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.
52% Cabernet-sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% 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.
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
Very deep, almost black appearance to La Garde 2016, with its intense and complex forest fruit bouquet of blackberries and rich, dark cherries, accompanied by spicy, smoky notes. Immediately generous, expressive fruit flavours define the wine on the rich and concentrated palate, which is underpinned by delicate tannic structure and lovely smoothness to the intensity. Impressive harmony pervades throughout and culminates in a long, elegant finish. Frédéric Bonnaffous, Dourthe Estates Director
What a great nose this has! The integration of black fruit and oak is spot on. Powerful, but with classical elegance, thanks to the polished tannins and the cool, mineral freshness that extends right through the long, refined finish. The best vintage ever from this chateau. Drink or hold. 94 Points, January 2019
Solid, with a fleshy feel to the dark plum and cassis fruit flavors that are inlaid liberally with warm tar, plum skin and roasted cedar notes. A touch muscular in feel but has enough acidity for balance in the end. Best from 2021 through 2029. 17,108 cases made.90 Points, James Molesworth, Web only 2019
The 2016 La Garde, blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, offers dark berry fruit on the nose, hints of cedar and sandalwood, nicely poised and gaining intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, rounded in the mouth with black tea-tinged dark berry fruit and a composed, harmonious and almost easygoing finish. This is a step up from the 2015. 88-90 Poitns, Neal Martin, April 2017
Coming from the consulting team of Michel Rolland, the 2016 Château La Garde is a beauty from the Graves region that delivers classic notes of tobacco and leafy herbs, gravelly minerality, smoked earth, and assorted dark fruits. Deep ruby/purple-colored, medium to full-bodied, with ripe tannins and a mouthfilling texture, I’d happily drink bottles over the coming 10-15 years. 90 Points, February 2019
Very good match with game, red and white meat, cheese.