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Home | Château La Garde | Château La Garde Rouge

Château La Garde Rouge

AOC Pessac-Léognan

Château La Garde rouge

Located on one of the appellation's finest gravel outcrops, Château La Garde was one of the first vineyard estates to make a conscious commitment to preserve and protect the natural environment and adopt integrated viticulture. It is now "Terra Vitis" certified. It is an approach resulting in the production of premium quality grapes, and is fully mindful of both Man and the environment. Powerful and revealing intense colour, the red wines of Château La Garde Pessac-Léognan are well-structured and concentrated and ideal for ageing. Round, supple and alluring, they reflect the elegance and finesse of the terroir and today feature among the elite of the Pessac-Léognan appellation.

Vinification & Ageing

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.

~~ Find out more about the property ~~
2021 - 2020 - 2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003

The vintage

Tasting notes

Blend

2% Petit Verdot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 62% Merlot

Medals and Accolades

Matthewjukes.com
- 17/20

Winemaker Frederic Bonnaffous explained that the largest cuve’s dimensions in his new chai are the same as the smallest size in the old one!  This attention to detail across the Dourthe portfolio has heightened the purity and dynamism of the wines.  This is the perfect vintage to showcase this new cellar because it elevates the fruit quality when it is needed most.  This is a decent wine with purple fruit and a silky feel topped with crunchy tannins.

Guide Bettane et Desseauve
- 93-94/20
Decanter
- 92/100

Highly concentrated, rich and dark nose, full of blackcurrant and black cherry and dark chocolate aromas. Darkly charming on the palate, the cool blue fruit is mouthwatering at first then the chalky but finely chewy tannins come to the fore, coating the mouth with touches of dark cocoa powder, liquorice, clove and cinnamon giving the fruit and savouriness. I love the detail on show, all the elements are in high definition, you really can taste each aspect. Enjoyable and captivating. First vintage with the new cellar using 63 tanks ranging in size helping with precise plot vinification in 2021. An excellent effort! Minus 20% of production this vintage.

The Wine Doctor.com
- 89-91/100

A nose of sweet blackcurrants and black cherry here, with a light perfume of violets, dark chocolate and soot. The palate is fresh, modestly polished, with a little cottony texture to it, prior to a softly polished midpalate filled with crushed cherries and more dark chocolate, all underpinned by a fine grain of tannins and fresh acidity. In a difficult vintage, this is a strong effort from this Dourthe estate.

Falstaff
- 90/100

Dark garnet, narrow purple rim. Delicate red wild berries, floral touch, hints of black cherry, subtle herbal savouriness. Lean, fresh, notes of strawberry and cherry fruit, discreet tannins, lively; a versatile food companion.

Weinwisser
- 17,5/20
Jamessuckling.com
- 91-92/100

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.

Bernardburtschy.com
- 93-94/100
vvWine
- 90-92/100

Erster Jahrgang im neuen Keller, der 63 Tanks verfügt, die auf die Parzellen abgestimmt sind. Dunkle Farbe. Feine Nase, duftig, kühl, leicht rauchig, dunkle Frucht, Brombeeren. Im Gaumen zugänglich und weich, keine Überextraktion, feinkörniges Tannin, die Frucht ist knackig und harmoniert mit der Struktur, im Abgang frisch, Rasse und guter Länge. Sehr gelungen. 2027-2043 

AMA
- 91-92/100

The aromas are ripe. And based on that I assume the winery adopted a late-harvest solution. Aromas of soft and glutinous berry fruits, delicate clove and licorice, and unique pencil lead dominate. It is neat, pristine, and chaste on the palate, with good balance. Both the smooth tannins and crispy acidity are presented marvelously. You can tell that the winemaking team must have put a lot of effort into fruit selection, recognition well-deserved.

Vinous Media
- 89-91/100

The 2021 La Garde offers an attractive mix of dark red cherry, gravel, spice, licorice and dried herbs. This mid-weight, expressive Graves packs quite the punch. Grippy tannins need a bit of time to soften, but behind them lies a wine of character.

Vinous Media
- 90-92/100

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.

Inside Bordeaux
- 91/100

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.

The vintage

2020 is an early, demanding vintage, which afforded the teams little respite. This was a year defined by nerve-racking disease pressure and contrasting weather. Winter was mild and wet, fully replenishing water reserves in the soils, and followed by a particularly hot spring with plentiful rainfall. The conditions promoted vine growth, and coaxed budburst and flowering to arrive ten to fifteen days in advance, varying from parcel to parcel. The dry summer and lack of water set in later this year, and was also cooler than the norm. From mid-July onwards, the heat triggered perfect maturation in the grapes, while lack of water carries the promise of great complexity and generous tannins. This vintage is defined by the 10-day precociousness, small berries, high quality, tannic juices and terrific aromatic freshness.

Tasting notes

Very deep, almost black in appearance. La Garde 2020 releases seductive, complex dark fruit aromas of blackberry and cherry, together with smoky notes. Incredibly bright on the palate, characterised by very expressive fresh fruit, underpinned by a thread of delicate tannins, and full of flavour. A characterful, well-balanced fine wine, that lingers in a long, flavoursome finish.

Blend

65% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Vinum
- 15,5/20

Fleischig und saftig im Mund, rundes Tannin, aber spürbares Feuer im Ausklang. 

Vinaria

*** Etwas rauchige, dezent samtig-cremige Nase mit ausgeprägter Waldbeerenfrucht, reif, bisschen süBe Schoten, Preiselbeeren und Maulbeeren, gute Fülle; kraftvolles Mittelgewicht mit ausgeprägter Beerenfrucht und recht markantem Tannin, jung, lebhaft, bisschen trocken im mittleren Finish.

 

Great Wines From Bordeaux
- 92/100

Plenty of blackcurrants and redcurrants on the nose and palate, dense and very aromatic, vibrant, strong structure, fine midpalate, tension and persistent aftertaste. Splendid effort. 

Perswijn
- ****etoile(s)

Zeer Goed

Smaak: intens, zwoel en rijp, mooie tannine 

Wine Enthusiast
- 91/100

An elegant, textured wine, this has blackberry flavors, attractive smokiness and a juicy backdrop. The wine is likely to age well over the medium term.

