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N°164

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Château d’Agassac

19/03/2019
Purely gastronomic

A veil of mist hangs around the property when we arrive with the Best Sommelier of the World Paolo Basso in front of the gates of Château d'Agassac. Nothing in fact augured of a tasting to come which would be under the sign of light. The estate manager Jean-Luc Zell receives us at his place, which is in his vines. It seems that you have to distinguish the wine people who start their visit by the vine, from those who drag you abruptly in the cellars.

The 43-hectare terroir of Agassac is located in the southern part of Ludon-Médoc, and extends over two gravelly hills from the 4th and 5th terrace of Medoc, the same ones that count a large number Crus Classés. The vineyard was completely reworked in 1958, then in 1997, from when the vineyard was totally restructured (draining, enhancement of the foliage, adaptation of the vines and rootstocks to the terroirs, pruning, re-cultivation of the vine ...) and they regularly renewed the vines to reach today an average age of 30 years with a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon. This Herculean work will be completed in 2030. “We are doing a job in which time is important. Whoever does not understand this cannot exercise this job.”

Jean-Luc Zell et Paolo Basso

Jean-Luc Zell needed time to understand the terroir, so that his wine would one day have its taste. Aware of the importance of the knowledge of his soil, he undertook on his own pedological studies more than 20 years ago, confirmed by Pierre Becheler’s recent work in 2018. Agassac’s wine stems from different gravelly terraces, and the techniques used are all intended to regulate the powerfulness of the cabernets and to make balanced merlots, picked when fruity and low in alcohol. The precise knowledge of this terroir naturally leads to plot selections that are not made in the cellar but first in the vineyard. Here, a particular attention is brought to the quality of the extractions realized in order to obtain identity wines where balance, freshness, controlled powerfulness and finesse express themselves. An astonishing vertical tasting, from the 2000 vintage to the 2016, revealed powerful and fine Cabernet Sauvignons, now at the heart of Agassac's blends. Moreover, Jean-Luc Zell says he wants to develop wines for gastronomy. This solar tasting confirmed the status.

Henry Clemens

 

Ce qu’en pense Paolo Basso

Château d’Agassac 2010, Haut Médoc
Dark ruby-red colour with garnet shades. Very dense. The nose is still retained by the youth. Light aromas of cassis, blackberries, licorice, oak wood drying. An exceptional fist taste, powerful and voluminous, while showing minerality. Dense and expressive with remarkable depth. Still grippy tannins due to their youth and a high acidity that enhances the whole. The exceptional vintage revealed. Ageing: 2035-40.

Château d’Agassac 2016, Haut Médoc
Dark ruby red with purple shades. Very dense. Another register:
a wine that is still under construction. In the nose, liquorice, young and fresh wild berries, a very present fruitiness with vigor, toastiness. In the mouth, rich and dense, deep, very tasty, expressive, vigorous but high quality tannins, a long and tasty finish with a nice acidity. A very great wine.
Ageing: 2025-2040.

 

www.agassac.com