different grape varieties that make up the Mas de Daumas Gassac White had been picked.
The grapes were very ripe and healthy.
Each bunch was checked on the sorting table, before reaching the vat. After 3 to 5 days cool maceration on their skins, the white grapes were pressed, for the first time using a much more gentle pneumatic press!
The must is full and very well balanced thanks to a splendid acidity enhancing the fruit and its large range of aromas.
It’s a magnificent white wine, full of solar fruit, very lively and fresh with a beautiful minerality.
FROM THURSDAY 8 TO SATURDAY 10 SEPTEMBER
HARVESTING THE MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC ROSÉ FRIZANT
In three days we brought in all the fruits destined for the Mas de Daumas Gassac Rosé Frizant 2016. Bled from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from our youngest vines. The must is sumptuous, with a brilliant pink-violet colour, delightfully fresh with a delicious taste of strawberries and raspberries.
FROM MONDAY 12 TO SUNDAY 18 SEPTEMBER
HARVESTING THE MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC RED
The ‘Non-Cabernet Sauvignon’ (Merlot, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Petit Verdot, Khondorni, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Tannat, Tempranillo…) were picked when fully ripe.
Lots of fruit, full and rich, with toasty aromas.
Powerful, rounded, elegant and majestic are the first words that spring to mind when tasting the six vats of Cabernet Sauvignon.
At this stage we have a great base for blending the various grapes’ juices with lots of freshness. The 2016 is «an iron fist in a velvet glove»!
Great thanks to all the team
Dry winter and spring, followed by an exceedingly hot summer and just the right amount of rain in August meant we were able to pick grapes at an ideal maturity.
SUNDAY 25 AUGUST 2015… THE WHOLE TEAM IS READY TO START!
Students, friends and fans of the Domaine from all over the world (13 different nationalities) made up the fifty or so pickers, starting the 2015 harvest. Together with the vineyard teams and those in the cellars, about 70 took part in the birth of the 2015 vintage …
FROM MONDAY 31 AUGUST TO THURSDAY 3 SEPTEMBER
HARVESTING THE MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC ROSE FRIZANT
A vibrant, healthy harvest of splendid Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with flavoursome flesh and rich skin. We estimate production to be 20% higher than in 2014. It’s a truly delightful rosé, very fresh and, as always, with moderate alcohol levels (11-11.5°). Those who have come to taste it have been struck by the terrific raspberries colour, the strong aromas of strawberries and, above all, its tremendously lively and very original personality!
The picking stopped at midday today and will resume on Monday 7 September with the 2015 white.
FROM MONDAY 7 SEPTEMBER TO THURSDAY 10 SEPTEMBER
HARVESTING THE MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC WHITE
A team of 46 people started picking the whites : Chardonnay, Viognier, Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, Muscat, Petite Arvine, Sémillon, Neherleschol, Chenin Blanc and many others were picked over these 3 ½ days.
The white grapes are magnificent, and the few days of great weather that we’ve recently enjoyed mean they’ve reached the absolute summit of organoleptic maturity.
This year it’s the Petit Manseng which wins the prize for “most accomplished” white grape. In terms of quality as well as quantity, this grape is going to bring fantastic acidity and thus provide the necessary freshness and balance to the white wine.
FROM THURSDAY 10 SEPTEMBER TO WEDNESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER
HARVESTING THE MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC RED
Picking all the grapes other than Cabernet Sauvignon started on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 September, stopping on Saturday and Sunday so as to allow the whites to be pressed in the cellar, and resuming on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 September.
Once again, the Gassac valley has been blessed by nature with only 8mm (0.35ins) of rainfall during the weekend while 336mm (13 ins) of rain fell in Lodève, less than 20 km away.
From Wednesday 16th to Sunday 20th : We made a pause in the picking to ensure full maturity of the last and oldest vines of Cabernet Sauvignon. Five days of splendid sun, somemes even windy, led the remaining grapes to reach the ideal concentraon and level of maturity we were looking for – rare and precious aromas of full ripeness, which should mean a high quality wine being transformed into one of exceponal quality !
On Monday 21st September, picking resumed with the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines, most especially the “Peyrafioc” and “Plateau” vineyards (planted in 1974), ending with the “Clos Peynaud” (1974).
After 3 days picking the best and oldest of the Domaine’s vineyards, which will form the base of the 2015 Daumas Gassac red, on Wednesday 23rd September the harvest ended in brilliant sunshine.
