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.
45% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot.
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 2009: Apart from hail in May, which resulted in slightly reduced volumes in the affected vineyards, the 2009 vintage enjoyed textbook weather conditions. Water shortages did not affect La Garde, where the vines are perfectly suited to the terroir. More than ever before, the plateau delivered the true extent of its exceptional quality potential and the Cabernet and Petit Verdot grapes were superb. Prolonged fine weather allowed growers to calmly await the optimum harvesting time for each individual parcel. Even though the first parcel was picked on 24th September, the harvest only really began at the start of October
HARVEST: Merlot: September 24th to October 9th Cabernet Sauvignon: October 7th to 12th Cabernet Franc : October 10th Petit Verdot : October 8th
Pre-fermentation cold maceration.
Alcoholic fermentation, with very few manipulations (pumping-over, pigeage). Malolactic fermentation partially in barrels.
AGEING: during 14 months, on fine lees, 100% in oak barrels specially selected for château La Garde, 48% of which are new.
ESTATE BOTTLED: June 2011
“The wine displays a pronounced, attractive dark red colour. On the nose, aromas of preserved red fruits and figs intermingle with delicate, perfectly integrated oaky notes. The rounded, generous attack is affirmed by attractive weight on the palate, accompanied by very ripe tannins and a concentrated finish. The 2009 vintage is well balanced and extremely complex, and reveals all the qualities of a fine Pessac-Léognan. A benchmark vintage for La Garde.” Frédéric Bonnaffous, Dourthe Estates Director
Blueberry, mineral and dried flower aromas follow through to a full body, with silky tannins and a juicy, slightly austere finish. Structured and dense. Very well done. Better in 2018. 93 Points, March 2012
Silky yet solid, this focused red delivers plenty of black cherry, currant, tobacco and spice flavors, with a firm texture, well-integrated tannins and lively acidity. The long finish carries toast, mineral and floral notes. Best from 2013 through 2023. 10,300 cases made.91 Points, Thomas Matthews, March 2012
Sexy black cherries, unsmoked cigar tobacco, hot rocks and roasted herbs all characterize this soft, lush, very fruity and enticing wine, which is mid-weight and ideal for drinking over the next 6-8 years. 88 Points, Robert Parker JR, December 2011
Very good match with game, red and white meat, cheese.