February 04, 2007

1999 Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc

We all know that sometimes a “great deal” isn’t so great. Wine is no exception.

When I find something significantly lower than market price, I always wonder if it’s damaged goods. Many times, it is.

But sometimes, the great deal is just that. Distributors close stuff out perfectly good wine when they who won’t be representing the producer in the future. Or when they’re getting rid of last year’s release to clear space for new wine. Or when they simply have too much of a particular bottling, especially if it’s known to be more obscure and perhaps harder to sell.

Who knows what it was a couple years ago with the 1999 Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc, which showed up on close out in half bottles for $4.99. This should have been three times that price, and a nice deal at that.

I can imagine people thought the wine was getting old. And half bottles aren’t always big sellers. And despite that quasi-cult status of this southern France producer, really, who’s buying chardonnay, viognier, etc. blends from the hinterlands?

So I bought a few, and sadly drank the last one earlier this week. This wine is fully mature, with a golden yellow color and an amazingly complex aroma that mixes white Burgundy with the northern Rhone.

It has aromas of pples, yellow fruits, toast, sweet cream butter, an exotic star fruit note and then a hint of mint like a Ramondet Chassagne-Montrachet. In the mouth, it’s rich and round with minty yellow fruit, apples, soft acid that just carries the lush flavors to a nice long finish.

This is seamless wine, truly complex and perfectly mature. For five bucks. Some deal.

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