We bought Château la Garde in June 1990, totally seduced by the exceptional quality of the terroir, which is quite possibly one of the finest gravel outcrops in the Pessac-Léognan appellation.
Motivated by this ambitious project, worthy of this magnificent terroir, considerable time and finances have been invested and have been rewarded with the increasingly frequent production of delicate, elegant and appealing fine Pessac-Léognan wines.
88% Sauvignon Blanc- 12% Semillon
Vineyard & Vinification Note
HVE3 and Terra Vitis certified (High environmental value certificates)
Château La Garde was one of the first properties to introduce integrated viticulture, an approach that produces premium quality grapes with total respect for the environment and for mankind. Studies carried out on the estate have analysed the correlation between grape ripening and the quality of the soil and subsoil, particularly in relation to its water retention capacity. This has resulted in a highly detailed mapping of the vineyard, identifying individual rows or micro-plots within each parcel which reach full ripeness at the same rate. As a result of trials previously undertaken on test plots, coupled with our in-depth knowledge of the vineyard, our teams can now tailor and fine-tune viticultural practices in each zone accordingly. Carefully considered soil management techniques – tailored ploughing methods and green fertilizer – and an environmentally conscious approach to protecting the vineyard (reducing inputs, sexual confusion to combat pests, machine weeding, manual canopy management and yield control) promote harmony in the vine. These painstaking, rigorous techniques play an important role in controlling yields and plant vigour and result in optimised grape ripeness.
Severe pruning for example promotes even budburst, while bud stripping, secondary shoot removal, desuckering and leaf stripping improve the circulation of air around the grapes and guarantee healthy fruit. The grapes are harvested selectively on a row-by-row basis, and with meticulous care, ensuring that only perfectly ripe grapes of uniform ripeness enter the tanks.
Vintage 2018: “2018 is characterised by record rainfall in the first half of the year, in contrast with a second half among the driest and hottest in recent decades. We were able to keep the threat of mildew in check, which remained a significant problem until July. The vines remained fully protected through the painstaking work and constant monitoring of our teams, together with strict adherence to environmental protocols approved by the certifications Terra Vitis and HVE 3. We were ready to face the summer months full of confidence, and were aided by favourable weather conditions from early August. We harvested as soon as the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon reached optimum ripeness. On such a “solar” vintage, it is important to preserve the natural acidity and aromatic intensity: we only harvested in the mornings and even kept the bunches whole in cold chambers before pressing under inert gas. The wines are perfumed, fresh and well-balanced.”
HARVEST: manual, in crates Sauvignon Blanc: August 29th to September 9th Semillon : 10th September
AGEING : 8 months, on the lees, in the same oak barrels, 12% of which are new. « Batonnage » takes place by rotating the barrels using the Oxo Line system which allows a better homogeneisation of the lees. The frequency varies according to the batches. The ageing allows a greater expression of the varietal aromas, with a well-integrated and elegant oaky character.
Clear and bright in appearance. On the palate, intense aromas of white flowers and citrus meld with a mineral dimension so typical of sauvignon cultivated on limestone. Lively and revealing great poise on the palate. The wine develops a certain richness on the palate, influenced by Semillon cultivated on gravel, which harmonizes to perfection with the fresh finish. The 2018 vintage is a masterclass in purity and elegance from the great white wines of Château La Garde. Frédéric Bonnaffous, Dourthe Estates Director
James suckling Tasting Note
Beautiful purity of lemon and green-mango aromas with light notes of fresh herbs and wet stones. The palate delivers a very attractively fresh and lively array of lemon flavors and a long, smooth and layered texture. Super fresh and taut finish. There’s lovely tension here. A blend of 90% sauvignon blanc and 10% semillon. Drink or hold. 94 Points, December 2019
Decanter Magazine Tasting Note
TOP VALUE Defined citrus and white flower aromas then pear and citrus on the palate along with rich, gentle spice. No more Sauvignon Gris as La Garde wanted to focus on a more mineral feel. A beautiful sculpted, enjoyable white. Primeurs 2018 Jane Anson.-91 Points, June 2019
Wine Spectator Tasting Note
Bright and lively, with lemon and gooseberry gelée notes forming the core, while thyme, tarragon and sel gris accents race along the edge. A flash of salted butter runs underneath on the finish, lending a flattering hint. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Drink now through 2023. 1,283 cases made. 92 Points, James Molesworth, March 2020
Coming from the Graves region of Bordeaux, the 2018 Château La Garde Blanc sports a lighter gold hue as well as juicy notes of ripe pineapple, grapefruit, and honeysuckle. It’s clean, medium-bodied, and nicely balanced, with a delicious, straightforward style geared for drinking over the coming 2-4 years. 89 Points, Mar 21
This wine is a very good match with shellfish, grilled fish or in a sauce, hard cheese.