2020 Château la Garde, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

2020 Château la Garde, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

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2020 Château la Garde, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Description

Sappy; a little coffee edged, this is good and measured, with cassis. Easy to drink, powers down as these are pretty concentrated flavours for this estate - a reflection of the vintage.

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021)

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson91/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous89-91/100
Neal Martin, Vinous90-92/100
Wine Advocate88-90/100
James Suckling91-92/100
Jane Anson91/100
Sappy; a little coffee edged, this is good and measured, with cassis. Easy to drink, powers down as these are pretty concentrated flavours for this estate - a reflection of the vintage.

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous89-91/100
The 2020 La Garde is a heady, exuberant wine. Inky black fruit, chocolate, spice, new leather, licorice and charcoal blast across the palate. This bold, potent Pessac-Léognan has a ton to offer. The juicy, substantial finish is quite attractive.

Drink from 2022 to 2035

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous90-92/100
The 2020 Château La Garde is a little muted at first, opening gradually to display blackberry, brine, pitted olives and light undergrowth scents, coalescing nicely with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied, crisp and focused, with fine-grained tannins, a fine bead of acidity and good grip on the finish. This estate has been a little inconsistent of late, but this is certainly one of the better vintages that I have tasted from barrel.

Drink from 2023 to 2032

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate88-90/100
Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 la Garde rolls out of the glass with bright, expressive notes of Morello cherries, redcurrant jelly and plum preserves, plus hints of dark chocolate, dried herbs and pencil shavings. The medium-bodied palate delivers mouth-filling, crunchy black fruits with a lively backbone and approachable, grainy tannins, finishing on an earthy note.

Drink from 2023 to 2037

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling91-92/100
Pretty dark berry, toasted oak and chocolate with some stone character. Medium body, round and lightly chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Fine tannins all the same. Shows intensity.

James Suckling (April 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Chateau la Garde

Chateau la Garde

Château La Garde is a rising star of the Pessac-Léognan wine appellation owned by the dynamic Bordeaux negociant company Dourthe-Kressman. It is a medium-sized property with 47 hectares of vineyards in, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Cabernet-dominated red wines are soft, well structured and packed with smooth, ripe fruit which makes them very attractive young, though they also possess good medium-term cellaring potential. The red wines display the true Graves minerality underneath an exuberant cassis-and-plums aroma.

Albeit predominantly a red wine vineyard, it does have at its heart a small patch of land which is more suited to the production of white wine, from which a mere 1,000 cases of exquisitely-scented, vibrant white Bordeaux is produced each year.

What is unique to La Garde is the presence in the vineyard of a parcel of rare Sauvignon Gris, a close cousin of the Sauvignon Blanc but a varietal which yields a slightly richer, rounder character to the finished blend. 50% of the wine comes from this grape and the touch of complexity it imparts lifts this wine above most of its competitors.

The investment made by Dourthe in both vineyard and cellar is now beginning to bear fruit, both figuratively and literally, in the form of exceptional wines of both colours, and any re-assessment of the Pessac-Léognan classification would surely see La Garde feature amongst the Classified Growths.

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Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Leognan

In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux,  based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.

Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.

The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Ch. Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La Garde, Villa Bel-Air.

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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