The World of Fine Wine
- 90-91/100

Sweetly ripe to smell, and gently oaky; full, fresh; firmly but finely tannic; crispy sweet to taste, an easy, flowing character, juicy, moderate in scope, and with good length. Attractive matter and abundant ripe fruit, very nice in its modern, juicy style. 

Vinous Media
- 90-92/100

The 2020 is little muted at first, opening gradually to display blackberry, brine, pitted olives and light undergrowth scents...The palate is medium-bodied, crisp and focused, with fine-grained tannins, a fine bead of acidity and good grip on the finish...

Vert de vin
- 92/100

Le nez est fruité et offre une fine concentration, de l'élégance ainsi qu'une bonne définition...La bouche est fruitée et offre de la jutosité, de la fraicheur, de la suavité, de la gourmandise...Les tannins offrent un fin moelleux. Bonne longueur.  

The Wine Cellar Insider
- 89-91/100

The nose, with its combination of smoke, tobacco and red fruits leads you to a medium-bodied, fresh, fruity, forward, soft wine with a tobacco laden, core of chewy, red fruits and espresso from start to finish... 

Le Figaro
- 94-95/100

Les 150 meilleures notes sur plus de 1000 vins dégustés...  

Falstaff
- 90-92/100

Tiefdunkles Rubingranat, opaker Kern, violette Reflexe, zarte Randaufhellung. Zart tabakig, Lakritze, schwarze Beerenfrucht, kandierte Orangenzesten, mineralischer Touch. Saftig, gute Komplexität, reife Pflaumen, integrierte Tannine, mineralisch, etwas Nougat im Nachhall, bleibt haften, verfügt über Entwicklungspotenzial.

Anthocyanes.com
- 90-92/100

Nez fumé, un peu boisé, épicé et légèrement grillé. Bouche juteuse, savoureuse avec des tanins structurants et une réelle fraicheur. De l'allonge. Le boisé sort sur la fin. Finale aérienne.

Weinwisser
- 17,5(+)/20
vvWine
- 88-90/100

Nez discret, plaisant, se montre racé, enocre légèrement façonné par le bois, montre un joli fruit de cassis et une fine épice. Les baies noires, maigres, fraîches, croquantes en bouche sont soutenues par des tanins bien dosés et une acidité juteuse, qui semble actuellement encore sauvage, mais les éléments sont en bon équilibre. 

Vinous Media
- 89-91/100

The 2020 is a heady, exuberant wine...This bold, potent Pessac-Léognan has a ton to offer. The juicy, substantial finish is quite attractive. 

Matthewjukes.com
- 16,5+/20

Spicy and with faint hints of green leafiness among the red fruit this is an interesting wine with more detail than I normally see here. The oak is discreet and the balance is finely judged. The tannins are dry and a little hard, but they will melt away to leave a pretty, energetic, spicy La Garde. 

Jean-Marc Quarin

Couleur sombre, intense et pourpre. Nez très aromatique, subtil, au fruité mûr, avec une touche de bois de pin. Moelleux à l'attaque, suave en milieu de bouche, juteux et très agréable... 

Decanter
- 91/100

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...

En Magnum
- 91-92/100
Vino.be

Belle attaque fruitée. Beaucoup de charme. Bois de cèdre et de quetsches. Attaque structurée. Beaucoup de profondeur. Beau vin. 

Tastingbook
- 92/100

Dark purple red with violet hue and almost black core. Elegant nose with refined spiciness, vanilla and gingerbread, hints of liquorice, fine toasting aroma, backed by ripe dark berries, black cherries and plums, A discreet touch of graphite in the background. On the palate firm and well structured with freshness and refined tannins, ripe fruit and juicy finish.

Jamessuckling.com
- 91-92/100

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. 

Jeb Dunnuck.com
- 89-91/100

The 2020 is solid, offering medium to full-bodied aromas and flavors of black cherry, cedarwood, and violets, with plenty of backgroung oak...It could end up being an oustanding wine, and it's certainly a solid effort in the vintage.

The vintage

2019 got off to a mild start resulting in early bud break. The growing season was set back by changeable weather in spring, marked by two episodes of frost on 14th April and 6th May, with thankfully no major damage to our vineyards. Summer was hot and dry and by the end of June had set in for the duration, lasting right through until the harvest. These favourable conditions, together with painstaking work in the vineyard, good water reserves and fluctuating day/night temperatures from late August, promoted balance and concentration in the grapes. Welcome rainfall in mid-September added the finishing touch to ripening in the perfectly healthy red grapes. The different varieties were harvested one after the other. The merlot and cabernet sauvignon are rich, fruity, well-structured and silky, pointing towards a vintage of great potential.

Tasting notes

Attractive deep purple-red in colour. Fresh blackberries jostle with hints of spice and liquorice on the complex bouquet. Smooth on the attack, generous and rich on the palate, the wine is underpinned by delicate, silky and velvety tannins. Offering attractive balanced fruit and mouthfeel, the wine culminates in a lengthy, complex finish, with a lingering sense of freshness tinged with liquorice.

Blend

52% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon

Medals and Accolades

The Wine Cellar Insider
- 91/100

Tobacco, truffle, coffee bean and mushroom come along with the ripe, red fruits on the nose. Medium-bodied, polished, soft and fresh with a chewy, there is a touch of olives and herbs on the backend. Give this a few years to come together and it will be quite nice to imbibe. Drink from 2024-2034.

Vert de vin
- 15,75/20 - 91-92/100

The nose is fruity, well-rounded and offers precision, a certain gourmandise as well as a fine richeness. It reveals notes of Boysenberry, small bright red fruits and more slightly racy / gravelly mineralty (almost discreetly saline) associated with touches of violet, crushed cassis, a hint of licorice, morello cherry, nutmeg as well as a subtle hint of bergamot and toast. The palate is fresh, mineral, fruity balanced and offers tension, precision, a little airy side in the approach, balanced as well as a certain discreetly tight concentration. On the palate this wine expresses notes of pulpy blackberry, fresh raspberry and more slightly of juicy / crunchy strawberry associated with touch of cassis, racy minerality as well as fine hints of toasted almond, tobacco and a subtle hint of chocolate. Tannins are finely mellow.

