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Genuine Château Mauvezin

Winegrower Bordeaux
Genuine Château MauvezinOlivier Cassat
“Sommeliers differentiate wines by their aromatic complexity
and it is only possible to
make fine wines with old vines”Château Mauvezin, a small estate covering just two hectares located to the north of Saint-Emilion, is waging its battle against globalisation and the profound changes taking place within the wine industry. Olivier Cassat, its owner, is making his mark in wine tourism, choosing an approach of promoting taste from the past and developing personalised reception at his estate. Let time accomplish its work
Manager of three other wine estates (Domaine de Peyrelongue, Château Haut Badon and La Tour du guetteur), Olivier Cassat’s wines are all made in accordance with their terroir, and he produces wines which are either tannic or slightly bitter, sweet or acidulous. His various wines are in fact made on Saint-Emilion’s four main categories of soil. Château Mauvezin produces complex, extremely intense wines which are perfect for ageing. Powerful, elegant wines, their aromas evoke truffle and pepper.
2002 is superb, tremendously concentrated with lovely texture. It should be savoured in accompaniment to a rib steak of beef à la bordelaise, a cut of beef cooked over the hot embers of vine shoots and served with Périgord boletus mushrooms …
Yields at Château Mauvezin are 40 hectolitres per hectare and annual production represents 10 000 bottles, 70% of which are sold as futures to individual customers, wine shops, professionals and restaurateurs all over the world.
So, what is the philosophy of this estate’s owner? He believes in all that is authentic, the terroir, to be discovered and shared in an historic setting (his tasting room dates from 1650). I should mention that Olivier Cassat represents the 15th generation of winegrowers at this estate. Because of his origins, he is extremely proud of local traditions and never forgets that he owes the quality of his vines to his ancestors and those who cultivated this land before them. “Sommeliers differentiate wines by their aromatic complexity and it is only possible to make fine wines with old vines”, Olivier Cassat reminds us.Mauvezin

A passion for taste and history

Un tel héritage, auquel s’ajoutent 30 années d’expérience, incite à prendre du recul sur les tendances actuelles. Ainsi, Olivier Cassat avoue ressentir une certaine perplexité face aux nouveaux modes de consommation uniformisés et au succès des vins du Nouveau monde. Selon lui, un vin doit titrer entre 12,5 et 13 degrés ; un titrage supérieur serait une erreur, même avec une maturation phénologique supérieure. Point de rejet de la différence pour autant chez cet inconditionnel du goût qui apprécie pleinement, par exemple, l’authenticité d’un vin italien d’appellation, tel un Chianti, en accompagnement d’une cuisine florentine à base de venaison ou de fromages.

De façon plus générale, l’essor de la réglementation qui encadre la filière (agréments, obligations syndicales, directives européennes…) tend à niveler la production viticole.

Such a legacy, to which he adds 30 years of winegrowing experience, encouraged him to take a more objective view of the situation. Olivier Cassat admits he feels somewhat bewildered by current, standardised consumption trends and the success of New World wines.
In his opinion, the alcoholic strength of a wine should be between 12.5 and 13 degrees; to make wines stronger than this would be an error, even in the event of greater phenological maturity. He is loyal to true taste and certainly does not reject wines that are different; in fact, he really likes the authenticity of Italian appellation wines, such as Chianti for example, served to accompany typical Florentine dishes made with venison or with various cheeses.
Generally speaking, the increasing number of regulations that govern the wine industry (tasting approvals, association obligations, European directives …) tend to level off the quality of wine production. What does one remember about the past of an estate such as Château Mauvezin, which has existed for 800 years? What importance is given to time, for it is time that slowly ripens nature’s gifts to ultimately yield its very finest expression?
Olivier Cassat is sceptical and doubts that today’s frantic pace is compatible with that of craftsmen who cultivate their produce in the same way as the roots of their existence. “We are witnessing transformations in our profession as well as in our climate.” In reality, it is the essence of Saint-Emilion’s terroir that currently seems threatened.
This is why Olivier Cassat, who describes himself quite simply as a farmer, has decided to safeguard taste, the savours of bygone days as well as produce of character, vintage wines which bring back memories like the universe of fragrances and flavours, by opening his estate to almost 2 000 people a year. With this change of direction to wine tourism, his passion for viticulture is conveyed through education, with an approach that encourages encounters and exchanges. “I present wine as an element of conviviality, as a type of food, a part of civilisation and culture.”
He attaches great importance to this direct contact between the winegrower and individual wine enthusiasts; he takes pleasure in developing the artistic aspect that shapes his wine, a unique product made from an encounter between Man, weather conditions and his environment.
Château Mauvezin also works in close collaboration with gastronomy professionals (Meilleurs Ouviers de France (France’s Finest Artisans), the GRETA (training organisation), and gastronomy specialists …)
Improving his knowledge of English, meeting numerous young visitors keen to learn in a personalised setting: it is a new change of direction for Olivier Cassat, a different, more prudent transformation, but certainly a positive one …

Château Mauvezin
Grand cru Saint Emilion
G.F.A. Cassat et Fils
BP 44 – 33330 Saint Emilion
Tél.: 05 57 24 72 36
Fax : 05 57 74 48 54