Thanks to the whole team, whose happiness and good spirit accompanied the birth of this
This year twelve different nationalities (Irish, Moroccan, French, Rumanian, English, Polish, American, German, Spanish, Portuguese …) made up the 38 strong picking team who joined our home based cellar team; all coming together to mark the birth of the 2014 vintage. The 2014 harvest took place between Monday 1 and Sunday 14 September (13 days of picking). Quite a change from 2013 when harvesting started on 16 September, finishing on 4 October (18 days picking).
The year’s weather was marked by a gentle winter, then a dry spring was followed by a moderate summer – hence picking starting earlier than 2013. But the actual quantity of grapes harvested was down by 35%.
BIRTH OF THE 9TH VINTAGE OF MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC ROSÉ FRIZANT 2014
From 1 to 4 September
As each year, the harvest started with the pickers tackling the grapes destined for the Daumas Gassac Rosé Frizant. The weather conditions were ideal (dry and hot days with temperatures of around 33-34°C and cool nights around 9-10°C) starting with the Muscat and White Sauvigon and finishing with the Mouvèdre and Cabernet Sauvignon to make up this unique Rosé Frizant. With some truly great aromas of red berries (raspberries), it’s brilliantly fresh with a moderate alcohol level which shouldn’t go over 11.5°. In style similar to previous years : “finesse, freshness, a delightful touch of acidity and bursting with colour”.
BIRTH OF THE 28TH VINTAGE OF MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC WHITE 2014
From 11 to 14 September
Picking for the white started with the Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Muscat, Petite Arvine, Sercial… 12 days earlier than 2013. And whilst yields were lower the grapes were glorious and had ripened perfectly !
Grapes were macerated on their skins under controlled temperature for 3 to 5 days before being pressed. The resulting must and juices then started fermenting.
The character of this 2014 white is becoming clear: it’s already possible to speak of a vintage with outstandingly good acidity which enhances such expressive hints as apricot and honey. It has great savours and is very fresh, 13° of alcohol and residual sugar on average around 5-7gr/l.
BIRTH OF THE 36TH VINTAGE OF MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC RED 2014
Harvesting for the red started on Thursday 11 September, beginning with our “collection” land parcel made up of rare and mysterious grapes, followed by the Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Tannat, Pinot, Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto and Cabernet Sauvignon vines. We finished on Sunday 14 September in radiant sunshine, ending, as is our custom, with the PeyraFioc Cabernet Sauvignon (our oldest vine planted in 1972).
Early tastings indicate good acidity is developing which will enhance attractive lightly toasted aromas (cocoa, coffee), red berries (black currant, mulberry); together with the lowest alcohol levels since 2007 (around 12.8-13°).
The vintage looks like being truly well balanced, with good acidity and elegant, mouthwatering savours.
Many thanks to the whole team who contributed happiness and good spirit to the harvesting of this splendid vintage !
The 2013 harvest at Daumas Gassac started on Monday 16 September, the latest for 20 years!
Our team of 36 grape pickers came from over 10 countries (Ireland, Morocco, France, Rumania, England, Poland …). They started with some Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc destined for a white grape juice (a new creation) and for the 2013 Rosé Frizant (Muscat, Mourvèdre and Cabernet Sauvignon).
ROSE FRIZANT 2013 FROM 16 TO 18 SEPTEMBER
Ideal weather (soft breeze, splendid sunny blue skies, cold nights 7°C/45°F). Superb grapes which had turned golden in the sun and were picked at their peak. ‘Great finesse, lively, fresh, with a perfect touch of acidity’ are the words that mostly spring to mind when tasting this brilliant sparkling Rosé.
The harvest was similar to last year, with alcohol levels that shouldn’t be higher than 11° and aromas of red fruit (strawberries, raspberries). In short, the 2013 Rosé Frizant should be magnificent.
WHITE 2013 FROM 19 TO 23 SEPTEMBER
On Wednesday 19 September, the team started picking the Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Muscat, Petite Arvine, Sercial… ‘Brilliant colour, tremendous finesse, freshness, good acidity, amazing fruit’ says the vigneron … Maceration for 6 days, followed by gentle and steady fermentation. The first impressions of this vintage look like being confirmed: the acidity levels are ideal to enhance perfectly balanced fruitiness, long length. The alcohol levels confirm this impression as we move towards a 2013 white just around 13°, with average residual sugar (around 5-7 gr).