Le Figaro - L'Avis du Vin (Club Vin)
- 91/100

Le nez est marqué par un fruit grisant, frais et souriant, sur des notes de fraise et de pruneau. La bouche est savoureuse et structurée, avec des tannins assez marqués, et un côté fumé, légèrement amer.

vvWine
- 91/100

Mitttleres Bordeauxrot. Die Nase ist anfangs leicht reduktiv, öffnet sich erst mit Luft und Zeit, offenbart dunkle Früchte, Rauch und Torf, auch Schwarztee, komplex. Der Auftakt ist cremig und weich, dann packt der Wein zu, zeigt Struktur und Körper, feine Tannine, sehr schöne Säure und eine knackige Frucht, die Elemente sind in guter Balance, nichts überwiegt, mit Rasse und guter Länge hallt der Wein auf einen Mix aus dunklen Beeren und steinigen Noten nach. Jetzt weiss ich auch, warum man mir eine Magnumflasche als Muster gesandt hat: Der Wein macht nämlich heute schon Trinkspass und kann doch reifen. Sehr guter Wert. Jetzt bis 2036.

Decanter
- 92/100

Seriously concentrated on the nose, smells expressive and ripe with smoked blackcurrant aromas. Gorgeous density, plush, ripe and juicy but with a clarity on the palate too. A big mouthful, clearly a powerful wine but well controlled - once the fruit subsides the minerality comes in with the chalky texture giving a general clean feeling to the tongue. Cooling minty finish too. This is round and well balanced with enough structure to age well. A blend of 52% Merlot, and 48% Cabernet Sauvignon. Ageing 30% new oak, 30% one year and 30% two-year oak barrels for 14 months.

Drinking Window 2025 - 2035

Wine Enthusiast
- 93/100

Almost equal proportions Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a rounded, ripe and full-bodied wine. Its dark hue and spicy, licorice flavors come from wood aging and concentration. Drink from 2026.

Vinous Media
- 91/100

The 2019 La Garde is a bold, punchy wine. Wild red cherry, game, licorice, tobacco, incense and gravel give the 2019 its distinctive flavor profile. This tasty red Graves will drink beautifully at the dinner table. It certainly has a ton to offer.

Jamessuckling.com
- 93/100

This shows a lot of class with fine tannins that are polished, intense and very persistent, accompanied by notes of hazelnut. Medium to full-bodied. Tight and compact. Lovely harmony and focus. 

Inside Bordeaux
- 92/100

Vibrant purple colour, savoury berry fruits, balanced and elegant, tannins a little angular on the finish but this has finesse and is good quality. An always reliable name from Vignobles Dourthe that offers Pessac-Léognan signature without needed to cellar. 33% new oak for ageing. Harvest September 24 to October 9.

The vintage

2018 is characterized by record rainfall in the first half of the year, in contrast with a second half among the driest and hottest in recent decades. We were able to keep the threat of mildew in check, which remained a significant problem until July. The vines remained fully protected through the painstaking work and constant monitoring of our teams, together with strict adherence to environmental protocols approved by the certifications Terra Vitis and HVE 3. We were ready to face the summer months full of confidence, and were aided by favourable weather conditions from early August. The red grape varieties in particular thrived in these conditions: sunny weather after veraison accelerated ripening, creating great phenolic richness. The cool nights of late August and September promoted early aromatic richness and ripening of the skins and tannins. The wines are intensely coloured, the tannins both rich and sweet.

 

 

 

Tasting notes

Château La Garde 2018 reveals an intense, complex, dark berry fruit bouquet of black berries and cassis, and the most delicate suggestion of oak. Immediately generous on the palate, the wine is characterised by an intensely long, expressive fruit core, echoing the smoky character of great Pessac-Léognan terroirs, and underpinned by highly delicate tannins to soften the wine’s impressive stature. This full-bodied, perfectly harmonious wine culminates in a long, lingering finish.

Blend

63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Guide Hachette
- 1etoile(s)

Paré d'une robe intense et profonde, ce 2018 livre à l'olfaction des parfums harmonieux d'épices et de fruits noirs mâtinés d'une touche mentholée. La bouche se montre souple en attaque avant de monter en puissance et en volume autour de tanins élégants et fondus, bien épaulés par un boisé aux saveurs de cèdre et de toast.   

En Magnum
- 93/100
Jeb Dunnuck.com
- 92/100

An outstanding Graves, the 2018 Château La Garde reveals a dense purple hue as well as impressive blueberry and black cherry fruits intermixed with tobacco, cedary spice, and dried herbs. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, with notable purity as well as building, ripe tannins, it's going to benefit from just a couple of years in the cellar and drink nicely for 10-12 years.   

The Wine Cellar Insider
- 91/100

Round, fruity, soft and fresh with a spicy, tobacco laden, core of rich, chewy, red fruits and espresso from start to finish.   

Vinous Media
- 90/100

The 2018 is gorgeous. Dark and virile in the glass, La Garde is also super-polished...

Wine Spectator
- 92/100

This shows a juicy, open-knit mix of sweet bay, savory, red currant and cherry reduction aromas and flavors, with a tarry streak holding down the back end. A little cellaring will tame its gutsy side. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2022 through 2030. 13,650 cases made. 

Schweizerische Weinzeitung
- 16/20

Bordeaux Année 2018 : Qualité exceptionnelle

Decanter
- 91/100

Value picks : ...Unusual for sure, but the result is excellent. They do such a good job here of making accessible but polished and elegant Pessacs. This is smooth, ripe and welcoming, with a seductive expansion through the mid-palate that emphasises the creamy texture of the fruits. Definitely as good as the 2016, maybe better.       

Jamessuckling.com
- 92/100

Very beautiful aromas of blackberries and crushed stones with hints of dried flowers. It's full bodied with soft, creamy tannins that are softly knit. Round, creamy finish. 

