chateau 7
Elegance, complexity, finesse, style is what one invariably finds in a bottle of Château Lassègue, from the prestigious Grand Cru from St. Emilion.
So what’s else is new? The prices. They’re surprisingly affordable!
Together with Jess Jackson, veteran winemaker Pierre Seillan and his wife Monique are owners of several fine wine estates in the US, Italy and France.  Chateau Lassègue in Bordeaux, in the heart of St. Emilion, is one of them.                                                                                                                   chateau 8
This 18th Château built on a beautifully restored 17th century villa sporting sundials (originally installed 250 years ago so vineyard workers could track  time while working), in turn built over Roman ruins in Saint Etienne de Lisse, is an important estate of over 84 Grand Cru acres of red grapes planted in a variety of soils, from the foothills to the hillsides of St. Emilion.
I stress the variety of soils because winemaker Pierre Seillan’s philosophy is based on what he coined “micro-crus.” Not only is each parcel thoroughly analyzed and planted according to the soil’s properties, “and you can imagine the diversity of soils you get in 80 acres in Bordeaux, where plots are usually quite small,” Monique Seillan was quick to point out at a recent wine tasting where she poured newly released and to-be-released vintages. “Here, each block or mini-plot is harvested separately and vinified in separate barrels.
And those are another story:  to get the best for each of his wines, Pierre Seillan even picks the trees from selected forests for his barrels, before working on how long to heat the staves and on the intensity of the toasting which will affect the color, flavor, tannin profile and texture of the wines.
All of the above demands imposed by his perfectionism are in addition to the strict regulations and production restrictions imposed on St. Emilion Grands Crus such as reduced yields, high sugar content at harvest -with the exception of Merlot, and a period of at least 14 months storage at the producer’s before being released.
This labor of love and precise wine-making-style was evident at the vertical tasting of Château Lassègue and Château  Vignot, both Saint Emilion Grand Cru, 2005 through 2008.  Both traditional Bordeaux blends from old vines (Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon) are elegant, complex, well-balanced and the true expression of St. Emilion, yet so different from each other.
Château Vignot wines, from the clay-sandy gravel foothills of the Côtes de St. Emilion are truffle-like earthy, fruity, rich with chocolate and delicate violet, good acidity and soft tannins. Chateau Lassègue, from 50-year-old vines planted on the estate’s hillside with calcareous clay soils and limestone, yields opulent, well-balanced and shimmering lush wines with some minerality, smooth tannins, an impressive structure and a fantastic length.
Great food wines, they pair beautifully with seafood as well as grilled steaks and desserts and can be consumed now or aged for another 20 years.

Having being under new management for less than the required time for classification, while bound by all the production regulations and  restrictions, Lassègue is more flexible when it comes to pricing than a Cheval Blanc or Le Pin.
bouteille 1Here are some notes from our tasting at The Capital Grill in Downtown Miami:
 
Les Cadrans de Lassègue, Château Lassègue, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2008 ($30) 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.  This second label aged 8 months in French oak,  while still young, evolved into a delicious, unique wine with jammy tones of dark fruit, licorice, great acidity and subdued tannins.
 
'Lassègue', Château Lassègue, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France 2007 ($80) (68%Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon). Round, perfect, with smoky, toasty nose and hints of tobacco, fresh black fruit, spices and chocolate and a long and aromatic finish.
 
'Lassègue', Château Lassègue, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France 2006 ($80) Powerful, elegant but still closed, requires a couple more years to achieve its full potential.
 
'Lassègue', Château Lassègue, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France 2005 ($150) (60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Balance, elegance and complexity is what characterizes this opulent wine with minerality peaking through the blend of rich, aromatic Cabernet Franc, dense and concentrated Merlot and powerful and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon.
 
Château Vignot, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Château Lassègue, France 2008. This to-be-released promising wine from 40-year-old vines grown in the clay-sandy gravel foothills of the Côtes de St. Emilion will peak in 2017, but can certainly be opened before.
 
Château Vignot, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Château Lassègue, France 2007 ($60) Cedar, coconut, leather, cherry and brandy meld into a soft and round wine with ripe tannins and a long finish.
 
Château Vignot, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Château Lassègue, France 2006($60) rich, complex, aromatic and mature with dark fruit in the nose and mineral overtones, solid tannins
 
Château Vignot, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Château Lassègue, France 2005($75) A vintage that will be remembered in Bordeaux yields a wine that is powerful and elegant with a nose of cashews, oregano, plums resulting in a charming mouthfeel, strong aromatics and a lively acidity.

 

 

 

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