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31 October 2008

Languedoc: Château d'Agel, Minervois

This old-as-history estate, and associated wines, originally featured as part of my ad hoc pick of a variety of producers encountered and tasted at the end of October 2008, during Les Grands Chemins "Rencontres en Minervois" (an annual wine, food and arts festival centred on the broodingly Mediaeval village of Minerve and surrounding area - that link goes to the website). A group of us stayed the night at Château d'Agel, which really is a magnificent full-monty ye olde chateau: click here to read a piece I did for Decanter magazine on great wine places to stay in the region ("Wine travel: western Languedoc"). A taster if you can't be bothered:
"... Not far from the amazing Mediaeval town of Minerve itself and much talked-about La Livinière appellation, is the quiet village of Agel, seat of Château d’Agel. This splendid place really is a full-on fortress complete with turrets, coats of arms, wide swirling staircases and no doubt secret passages too..."

And a couple of reds sampled in an appropriate setting of the old cellar:
2004 Grenache - maturing smoky nose, appealing full-bodied fruit v light bite of tannins to finish. 85+
2007 Minervois (Carignan Grenache Syrah) - touch of vanilla oak but it has attractive fruit, textured dark chocolate and bitter black fruit twist. 85+

And this "white of the moment" from Jan. 2006:
2004 Minervois blanc Château d'Agel (Macabeu & Muscat, 13%) - a pleasant surprise, given that Minervois isn't famous for whites: fairly rich oily textured palate balanced by lively aromatic fruit. €3-4 88
More info: www.chateaudagel.fr 

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