Master vigneron woos a crowd at Ballymaloe

Last Friday night saw the much anticipated visit of Samuel Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac to Ballymaloe’s magnificent Grainstore, for an evening of talk, tales and tasting as we sampled across the Gassac range with around 90 enthusiastic guests.

Samuel told the story of how, in the space of just ten years, Mas de Daumas Gassac redefined the limits of a region becoming the iconic estate of the Languedoc, with critics around the world proclaiming their Grand Cru wines on a par with the best of Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône. 30 years on, with Samuel taking over the reigns of master vigneron, Daumas Gassac retain the rare status of ‘cult wines’.
After an aperitif on arrival of the Daumas Gassac Rosé Frizzant, we sat down to the whites, tasting the Moulin de Gassac Faune 2010, the Reserve de Gassac Blanc 2009 and the Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc 2009. For the reds, the Moulin de Gassac Albaran 2009 and the Pont de Gassac Rouge 2010 were followed by a three-tier vertical of the Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge, tasting through the 2009, 2007 and 2004 vintages of this great wine.

The Grainstore at Ballymaloe – in preparation

Two Samuels: Samuel Guibert assists Ballymaloe Sommelier Samuel Chantoiseau preparing the wines

Careful now: Ballymaloe Sommelier Samuel Chantoiseau carefully decants the Mas de Daumas Gassac

Samuel Guibert and Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wines looking pensive ahead of kick-off

Head Sommelier Colm McCan discusses how the All Blacks’ pass-and-move game could upset France’s Rugby World Cup Final plans the following Sunday.

The stage is set: Curious Mike and Samuel discuss posture. Or something.

Samuel Guibert presents.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine looks on as Samuel shows the next generation of Daumas Gassac master vigneron on the big screen.

Mike and Samuel (looking remarkably fresh the morning after!) in Curious Wines.

Sincerest thanks to Samuel Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac for taking time immediately after harvest to visit Cork and Ballymaloe; to the Allen family, in particular Darina and Rachel for their assistance in the pre-tasting photo shoots, and Hazel and Mrs Myrtle Allen for their hospitality on the night, both in the Grainstore and afterwards in Ballymaloe House; to Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine for co-hosting the event; and to Ballymaloe Sommeliers Samuel Chantoiseau and Colm McCan for their expert hosting and consummate professionalism on the night, and in particular to Colm for his ceaseless energy, creativity and contagious enthusiasm in planning and hosting another great wine event at Ballymaloe. We are truly indebted to you all.

And, finally, a huge thank you to everyone who came out on the night to enjoy Samuel and the wines of Mas de Daumas Gassac. We are most of all indebted to you.

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