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At Chateau d’Agassac, the grapes are hand-picked and sorted in the vineyard before being taken to the cellar. They are once again sorted in the cellar. To avoid damage due to handling, the grapes are then put onto a conveyor belt.
Once they have been destemmed and crushed, the grapes are separated into batches and put into temperature-controlled vats for maceration and fermentation. Each batch is made up of the same grape variety, from vines of the same age, grown on the same vineyard plot. In this way, each batch can be fermented according to its individual needs, especially as regards the length of maceration, which lasts and average of around three weeks.
The grapes are harvested at optimum ripeness extract round, silky tannins. At Chateau d’Agassac, gentle extraction, rather than full-blown, brutal extraction is carried out during maceration. The latter can damage the fruit and detract from the characteristics of the terroir.
Maceration and fermentation take place in very wide vats that encourage contact between the juice and the skin without having to resort to unnecessary extraction methods. Maceration and fermentation are carried out at low temperatures in order to preserve the quality of the fruit.
It is also important for the right balance between fruit and oak to be achieved during ageing. The purpose of the oak is to enhance, but never dominate the fruit. Most of the wine is aged in new oak barrels.
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