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.
57% Cabernet Sauvignon – 40% Merlot – Petit Verdot 3%
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.
Pre-fermentation cold maceration.
Alcoholic fermentation, with very few manipulations (pumping-over, pigeage). Malolactic fermentation partially in barrels. Ageing in barrels takes place in an arched underground cellar with air-conditioning for 12-14 months. Cooperage savoir-faire and oak selection are combined when choosing the barrels so that they are best suited to the characteristics and style of Château La Garde wines
Vintage 2014: After a promising start to the year, a dull, gloomy summer meant ripening got off to a slow start. Any worries were lifted towards the end of August with the arrival of exceptional, lasting weather conditions. While the quality of the vintage owes a great deal to the excellent late season, a vintage of this quality would not be possible without considerable work in the vineyards earlier in the season to ensure pristine quality in the vines and stunning fruit. Hard work and a magnificent Indian summer ensured lovely consistent quality in the Merlot cultivated on clay, which attained full ripeness not long before the stunning Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, on deep gravel. Given the high quality potential of the reds, macerations tended to be longer than usual. The wines are ripe, concentrated and aromatic, with robust, lingering tannins.
Harvest: Merlot: September 30th to October 18th Cabernet Sauvignon: October 13th to 18th Petit Verdot: October 7th
AGEING: In oak barrels, on fine lees, 34% new barrels. ESTATE BOTTLED: June 2016
Concentrated, deep ruby in appearance. The nose is intense and fresh, releasing a hint of smokiness typical of Pessac-Leognan. The fullness on the palate develops within a concentrated tannic structure. Toasty notes reflect perfectly integrated oak character while the palate culminates in an intense finish. A beautifully balanced wine which pays tribute to the superb terroir at Chateau la Garde. Frédéric Bonnaffous, Dourthe Estates Director
Warm, mellow and a little balsamic, but there’s a lot of richness and some serious tannins in here. The finish packs quite a punch. Tangy and spicy. Love it now, but this will age beautifully. 91 Points, February 2017
This is a fine wood-aged blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and Petit Verdot. It is darkly colored, dense and with great ripe tannins. One of several Bordeaux properties owned by the Thiénot family, this estate occupies a fine, gravel outcrop in the Pessac-Léognan region, just south of Bordeaux. Drink from 2024. 91 Points, Roger Voss, April 2017
Ripe and fresh, showing a nicely focused set of red currant and bitter plum notes racing along with light bay, savory and iron flavors. A dash of cedar on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2018 through 2022. 13,400 cases made. 88 Points, James Molesworth, February 2017
Decanter World Wine Awards 2018: Silver Medal
Very good match with game, red and white meat, cheese.