The 2021 Château La Garde is now vinified in smaller inverted truncated vats and aged in one-third new oak. This has a vibrant bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, hints of violet coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a velvety smooth entry and moderate depth. Quite compact at first, but there is fine delineation on the finish. It will require 4–6 years in bottle. Given keen market prices, this is one to watch.
Drink 2025 - 2040
Neal Martin, vinous.com, (May 2022)
More restrained than some aromatically but there’s fruit and freshness with a structure in behind. Touch of cassis as it opens. Some oak as well but should integrate. Grippy tannins on the finish.
Drink 2027 - 2038
James Lawther, jancisrobinson.com (May 2022)
A red with blackberry, blueberry and walnut character. Medium body, integrated tannins and a delicious finish. Well done for the vintage. From organically grown grapes.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (May 2022)
Supple texture, deep red and black fruit flavours, clear tannic heft with bitter chocolate shavings and grilled almond on the finish, enjoyable and with balance. New cellar with the first vintage in 2021, smaller vats, that range from 60-100hl, helpful for precision in 2021.
Drink 2025 - 2038
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2022)
About this WINE
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.
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.