Languedoc: The iconic Aimé Guibert passes away

Saturday June 04 2016 by Vitisphere

Aimé Guibert de la Vaissière, who passed away age 91, was the man behind the iconic Mas de Daumas Gassac, Languedoc’s most Bordeaux-style wine. What has now come to epitomise the turning point in the quality resurgence of the Languedoc wine region seemed like a long shot back in the 1970s. “I consulted all the great Languedoc oracles and asked them, “How do you make a great wine?” They invariably replied: “If you could make an age-worthy wine in Languedoc, we would know about it”. They scoffed at me,” recalled Aimé Guibert in Olivier Torrès’ book, ‘La Guerre des Vins’ (Dunod, 2005*). Potty, but above all determined, Aimé Guibert de la Vaissière always believed in geologist Henri Enjalbert’s prediction that the Gassac plateau could produce the finest growth.

To succeed in his endeavour, he steadfastly took inspiration from techniques used in the Medoc, planting Cabernet-Sauvignon in 1972 – on advice from viticulture professor Denis Boubals – and ageing his first vintage for two years in 1978, with the backing of wine consultant Emile Peynaud. These bold technical decisions led to low yields and exclusion from the appellation system – Mas de Daumas Gassac was sold first as an entry-level table wine then as a regional wine. These two obstacles would not so much hinder as shape Mas de Daumas Gassac’s reputation, allowing it to become a benchmark for quality with wine lovers.

Aimé Guibert’s family announced his passing during the night of May 14 to 15. As a tribute to him, they recalled one of his favourite quotes: “You can only give two things to your children: roots and wings”. Since the beginning of the 2000s, Aimé Guibert gradually gave up his estate, handing over the reins to his children, Samuel, Roman, Gaël and Basile.

His funeral was held in the abbey church in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert on May 18.

 

*Unless otherwise specified, Aimé Guibert quotes are taken from this book.

 

Source: Vitisphere. Photo: Mas de Daumas Gassac

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