Jancis Robinson.com
- 16+/20

Very deep cherry red. Intense aroma of ripe but fresh cassis with some cedar notes and a suggestion of reduction in a smoky character...Full in the mouth and marked by the vintage in its power and alcoholic heat... 

www.beckustator.com
- 91/100

Elevage de 14 mois en barriques dont 33% neuves. Bouquet invitant, aux notes florales et fruitées. Nuances de graphite et de chocolat. En bouche le vin ets doté de tannins puissants et serrés mais aux grains fins. Belle persistance aromatique en finale. Un vin convaincant à suivre dans son évolution. Bon potentiel. 

Guide Bettane et Desseauve
- 17/20

Château La Garde ***: Trois étoiles signalent une production de haute qualité, pouvant servir de référence dans son secteur.

Propriété d'une cinquantaine d'hectares très bien située, sur des graves bien drainées de Martillac, et objet de beaucoup d'attentions de la part de son propriétaire, la maison Dourthe qui l'a acquise en 1990, La Garde réussit aussi bien en blanc qu'en rouge. Ici les vins sont classiques, ce sont les bons élèves de l'appellation qui ne cessent de progresser, avec des rouges harmonieux, un fruit évident et une minéralité marquée tant en blanc qu'en rouge, et la fraîcheur toujours au rendez-vous. Vous ne commettrez jamais une faute de goût en achetant une bouteille et vous ne serez jamais déçus.

 

Wine Spectator
- 91-94/100

James Molesworth's 2018 Bordeaux Smart Buys:

Château La Garde : This has the sappy fruit feel of the AOC in this vintage, but there 's freshness too, giving the plum and cherry paste flavors some energy.

En Magnum
- 94/100

Vinosité remarquable, longueur intense, grande pureté : La Garde est à son meilleur.

Jamessuckling.com
- 92-93/100

This is a wonderful young red with crushed blackberry and blueberry character. Full-bodied yet agile and very velvety. Flavorful finish. A beauty. 10 per cent co-fermented cabernet sauvignon and merlot.

 

Decanter
- 91/100

The La Garde vineyard has one north-facing gravel slope and one south-facing clay-limestone slope, giving the estate a good balance of ripening dates in most vintages. In another sign of how unusual 2018 was, both Cabernet and Merlot on these different slopes ripened at the same time, so they were co-fermented in one tank. Unusual for sure, but the result is excellent. They do such a good job here of making accessible but polished and elegant Pessacs. This is smooth, ripe and welcoming, with a seductive expansion through the mid-palate that emphasises the creamy texture of the fruits. Definitely as good as the 2016, maybe better.

 

The vintage

The growing season kicked off early this year, with a good budburst and a rapid plant growth. The impact of April frost was very limited in the vines. The year progressed normally with early, even and rapid flowering and ripening.  Moderate August and September temperatures, combined with cool nights, allowed phenolic compounds to become concentrated, whilst preserving freshness during the early maturation of the berries. We started harvesting on 13th September, nearly three weeks early. The quality of the later-ripening Merlot, grown on clay or chalky-clay, is remarkable. The superb Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot grown on deep gravel have benefitted from a long maturation period lasting nearly two months. Picked at optimum ripeness at the end of September, they have produced rich, deeply coloured wines with velvety tannins.

 

Tasting notes

Château La Garde 2017 is wonderfully deep and concentrated, almost black in appearance. The intense, complex bouquet allies with the wonderful freshness of powerful, lusciously ripe, black fruit aromas, with orange peel highlights. On the palate, the wine instantly takes on remarkable breadth, defined by intense fruit and concentrated, full-bodied structure, backed by impressively smooth tannic structure despite its powerful gait. Overall, this is a wine of great harmony, its impressive balance lingering insistently on the deliciously long finish.

Blend

66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Wine Spectator
- 90/100

"Present perfect"

Wine Spectator
- 90/100

Smart Buy

A core of black cherry and currant notes is spiked with savory and bay leaf accents. Shows a tarry edge on the finish, where the fruit and herb elements meld nicely. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2021 through 2029.

Wine Enthusiast
- 92/100

This 123-acre property has produced an elegant wine. Touches of smoky wood as well as blackcurrant flavors are young, promising further aging. While the wine is dominated by Merlot, the structured Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine its tannic character.

La Revue du Vin de France
- 16-17/20

...Une des belles réussites du millésime. Il se hisse au niveau d'un cru classé. Le vin se montre dense, charnu, mais étincelant en finale.

The Wine Doctor.com
- 91-93/100

The Merlot was harvested from September 13th until the 22nd, the Petit Verdot September 21st, the Cabernet Sauvignon September 22nd until the 29th. The resulting wine is brimming with very dark, perfumed, concentrated, and lightly grilled cherry fruits on the nose. This confident start translates onto the palate which has a very broad and substantial body of fruit, confit damson and black cherry, with very ripe velvety tannins and a fresh, punchy central seam of acidity. The finish is a whirlwind of confident fruit and grippy tannin, never losing its focus. This is a really good result for this estate. 91-93/100

Terre de Vins
- 91/100

Très beau nez de fruits noirs, épices, complexe. Fumé. Eclat de fruits. Bouche ronde et droite en même temps, de la fraîcheur avec des notes d'épices et de fruits noirs très frais. Un très beau La Garde dans la délicatesse.

The vintage

The first six months of the 2016 grape season turned out to be particularly rainy and warm, replenishing water reserves in the soils which would serve the vines well in forthcoming months. Which was just as well as sunshine set in for the long haul from mid-June, bringing very dry weather until the end of the harvest. Veraison in the reds, which were languishing on the deep gravel soils of Château la Garde, notched up a gear with mid-September’s light, but adequate rainfall. The combined effect of available water supplies and favourable temperatures – not too excessive during the day and very cool at night – played an important role in developing the fruit and their aromas during ripening. The subsequent run of ideal day/night temperature variation through to harvesting also played a vital role. We harvested selectively 4 - 18 October, patiently adjusting intake planning as each grape variety and plot reached maximum ripeness.