Tasting it reminds us of the 2009 vintage, mouthwatering, fresh, fleshy, a real treat. This white 2013 vintage will be one of the greats.
RED 2013 FROM 23 SEPTEMBRE TO 4 OCTOBER
Monday 23 September, our picking team started the Reds with our “collection” vines made of a wide range of rare and mysterious grape varieties, then moving on to Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Tannat, Pinot, Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, etc..
During our initial tastings, some very seductive aromas of red fruit (cherries, raspberries and blackcurrants) are coming through, with a good acidity enhancing the balance and impressive smoothness of the wine.
The vats not containing Cabernet Sauvignon were pressed after about 10 days maceration. This blend of some 15 different grape varieties will bring fruitiness and smoothness to the final wine.
FROM MONDAY 30 SEPTEMBER TO FRIDAY 4 OCTOBER :
On the home stretch as the harvesters pick our best Cabernet Sauvignon vines whose grapes will make up about 70% of the final blend. Then, they macerate in vats for several days to extract colour, tannins, power and polyphenols from the pulp and skins of the grapes. At the most propitious moment, the grapes are transferred to the press and then fermentation starts slowly and quietly. Once completed, the wines will mature for 18 months in French oak barrels.
And our first impressions of the Cabernet Sauvignon : Perfect balance and good acidity which enhances the fruit (blackcurrants, blackberries with hints of coffee). And the words that sum up this red 2013 vintage : “Elegance, Finesse, Roundness”
Finally, a thoroughly good harvest, with yields similar to those of last year.
Tuesday 28 August
The cold dry winter was followed by a cool, rainy spring. As a result, the plants took their time developing. The result : flowering was 15 – 20 days later than in 2011, the veraison (term used to describe the grapes’ changing colour) was similarly late. July was cool and dry, then came August, a hot, dry month confirming the trend. The leaves are green, no sign of hydric stress, the grapes are splendid, their skins firm and thick with great acidity.
We’ve decided to start picking next week for the Rosé Frizant.
BEGINNING OF HARVEST – ROSÉ FRIZANT – 3RD TO 4TH SEPTEMBER
Monday 3 September
We started by picking the grapes for the rosé Frizant ! On Wednesday they will be gently pressed. At present all is going well, the weather is perfect, the harvest looks splendid.
Thursday 6 September
That’s it ! After a hard day’s work, the team at the winery has finished pressing the 2 vats filled on Monday and Tuesday, 4 sessions later and we are left with two vats of splendid must of the 2012 Rosé Frizant.
Cool, very delicate with aromas of strawberries and raspberries and a great pink almost purple colour. It’s still only fruit juice, but it’s devilishly good !
WHITE GRAPE HARVEST – 10TH TO 16TH SEPTEMBER
Monday 10 September
The picking teams started cutting the grapes for the white 2012. Poles, Roumanians, French, Irish, Spanish and others from all round the world spent the week picking Chardonnay, Viognier, Chenin, Petit Manseng, Muscat, Sémillon, Sercial and the other rare, diverse grapes that make up the white Daumas Gassac. It’s early days yet for the 2012 vintage bearing in mind that it’s all macerating and nothing has started fermenting.
We can safely say it looks promising, with luscious exotic aromas and a touch of honey from the Viognier and superb Muscat flavours.
Sunday 16 September : the end of the white grape harvest
Harvesting the 2012 white ended in great sunshine and good humour at midday this Sunday. It looks like a truly great harvest, the quality looks promising : that’s what counts for us !
RED GRAPE HARVEST – 17TH TO 27TH SEPTEMBER
Monday 17 September :
The picking team starts work again this morning with the aim of picking all the red grape varieties apart from the Cabernet Sauvignon this week. We started the morning with the very ripe Pinot Noir, the Merlot, Dolcetto, Niebiolo ; the Malbec and Tempranillo will follow.
We are picking in lightly cloudy weather, dry and cool, which is ideal for bringing in the grapes.
Saturday 22 September :
Yesterday we finished all the non-Cabernets and preparing to get the last group under way, the Cabernet Sauvignon, King of the Gassac valley which makes up 75% of the red wine blend. The juices are giving out splendid aromas, with lots of red candied fruits and sweetness filling the cellars.
At the other end of the chai, the eight vats of 2012 whites are fermenting, some nearing the end of the process, others only starting. The white is definitely mineral, with exotic hints, honey, apricot and distinctly fresh; it looks promising.
