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.
31% Merlot, 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% 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 2010: Recorded precipitation levels, that can be compared with 2005 or even 2009, resulted in the production of small berries from the very outset. The result
is a natural concentration of tannins, anthocyanins, sugars and acidity. Fine weather and pronounced day/night temperature variations during the ripening limited the breakdown of natural acids in the grapes, and ensured excellent alcohol, concentration and acidity ratios. With the reds, we have taken our approach to a new level, selective “a la carte” harvesting, avoiding pressing and pumping, vinifying whole berries of even whole bunches (a first for La Garde) for optimised fruit concentration, and gentle extraction by regular punching. The perfect ripeness of the skins allowed the constituent elements to naturally diffuse through to the juices. The barrels were also chosen with extreme care, to achieve an integrated oak character in keeping with the delectable finesse achieved in the superb La Garde vintage.
HARVEST: Merlot: September 27th to October 12th Cabernet Sauvignon: October 8th to 19th Petit Verdot: October 16th
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, 33% of which are new.
ESTATE BOTTLED: June 2012
“Extremely attractive deep, dark ruby in colour. The Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blend, sourced on the Chateau’s stunning plateau, reveals a complex bouquet of red and black fruits, intermingling with smoky, mocha notes. The fresh, fruity and unctuous palate, with its remarkable fine-grained tannins, shows no hint of harshness, despite the wine’s depth and concentration. Long and well-balanced on the finish. A wine with excellent ageing potential!.” Frédéric Bonnaffous, Dourthe Estates Director
Licorice and dried orange peel in the nose. Red tangy fruit and some leather. Nice sweet fruit and velvety texture on the palate with beautifully managed soft fine tannins. Very enjoyable and harmonious wine already now. Made from biodynamic grapes. Better after 2016. 93 Points, February 2013
A fresh, pure style, with a lovely core of plum, anise and black currant notes, carried by a polished structure. Features a tug of graphite and mouthwatering cut on the finish. Drink now through 2020 .90 Points, James Molesworth, March 2013
La Garde’s excellent Graves offers up plenty of smoky barbecue notes intermixed with raspberry, black cherry and a touch of graphite. This is a medium-bodied but nicely concentrated wine and certainly qualifies as a sleeper of the vintage, given its realistic pricing. Drink it over the next 6-8 years. 88 Points, Robert Parker JR, February 2013
Very good match with game, red and white meat, cheese.