Tasting notes

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.

 

Blend

52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Guide de la RVF des meilleurs vins de France

92/100 : Très bon vin.

Posé, le rouge 2016 conserve du fruit. La bouche, légèrement fumée, est de bonne ampleur, avec une matière élégante et des tanins qui s'intégrent. On peut commencer à le boire. 

Yvesbeck.vin
- 93/100

Rouge grenat aux reflets violets. Superbe bouquet marqué par des notes florales, fruitées et épicées. Notes de cerises et de myrtilles. Au palais, le vin est dense, équilibré et doté de tannins précis, aux grains fins, qui assurent parfaitement les arrières. Belle tension en fin de bouche et finale persistante. Un grand La Garde ! 

 

Wine Spectator
- 90/100

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.

Jeb Dunnuck.com
- 90/100

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.

Jamessuckling.com
- 94/100

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.

 

Decanter
- 91/100

Slick, focussed and full of tannins and plush fruit, this has got to be one of the best wines produced from this estate, along with the 2015. It's worth bearing in mind that you'll want to wait another few years before opening it, as it remains pretty strict in its structure. Contemporary in style.

Yvesbeck.vin
- 91/100

Pourpre violacé. Le bouquet de La Garde révèle des notes de baies noires telles que mûres et myrtilles. Au palais la mise en bouche est friande et rafraîchissante. Le vin est compact, doté de tannins parfaitement intégrés et d’une structure qui soutient bien l’expression fruitée. La Garde parvient idéalement à assimiler puissance et race. De surcroit, il a un excellent potentiel, mais il risque d’être bu avant.  2022-2036  91/100

Les Echos

Un vin intense, au nez de petits fruits noirs avec des notes de cèdre. Encore fermée, la bouche est mi-corsée, avec des tanins arrondis et suaves, le boisé est discret et la finale équilibrée. A déboucher d'ici trois à cinq années.

Guide Bettane et Desseauve
- 15,5/20

Nez riche, épanoui et exubérant, fruit bien mûr, notes minérales et fleuries, bouche tout aussi aromatique, charnue, avec des tannins très serrés et de l'allonge. Energique, complet, tout en restant élégant, ce vin montre un bon potentiel.

The vintage

The year began with excellent climatic conditions – light, heat and dry weather. The very even flowering began a week earlier than the average start date recorded at La Garde. The Merlots planted on clay did not struggle with a spate of hot, dry weather of June and July. For the gravel soils, more sensitive to drought, we tilled the soil lightly to break up the cracks and channels where water was evaporating in order to preserve the moisture in the subsoil and to remove any competition with the cover plants. The vineyard was in excellent health and the rainy periods not excessively heavy, at the end of July and beginning of August, kick-started veraison which had been slowed by the high temperatures of previous weeks. With the chilly nights and warm days, conditions in August were ideal for the development of fine tannins and anthocyans in the red grape varieties. Harvesting stretched calmly over 3 weeks giving high quality Merlots cultivated onclay and stunning Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot on deep gravel. 

Tasting notes

Deeply intense, almost black and purple-tinged appearance, offering a complex, intense nose exuding roasted, smoky notes. Supple on the attack, the wine rapidly develops generous mouthful defined by lovely, expressive fruit, concentration and depth, underscored by delicate tannic structure; very smooth, despite the intensity. The appealing harmony is echoed in the long, flavoursome finish.

Blend

52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Wine Enthusiast
- 92/100

This is a stylish wine, with acidity, firm tannins and layers of blackberry and black-currant fruits. A blend of almost equal proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, its richness comes from the ripe fruits and layered structure that now shows the beginnings of maturity.

Yvesbeck.vin
- 91/100

Rouge grenat dense. Le nez du 2015 est marqué par son terroir avec un côté fumé, que l’on retrouve régulièrement sur les vins de Graves, et une belle expression fruitée. Touche épicée. Au palais, le vin est friand et légèrement onctueux. Il est doté de tannins compacts, aux grains fins, qui se révèlent lentement. La structure assure bien les arrières et soutient l’expression gustative, jusqu’en finale. Belle réussite. 

 

Jancis Robinson.com
- 17/20

Tasted blind. Dark crimson. Intense and high toned. Very well balanced and nicely attuned. Nothing out of kilter. Correct and probably GV.

 

Guide de la RVF des meilleurs vins de France
- 16/100

Prometteur avec une matière plus mûre et plus dense, le 2015 offre un bon soyeux et du volume.

Jamessuckling.com
- 93/100

Violet, dark-berry and stone aromas follow through to a medium to full body. Linear and very fine. Tight and fresh. Precise and beautiful. A serious young red. Drink in 2022

 

Wine Spectator
- 91/100

Solid, with a youthfully tight core of juicy blackberry and black currant paste flavors, wrapped with brambly grip and backed by twinges of tar and anise on the finish. Needs a touch of cellaring to unwind fully. Best from 2020 through 2030.

Jancis Robinson.com
- 17/20

Sumptuous and open, exhibiting the sort of classic spice, tobacco and black fruit that makes Bordeaux so popular. Finely crafted chalky tannin that is very drinkable even now. Lovely clove spice on the finish. A precocious example of the vintage.

Le Monde

Un vin qui s'exprime avec classe dans la verticalté : il n'englobe pas toute la bouche mais semble s'élever et traverser le palais comme une liane. Surtout, voilà un bordeaux de foire aux vins qui n'est pas noyé par le boisé de l'élevage, et cela fait plaisir.

Les Echos Week-End

Ce château, situé dans l'appellation la plus proche de la ville de Bordeaux, pessac, reste encore peu connu. Pourtant, depuis sa reprise par les vignobles Dourthe en 1990, il ne cesse de nous donner des vins équilibrés avec une régularité de métronome. Le vin ne surjoue par sa partition. Il est fin avec beaucoup de charme. Sa discrétion est sa qualité première. C'est pour cette raison qu'il faut le découvrir.

Paris Match
- 16-17/20

Svelte, droit, assez long. Ample, avec un excellent support tannique, un fruit bien mûr et, surtout, une texture digne d'un beau cru classé avec l'allonge qui convient. Remarquablement réussi et d'un rapport qualité-prix exemplaire.

