Outside of the iconic Cabernet Sauvignon addresses in Bordeaux, there's one name in France that can go toe to toe with these chateaux: Mas de Daumas Gassac. As always, the provenance of older wines is a critical factor in the quality you'll find in the glass, and I'm thrilled to offer this mint condition collection from Languedoc's star estate.
Mas de Daumas Gassac was established in 1970 when Véronique and Aimé Guibert came across an abandoned farmhouse owned by the Daumas family along the Gassac River in the Herault. Underground water springs and surrounding mountains created a microclimate mirroring Bordeaux's Médoc, so they planted vine material from First Growth chateaux in Bordeaux. The region has an abundance of 100-plus-year-old plantings, with a dry climate favorable for organic viticulture.
Made of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon supplemented with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Tannat, and Malbec, the wines highlight espresso, dark chocolate, cigar box, brambly blackberries, and savory spices. Still, Languedoc's cooling influences and limestone bedrock have long stood out as a beacon for freshness. Alcohol levels have remained modest through stylistic shifts, never taking Bordeaux's cues when things drastically changed in the '80s.