Holiday House Wine, Our Picks.

Holiday House Wine, Our Picks.

Posted on Dec, 09. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

Every year we like to suggest a white and a red in a good price point for having around the house over the holidays for parties, friends and family. This year we are offering you 2 wines that many of you loved last year and that have blown us away in the new vintages this year.

These are the basic wines from the esteemed Mas de Daumas Gassac Which are called the Guilhem bottlings. As I mentioned we offered them out last year. I personally case stacked them at Rev Soup becasue I thought they were such a tremendous bargain. This year they are better. These are unbelievable under $8 wines.

I have already sold cases to some Guild members for early parties and the praises have been pouring in. I will not go into a lot of detail here, the red is a Syrah based blend and the White is a Sauv Blanc based blend but if you know anything about Daumas Gassac it is that their wines are their own. These wines are almost unidentifiable as varietal, I would almost have guess Cabernet for the red in a blind tasting, there is something of a Bordeaux/Rhone cross to it. The white is tremendous, a baby version of the top bottling from the estate.

So here they are, the perfect Holiday wines, and with a beautiful package to boot. I have included our notes from the first time we tasted these babies below and I highly recommend reading them. The good news is they are cheaper this year than they were then.

Below is our offer from last year to give you more background on the producer.

We just finished a little distributor meeting with Samuel Guibert, the co-owner/winemaker at what’s known as “The Grand Cru of the Midi”, Mas de Daumas Gassac, and I thought I’d let you guys in on this right away. Mas de Daumas Gassac is situated in the little Vallee Gassac (Languedoc, Southern Rhone), and its success is owed in large part to somewhat of an anomaly in the soil and microclimate—In 1971, a Geology professor rediscovered this unique red glacial soil, similar to that of the Cote d’Or. At the same time, the cooler microclimate in the Gassac Valley is rare in the southern Rhone, and produces strikingly unique wines. So in the early 70’s, the Guibert family planted vines and began the construction of the cellars. Emile Peynaud, the famous Medoc Oenologist, consulted with the owners, and once remarked, ‘I’ve advised the greatest producers in France, but never before been lucky enough to be present at the birth of a grand cru’. The “Grand Cru” label stuck, and the family has carved out a fine wine niche in a land of indistinguishable table wine.

The domaine has a very small production, and the Guiberts have a “spice rack” approach to winemaking: they are not afraid to blend in many varietals to achieve complexity and balance. But, as Samuel rattled off the eight or so varietals that were in the rouge, the only thing that you needed to know was: these are intense wines, wines of finesse, great depth, and striking balance. However, because of their small production (and their lack of big-name appelation), few people really know these wines outside of their cult following. And so what they have done is open a sister house called “Moulin de Gassac”, to produce larger quantities on different land, but with the same philosophy of winemaking. This has allowed the wines of Vallee Gassac to reach more palates, and also offers us a brilliant deal on some well-made wine that has much more depth than its price would suggest. The blanc is a blend of Sauv Blanc, Grenache Blanc and Clairette. The grenache blanc serves to soften the acidity of the sauvignon, and throws aromas of fresh citrus and flowers/schist/fresh rain. I imagine this would be excellent with seafood, or as an aperitif with a cheese plate. The rouge is a blend of typical Languedoc varieties (Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, etc.), and has anything but a gruff exterior. Very soft tannins, bubbling over with fresh cherries, and just a touch of cedary spice (despite the lack of oak in vinification). These are wines to buy by the case, gems from this little-known valley in the south of Rhone that, while priced like grocery store wine, are anything but.

My highest recommendations go out on these wines for any time, any palate and almost any meal.

2009 Guilhem Blanc
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $7.34 • Premier Cru: $7.67 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $9.99
Buy Now!

2008 Guilhem Rouge
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $7.34 • Premier Cru: $7.67 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $9.99
Buy Now!

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