The vintage

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.

Tasting notes

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 suberb terroir at Chateau la Garde.

Blend

57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Guide Hubert
- 16/20

Nez intense et raffiné, le fruit est parfaitement mûr, les notes poivrées, minérales et truffées superbes, bouche flatteuse, ample, avec une chair fondante, des tannins mûrs, des arômes persistants et une bonne finale vive. Du caractère et du potentiel. 

Wine Enthusiast
- 91/100

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. (...) This estate occupies a fine, gravel outcrop in the Pessac-Léognan region, just south of Bordeaux.

En Magnum

Super Bon Plan. Propriété très bien située sur des graves bien drainées. La Garde est l'objet de toutes les attentions de la part de son propriétaire. Le vin rouge (comme le blanc) est très réussi.

Jamessuckling.com
- 91/100

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.

Terre de Vins

Beaucoup de caractère: nez très mûr, fruit intense, épices, cuir et cacao, bouche savoureuse, ample et élégante avec une belle trame serrée, de la vigueur et du potentiel.

La Revue du Vin de France

Tannique et structuré, ce rouge garde de la fraîcheur et d'agréables notes fumées en fin de bouche. Son boisé est équilibré et peu appuyé. Il apportera beaucoup de plaisir.

Le Figaro - L'Avis du Vin (Club Vin)

Un beau vin dense et plein dans un style moderne, belle maturité du raisin, du fond. 3-8 ans.

Schweizerische Weinzeitung
- 17/20

Dunkles, herbes, komplexes Bouquet, schwarze Beeren, Korinthen, Tabak, Zedern, Laktrize. Ausgewogener, mittelkrâftiger, fein cremiger Gaumen, süsse Frucht, feines Tanin, krâftige Aromatik, fein muskulöser Abgang mit guten Rückaromen.

Vinum
- 15,5/20

Konzentriert, recht komplex, mit hohem Fruchtgehalt, nur im Finale noch etwas eng und aufgeraut. Besser etwas reifen lassen.

Matthewjukes.com
- 16,5+/20

With nice crisp, mouth-watering tannins and a fairly intense palate, this is a bold, decisive La Garde with a stunning core of blackberry juiciness. It will need a little time for the tannins to soften but this is a smart wine with layers of complexity and freshness.

LE PAN

An elegant, medium-bodied La Garde with layers of dark fruits, savory herbs and spices. Well made in this vintage with potential to age and evolve over the next 5 to 7 years.

 

Jancis Robinson.com
- 16.5/20

Dark purplish crimson. Rather luscious fruit with energy. Good balance. Not heavy but with the oak and young fruit well synchronised.

timatkin.com
- 90/100
Terre de Vins

Nez très gourmand de fruits rouges, très intense, on est bel et bien à Pessac. Grosse cerise noire en bouche, beaucoup de volupté. Chateaubriand en boirait. 

 

Jamessuckling.com
- 89 - 90/100

Aromas of dark berries and blackcurrants. Full body, chewy tannins and a juicy finish.

The vintage

Vine vigour and water supplies in the different plots were successfully kept under control through rigorous ploughing, and frequent, targeted canopy management to optimise ripeness levels. Adopting a sustainable approach for many years and a profound understanding of the estate’s different terroirs, have made it possible to confront challenges in the vineyard throughout the season - including rain and exceptionally low temperatures during flowering and storms and hail in summer – and to achieve a good harvest despite a difficult vintage. Harvest selection was severe in the reds, both in the vineyard and winery, and we had to field a larger team of manual sorters.

Tasting notes

Deep, dark in appearance and tinged with crimson.  Enticing lusciously ripe, red fruit-laden aromas combine on the bouquet with spicy, even smoky notes, quite typical of this Pessac-leognan terroir. The lovely ripe fruit brings fleshy, well-balanced character on the palate, underpinned by powerful, rounded tannins, coated in generous richness and well-integrated oak. This harmonious wine culminates in a long, lasting finish.

Blend

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot

Medals and Accolades

Jamessuckling.com
- 89/100

...A soft and silky red with plum and chocolate character, medium body and soft tannins. Fresh finish. Drink now...

Vinum
- 15/20

Gerfällig mit geschmeidigem Tannin und hübschem Barriquetouch. Wird rash Freude machen.

La Revue du Vin de France

Réussite : Tanins souples pour un vin de bon fruit, au boisé discret. A boire assez jeune sur la fraîcheur de son fruit.

Vinifera
- 3etoile(s)

88-90/100

Très belle réussite pour ce vin issu d'un sommet de croupe argilo-graveuleux à Martillac. La bouche est dense, serrée, pleine d'énergie et l'élevage devrait venir dompter cette belle matière première.

timatkin.com
- 90/100
Falstaff
- 87 - 89/100

Tiefdunkles Rubingranat, schwarzer Kern, violette Reflexe, einladendes Cassis, mit schwarzer Beerenfrucht unterlegt, mineralische Nuancen. Saftig, knackig, reife Kirschfrucht, gut integrierte Tannine, lebendiger Säurebogen, salziger Touch, ein frischer Speisenbegleiter mit Entwicklungspotenzial.

 

Jancis Robinson.com

Bright, ripe berry fruit and intense black liquorice and aniseed on the mid palate. Hale and hearty no ailments here.

Jamessuckling.com
- 88 - 89/100

Very good core of blackberry and mineral character on the nose and palate. Medium body. Juicy finish.

Decanter
- 16.25/20

Fine floral and cassis nose, good fleshy fruit with Graves earthy grip in the middle, good depth.

The vintage

This vintage really kept us waiting! Fine weather in August and September fortuitously reduced the significant delay at the start of the summer, but still required drastic selection in both the reds and whites, resulting in a significant reduction in volumes at la Garde.

We delayed picking for as long as possible for the red grapes to reach optimum maturity, until October 5th. While unsettled weather at the start of harvesting fortunately did not affect the health of the vineyard, the Merlot and Cabernets had to be picked in rapid succession to avoid any risk.