Sunday 23 September :
A day off for the picking team, although the team in the cellar is busy pressing the first three vats filled with red last Monday and Tuesday. On Monday we attack the heart of the vineyard so as to pick the last, oh so important, of the Cabernet Sauvignon !
Wednesday 26 september:
We’re nearing the end, all the Cabernet Sauvignon has been brought in apart from the Domaine’s two oldest patches. The Cabernet Sauvignon is sumptuous; perfectly ripen but above all with a superb acidity which enhances the whole aromatic palette that makes up this noble grape, King of the Gassac valley.
Véronique and Aimé Guibert together with Professor Henri Enjalbert were not mistaken when, in the early ‘70s, they decided to put Cabernet Sauvignon at the heart of the Daumas Gassac red wine !
Meanwhile, in the cellar, the white Daumas is quietly fermenting, it’s unveiling hints of citrus peel, excellent acidity and a touch of apricot and honey. As of now the result is delicious, a real eye opener and, above all, it’s fascinating to watch the aromas and tastes evolving.
THE LAST DAY OF HARVEST
Thursday 27 september :
The last day of the 2012 Daumas Gassac harvest has brought in a record amount of grapes. It’s been a month of idyllic conditions and it was vital to bring in the grapes from the two Daumas Gassac vine, Peyrafioc (Land of fire in Occitan) and those on the Plateau. During 19 days we hand-picked 50 hectares of vines, which should produce between 210.000 and 220.000 bottles of Daumas Gassac wine.
During this time, the Daumas Gassac cellars were well filled, with 8 small vats of white already blended, fermentation over and all well protected by the cold. This white is amazingly fresh, for the moment its acidity bringing out lemony hints, honey and apricot with a smooth ending, all thoroughly seductive ! Now, we’ll leave the wine to rest in the cool for several weeks, allowing natural sedimentation. The eight Cabernet tanks are developing as they ferment and macerate on their lees, with every new day bringing new aromas, delightful surprises…
Altogether, the vigneron can allow himself to feel happy: not only did the harvested grapes prove excellent and came in before the rain broke, fermentation is proceeding with no problems and the resulting gentle strength promises a splendid vintage !
Basile GUIBERT, Harvesting manager
How was the harvest this year ? : “Very intense… a lot of work to be done in 20 consecutive days in bright sunshine. At the end of the day the result is splendid, viognier, cabernet sauvignon, muscat…the grapes were magnificent.””
Grape picking by hand ? : “Yes, to avoid the risk of damaging the grapes which have taken almost a year to develop and to avoid being rough with the vine. On the one hand you have bunches of grapes whose berries must be protected right up to the vat to avoid losing its flavours and on the other hand you have the vine which starts a new cycle once the grapes have been cut. Harvesting by hand ensures high-quality viticulture..”
Who are the grape pickers ? : “As every year for the past 33 years, we have gathered a team of 25 people from all over the world. This year they were French, Polish, Romanian, Belgian, German, Senegalese, Italian, Moroccan and British. Enthusiastic amateurs, friends, students or simply those looking for seasonal work, they all enjoy the experience so much that some have been coming back year after year for over 15 years. The delicious meals at lunchtime prepared by my mother Véronique certainly have something to do with it !”
What makes a good grape picker in your opinion ? : “Cheerfulness and speed are essential qualities….after that a good grape picker must know one or two songs, must not forget any bunches on his row and must not leave too many leaves in his crate !”
And finally, what training do you need to be a grape picker ? : “We only take people with 10 to 12 years of higher education and a will of steel to confront rows of 2h40 long…ha ! ha ! ha ! No, of course the only important thing is that the person should share our values.”
And finally, what is your view of the harvest ? : “An Indian summer, a sweet life and therefore grapes in the same vein. Fine, elegant with exuberant fruitiness”
Amélien GUIBERT et Renaud THILLAYE, in charge of the sorting table
What is your view of the harvest ?
“This year, the weather has been outstanding ! We had the advantage of having the sun throughout the entire harvest with grapes that were continuing to become more concentrated all the time. It was really wonderful for the quality of the grapes !”
What does your job involve ?
“Ha ! ha ! Only letting the very best get through! Removing the leaves and snails and finally checking the flow to allow the grapes to enter the vat at a regular rate.”
Philippe MICHEL, Cellar master
How was the harvest this year ?
“We waited right until the last minute to pick the very ripe grapes to have very candied notes.”
