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 fruit of our harvests is stored in an old cellar, underneath a Gallo-Roman mill. We also present our vat room,
and our vinification methods for our red and white wines and the Rosé Frizant.
VINIFICATION OF THE RED WINE
While we owe the discovery of the terroir to Henri Enjalbert, the vinification and ageing methods were the result of our collaboration with Émile Peynaud. Traditional vinification.is characterized by a long maceration (three weeks) of destemmed grapes, punctuated by several pumping overs.
The Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge is then transferred, unfiltered to our barrel cellar to be aged in oak barrels for 12 to 15 months. The Burgundy barrels are one to seven years old.
After barrel ageing, the red grand vin is already flavourful and fruity. Even in its youth it offers elegance and finesse, with lots of crunchy tannins.
After seven years, the fruit fades into the background and the tannins soften.
After 14 years of bottle-ageing, the tertiary aromas emerge, accompanied by hints of dried roses, undergrowth and truffles.
After 20 years, the Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge reveals its character as a Grand Vin and begins to express its full potential.
VINIFICATION OF THE WHITE WINE
This atypical vinification consists of:
- maceration on the skins at 10°C for five to ten days;
- fermentation in stainless-steel vats for three weeks;
- alluvial filtration through diatomaceous earth;
- the wine is returned to the vats and then filtered a second time before bottling.
The grand vin consists of a blend of four main grapes (Viognier, Chardonnay, Petit Manseng and Chenin) and about twenty other varieties.
In its youth, the Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc combines fruitiness and freshness, and has a creamy texture.
In its third year, it matures: the fruit fades, making way for secondary aromas, with notes of brioche, lightly candied fruit and honey flavours.
In its sixth year, the Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc evolves towards flavours of sherry and old Sauternes with a very refined oxidized character.
VINIFICATION OF THE ROSÉ FRIZANT
A deliciously sparkling cuvée… This is a wonderfully fresh, generous, fruity wine produced from young vines growing in white clay soil.
The Rosé Frizant is made using the Charmat method. Secondary fermentation takes place in a high-pressure vat rather than in the bottle. As a result, delicate, refreshing, thirst-quenching bubbles form in the wine!
THE VAT ROOM
Consisting of thirty stainless-steel vats, the vinification room is located in the former water storage facility of the Gallo-Roman mill.
Two cold water springs run under the vat room’s stone floor providing natural cooling, and ensuring that alcoholic fermentation takes place very slowly, over 8 to 10 days. It is this slowness that enables complex flavours to develop.
The property’s vats are temperature-controlled, which provide static, uniform cooling of the vats.
We installed a new pneumatic press in the autumn of 2016. This enables excellent extraction of the juices still in the skins, without extracting any of the greenness or bitterness of the seeds, which remain intact.
IMMERSION IN THE CELLAR OF THE MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC DURING HARVESTING
THE BARREL CELLAR
The old cellars under the Gallo-Roman mill provide storage for four hundred Burgundy oak barrels that are renewed by a seventh each year. The cellars ensure a constant temperature and perfect humidity for traditional barrel ageing.
The barrels are made by the Atelier Centre France cooperage. The fourth largest region in France in terms of area, Centre France includes the Allier and Nièvre forests. These are France’s finest private and state-managed forests; well-known for the quality of their wood, three quarters of the forests are broad-leaved trees, mainly oak.
THE WINE LIBRARY
Proof of our wines’ remarkable capacity to age, the vinothèque reflects more than 40 years of Mas de Daumas Gassac’s history; it was built deep in the property’s cellars, where it lies undisturbed and protected from the light. It contains thousands of extremely rare bottles (no longer available for sale) of wines that have become legendary. The temperature and humidity in this living cellar are kept under constant control.
Every year, we add a hundred or so bottles of each vintage, so that we can assess how our wines evolve as they age. Every ten years, a few bottles of each vintage are selected to be tasted by guests and wine professionals at the property’s famed vertical tastings.