Tasting notes

Deep and concentrated in appearance. A seductive bouquet emitting aromas of ripe fruits, liquorice and a smoky character often found in the terroirs of Pessac-Leognan. On the palate, the power of the delicate, rounded tannins is accompanied by generous rich character and volume. The wine’s harmonious presence culminates in a long, well-balanced finish, with well-integrated oak character.

Blend

52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot

Medals and Accolades

Yvesbeck.vin
- 89/100

Rouge grenat moyen. Fraîcheur et fruit. Voici, en deux mots, le résumé de de bouquet, très invitant de surcroit. Notes de baies rouges et de menthe. Au palais, le vin est déjà bien accessible. Légèrement crémeux, équilibré et idéalement soutenu par sa structure qui confirme la fraîcheur du nez. Un vin agréable.

 

Gault&Millau
- 16/20

Très beau nez de fruits rouges, d'épices. La bouche est fine, pure, droite aussi la tension nécessaire pour rendre l'ensemble aérien. Un vin délicat et fin.

Vinum
- 15,5/20

Würzig, mit Rasse und frische sowie der richtigen Herbe, macht Spass.

Erobertparker.com
- 87/100

An attractive nose of smoky blackcurrants and earth jump from the glass of this deep ruby/plum colored wine, owned by the famous Dourthe firm. The wine has supple tannins, excellent concentration, medium to full body and lots of spice.

Jamessuckling.com
- 90/100

Bright and clean with pretty berry and cherry character. Medium body and a firm-textured finish. Pretty wine. Drink and hold.

Wine Spectator
- 89/100

Solid and direct, with a graphite-edged core of plum, anise and blackberry coulis flavors, backed by a light juniper echo on the finish. Not big, but shows good focus and definition. 

Wine Enthusiast
- 90/100

... Solid layers of tannin partner with black currant fruit. This is structured, dark and very dry at the moment, although it will give a more rounded character as it ages ...

Wine Enthusiast
- 89 - 91/100

Barrel sample. Showing rich fruit, this is a juicy, red berry flavored wine. It's ripe and very fruity, its firm tannins well integrated into the full fruitiness. Likely to be for medium-term aging.

Weinwisser
- 17/20

Dunkles Granat, recht satt in der Mitte, rubiner Rand. Delikates Bouquet, feine, passende R&ouml,stnoten, reife, kleine Beeren und einen Hauch Kaffee vermittelnd. Saftiger Gaumen, gut stützende Säure, das gibt dem Weine eine fein pfeffrige Rasse, sch&ouml,ne Länge. 2017 - 2029

Jamessuckling.com
- 88 - 89/100

Juicy fruit to this wine with a blueberry and bramble berry character. Full body, with velvety tannins and a fresh finish

Asian Palate.com
- 88 - 89/100

Beautifully crafted supple red with velvety tannins and fairly long length. Good concentration for a Pessac Leognon red in this vintage. Balanced, fresh and delicious to enjoy near term.

Wine Advocate
- 86 - 88/100

A very good offering from Pessac-Leognan (an appellation that did very well in this vintage), the 2012 La Garde reveals tangy black cherry and black currant fruit in addition to hints of cedar wood and loamy soil. Medium-bodied, ripe and elegant, it can be enjoyed over the next 5-7 years.
Drink: 2013 - 2020

Decanter
- 16.5/20

Good Merlot-dominated crunchy fruit and fine earthy/elegant Graves.

Jean-Marc Quarin
- 14.75/20

Vin fruité, tendre et savoureux, au corps moyen, mais soyeux. Peu tannique. Agréable.

The vintage

Planted predominantly on warm soils, the red grapes were affected by bouts of excess temperatures throughout the year. The combined effect of some shrivelling on 27th June, the vines shutting down at times, and particularly rigorous grape selection in the vines to retain only consistently ripe grapes, had a severe impact on crop volumes. Summer rains thankfully kickstarted ripening in the red grapes and with mild weather during the month of September, the later ripening Merlot planted on clay, along with the Cabernets and Petit Verdot, were still able to attain good levels of ripening. The fruit was vinified using whole, uncrushed grapes, with gentle extraction to favour varietal expression in the grapes. Despite a difficult vintage, the wines are showing excellent potential.

Tasting notes

Magnificent, concentrated, pronounced appearance, lovely deep red in colour. The complex bouquet is defined by aromas of spice, ripe fruits (blackcurrant) and a hint of vanilla. Very concentrated, lively and nervous on the attack, becoming fleshy and generous on the mid-palate. The finish is long, with an attractive toasty note.

Blend

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot

Medals and Accolades

Yvesbeck.vin
- 89/100

Rouge grenat aux bordures légèrement éclaircies. Le bouquet est complexe et frais. Il révèle des notes de menthe et un peu de graphite. Au palais, le vin est compact, juteux et parfaitement soutenu par ses tannins. Ses derniers ont un grain fin et se révèlent lentement, en particulier en fin de bouche. Un vin qui commence à s’ouvrir et qui est doté d’un bon potentiel. 

 

Gault&Millau
- 16/20

Le nez est plus austère à cause du millésime et la bouche possède une belle trame tannique, de la droiture et des notes fumées très agréables. Tiendra encore 5 à 6 ans.

Guide de la RVF des meilleurs vins de France

Le 2011 conserve sa souplesse, mais gagne en complexité à l'évolution avec un beau registre épicé. 

Wine Advocate
- 88/100

This is another vineyard owned by the famous negociant Dourthe. La Garde typically represents outstanding value combined with reasonably good quality. The 2011 reveals a beguiling, flattering, precocious, up-front nose of plums, black cherries, kirsch, spice box, smoke and earth. Medium-bodied with velvety tannins as well as a gentle, but authoritative finish, this delicious sleeper of the vintage can be drunk over the next 10-12 years.

Jamessuckling.com
- 88/100

A wine with earth and berry character, plus hints of mushroom. Medium body, good tannins and a juicy finish. Lots of walnut character.

Wine Spectator
- 88/100

Open-knit, with a slightly leafy frame to the core of olive, blackberry and bitter cherry notes. A bay leaf edge lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2018.

