BLOG: Languedoc Part III - Southern Grand Cru Outperformed Bordeaux 1st Growths

Our Grand Cru Picks For Ya | TOP 2 To Try:

1. La Pèira En Damaisele- Grand cru du Languedoc Outperformed Bordeaux’s 5 First Growths

La Peira, owned and run by Australian Rob Dougan and his French Mauritian wife Karine Ahton (Barrister formerly) is located in the well drained limestone gravels of Les terrasses du Larzac, Languedoc. And the person behind this ambitious wine is Le Peira's winemaker Audrey Bonnet.
Winemaking is done with a light touch so only a small proportion of new 500 and 600L barrels for the cuvees containing Syrah and Mourvedre (Monastrell), with the Carignan and Cinsault cuvees being aged in tank or larger oak. The aim is to preserve the freshness and purity of each wine with as little interference as possible so there is minimal racking and no fining or filtering. (Source: Vintage & Vine)
According to Robert Parker and influential wine critics Andrew Jefford, Jancis Robinson MW and Tim Atkin MW, La Pèira En Damaisele outperformed Bordeaux's First Growths at a sophisticated wine dinner hosted in France. 
Source: La Peira Blog
They all took an in-depth look at the history, geology and background of the La Peira estate, from its grand vin En Damaisele to its second wine Las Flores de La Peira and to vin blanc (fewer than 100 cases). 
The grand vin is mainly low-yielding Syrah with some old-vine Grenache from the domain’s best plot. There’s around 4,000 bottles of that. The second wine is Las Flors (8,000 to 9,000 bottles; Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault); then there is double the quantity again of Les Obriers, a simpler Cinsault-Carignan blend. The exotic white — Roussanne, Viognier and a dash of Marsanne, though Grenache Blanc and Clairette have just been planted — is called Deusyls; there are 1,600 bottles or so. (Andrew Jefford)

Southern France’s First Growth” by Andrew McMurray, VP of Zachys
La Peira is the only estate in the Languedoc to receive a ✪✪✪✪✪ rating (super 5 stars restricted to the true classics, out-and-out world class). One of three in the entire South of France. 
La Pèira has had less than 10 years to establish a reputation whereas Mas de Daumas Gassac on the outskirts of Aniane south east of La Pèira has been waving the flag for top-quality wine from the Languedoc since its first vintage, 1978. (source: La Peira blog)

2. Mas de Daumas Gassac - Grand cru du Languedoc


Source: Curious Wines
The wines of Mas de Daumas Gassac have a degree of natural austerity that is more akin to the great wines of Bordeaux or the Loire than the Languedoc. The grand vin is the densely powerful red made of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remainder a fascinating melange of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Tannat, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Grenache, Tempranillo, Voskehat (Armenia), Kontorni (Armenia), Salte (Syris) and some Georgian varieties. 
Source: Wine Spectator
Located in the outskirt of Montpellier the owner of Mas de Daumas Aimé Guibert who passed away last year, hired Emile Peynaud – a great oenologist associated with Bordeaux. The little Gassac valley, protected by acre after acre of garrigue, a type of aromatic, soft-leaved scrubland found around the Mediterranean, enjoys its own microclimate. The proximity to the sea keeps the vineyards air-conditioned so that the grapes never burn. The cellars, chilled by the waters of the stream, remain wonderfully cool even in the height of summer. However, had it not been for Professor Enjalbert’s fortuitous visit early on, the estate could have easily ended up full of olive or fruit trees. (source: The Wine Society)

There’s an irony about Daumas Gassac being a Languedoc superstar, as few red wines are less typical of the region. they’re sui generis: the sensorial offspring not merely of a place, but of a historical moment, of a fierce will and of a curious, non-conformist vision, too. (source: Decanter)
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Author: Evercohol Management
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