What is the specificity of this year, in your opinion ?
“A good harvest with decent volume ! This hasn’t happened since 2004. We are happy. Otherwise, this rather candied note, as I said before, is really characteristic of this year.”
Samuel GUIBERT, Winemaker
How was the harvest this year ?
“This harvest has been superb. We chose the right date to start. The grapes were picked at the best of their taste, acidity, sugar content and aroma and in perfect condition. The magic does not take place in the cellar but in the vineyard. And of course, harvesting by hand in a friendly atmosphere, greatly helped by the presence of our brother Basile who managed the team of grape pickers
What were the weather conditions for this vintage and what effect did this have ?
“Before harvesting, the cool summer allowed the grapes to mature very slowly. This preserved the aromas and a very good level of acidity. That acidity is a key component as we attach great importance to the freshness of our wines. During the harvest we experienced a stunning Indian summer ! Moderate heat during the day and cool nights.”
What is the specificity of this year, in your opinion ?
“I really believe that the specificity of the year is the cool summer which preserved the aromas. The 2011 vintage will be expressive and very aromatic.”
Aniane, 12 October 2011
What a surprise! We started the harvest on the tenth of September 2010 whereas harvesting has been starting towards the end of August for the last ten years. We are back in the 1980’s !
It has been obvious since the end of fermentation that the red 2010 is an exceptional vintage, certainly the most succulent of our vintages.
A moderate summer without burning heat and without a drop of rain has produced delicious flavours. On top of this, a few hot days at the beginning of September have “roasted” the very ripe grapes, resulting in rare “caramel” tastes.
This astonishing great vintage can be enjoyed as soon as maturing is complete, but will then age very well, confirming its opulent complexity.
Time works miracles for very distinguished great wines, such as Daumas Gassac, continuously improving the flavours over the years. Opting for the flavours of the young or the mature wine will be up to the great wine-lovers themselves.
Aniane ,22 October 2010
2009 SUMPTOUS WINE BORN OF THE SUN !
It’s a great vintage, quite unlike any other !
It was tremendously hot from June to September, peaking in the first fortnight of August. And although there was only a touch of rain, our land remained well watered from its winter soaking and our Gassac stream remained in full flow throughout the 2009 summer.
It all meant an incredible harvest.
To start with, the grapes were in perfect condition; not a single one damaged; we only had to sort out a few dry leaves: it’s never happened before. Then the alcohol settled at a splendidly moderate level, below 13°. Finally, and it’s what is truly special, there are rich, smooth, lightly caramelised savours we’ve never come across in our thirty years making wine.
Tasting from the vats as fermentation ended revealed extremely soft tannins which didn’t overpower the caramel savours in the fermenting must. That the tannins are so soft is all the more remarkable since they are unusually rich; this means the wine will age gloriously when laid down. It’s a vintage with thoroughly unusual characteristics; thoroughly mouth-watering, it has great ageing potential
It’s a one-off vintage, it’ll be rare too. The dry weather meant the grapes were small with thick skins; less juice means less wine ! But what a treat for those lucky enough to have a few bottles.
Once again, this year has given me huge pleasure; our small vines, sheltered in glades surrounded by the Arboussas forest, have produced a unique, delicious vintage, truly an expression of wild nature and a magnificent terroir.
Aniane the 3rd October 2009
FIRST IMPRESSIONS !
It’s common knowledge among all wine producers ! Each ten years there’s a “great harvest” ; one that produces not just superb quality grapes, but result in an exceptional vintage !
Oddly enough, at Daumas Gassac, our ten year ‘greats’ were in 1978, 1988, 1998. Now we’ve had a wonderful surprise ! The ten year cycle has come round again in 2008.
The 2008 White has incredible finesse, hugely rich aromas.
Half way through the harvest, the 2008 Red already looks outstanding : elegant, opulent, fleshy, full bodied … definitely one to lay down.
Apart from the quality, people who study these things are astonished that in 2008 the grapes are reaching maturity towards the end of September, which was the rule during the last century, but one which appeared to have changed in the past ten years when harvests have been earlier – towards the end of August.
It makes a vigneron humble ; and it’s proof that all wine producers need to heed natural conditions… to obey the
laws of nature.
We’re astonished and delighted as we wait for what will be a truly great 2008 vintage, watching over it as it ferments in the peace of our underground cellars.
Aniane, lthe 18 September 2008,