Wine Enthusiast
- 88 - 90/100

Spicy new wood flavors and dry tannins characterize this wine, with only a hint of dark berry fruits. This is smoky, toasty and dominated by its structure.

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
- 87 - 90/100

Opaque inky ruby. Aromas of cassis, spicy chocolate and sweet oak. Nicely dense in the mouth, with a chewy character to the berry, coffee and earth flavors. The persistent finish shows a mouthcoating unctuosity.

Weinwisser
- 16/20

Tiefes Purpur, satt in der Mitte, Granatschimmer am Rand. Sehr süsses Bouquet, feine Amarenanoten und überreife Pflaumen, ein Hauch Mokka. Aromatischer Gaumen, dunkle R&ouml,stt&ouml,ne und leicht mürbe Tannine im noch dezent aufrauenden K&ouml,rper. Gute Anlagen. 2017-2032

timatkin.com
- 89/100
Decanter
- 16/20

Very good concentration of ripe vineyard fruit. A classy impression. (16+ points)

The vintage

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.

Tasting notes

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 finegrained 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! 

Blend

67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Perswijn
- 16/20

Geur : fruit, kersen, confiture, ceder

Smaak : elegant en sappig, jeugdig, fijne tannine 

Yvesbeck.vin
- 90/100

Rouge grenat moyen. Bouquet élégant, complexe, marqué par des notes épanouies et une agréable touche épicées. Au palais, le vin est friand, équilibré et parfaitement équilibré. Il a de la fraîcheur et une bone expression aromatique, jusqu’en fin de bouche. Un vin à point, à savourer maintenant. Quelle belle réussite. Maintenant – 2025  90/100

Gault&Millau
- 17/20

Epices, légèrement fumé, beau boisé, tout y est dès le premier nez. Suave et fine, la bouche possède un grain très fin, du charnu et un bel équilibre. Une réussite. 

Natalie Maclean.com
- 97/100

A spectacular Bordeaux in every sense: top-drawer complexity, layering, balance, depth and length on the finish. This is the flagship wine of this house, and it declassifies 50% of production to maintain incredibly high standards vintage after vintage. The vines are planted in all the proto-typical Bordeaux soils: gravel, clay and limestone. The current owners purchased this chateau in 1990. On top of all this, the 2010 vintage was a terrific one so this is a great wine for your cellar still, and decant 1-2 hours when you open it. Dark fruit and smoke but not overwhelmed with oak -- no cover-ups here just pure mastery. Pair with a rare steak. Absolutely superb, especially for the price. Wow.

Sommelier
- 90 / 100

Dunkle, extrem würzige Nase, Kardamom, Piment, Wacholder, Wildkirsche; kerniger, maskuliner Typ, feste, aber polierte Tannine, leichte Schokonote, viel Druck. 

Guide de la RVF des meilleurs vins de France
- 16/100

 Plein et savoureux, le 2010 s'inscrit parmi les très belles réussites du cru. C'est mûr, encore un peu compact, mais savoureux avec des tanins tout en rondeur, moelleux et une matière élancée.

Vigneron

(...) C'est le millésime le plus  abouti. il aura fallu vingt ans de travail pour retrouver tout le potentiel qui nous avait fait rêver. A la fois ferme et onctueux, mature, plein, profond, il fera date dans l'histoire du cru. (...) Patrick Jestin

Challenge's

...ce vignoble de 58 hectares qui se situe à Martillac, dans l'appellation pessac-léognan, affiche une belle progression depuis plusieurs millésimes...

...le millésime 2010 se distingue par ses arômes de fruit rouges, de cuir, ses tanins soyeux, son boisé discret, sa fraîcheur en bouche et une finale élégante...

The World of Fine Wine
- 15,5/20

Medium-full, a nice fruit framed by a firm tannin; ripe, moderately complex, a hint of Graves minerality, good light lenght.

Cuisine et Vins de France

C'est l'une des propriétés des Vignobles Dourthe, intégrés au groupe familial champenois Alain Thiénot. Ce qui ne change en rien à la qualité exceptionnelle de la croupe de graves sur laquelle est planté le vignoble d'un seul tenant. La conjonction de ce sol béni et d'un soin parfait donne un cru racé et dense. En 2010, année sublime, le rouge offre une magnifique structure avec la puissance et la tension de son terroir.

Guide de la RVF des meilleurs vins de France
- 16/100

Superbe rouge 2010, profond, aux tanins justement extraits et qui, comme en blanc, bénéficie d'un élevage moins dominant, laissant place à davantage de naturel à la finale.

Guide Bettane et Desseauve
- 15/20

On aime le fruit pur, la minéralité et les notes mentholées, la trame charnue et ronde, la fraîcheur et l'équilibre de ce beau vin classique.

Guide Hubert
- 4.5etoile(s)

Nez très complexe et raffiné, beau fruit pur, jolie minéralité, notes fumées et mentholées, bouche charnue, épanouie, avec de beaux arômes, des tanins ronds et de la fraîcheur. Bel équilibre.

Wine Spectator
- 90/100

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. -JM

Wine Advocate
- 88/100

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.

Jamessuckling.com
- 93/100

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. Better after 2016.

Guide RVF des bonnes affaires du vin
- 16/20

Des notes de fruits mûrs apportent une bouche joliment concentrée. Un vin moderne, un rien flatteur en finale, agréable à boire. 

Le Figaro - L'Avis du Vin (Club Vin)
- 15/20

Robe sombre, nez intense, fumé et mûre. Bouche souple, rond, du gras, ample, belle réussite.

La Revue du Vin de France
Réussites exceptionnelles: Une robe rouge profond et un fruité prononcé (framboise fraîche). Son style, séducteur en bouche, est renforcé par les fermentations malolactiques en barriques.
Gault&Millau
- 16.5/20

Le merlot est envoûtant de plaisir et le cabernet-sauvignon offre une élégance savoureuse. Rouge et blanc sont à suivre de près.

Weinwisser
- 17/20

Extrem dunkles Purpur. Eine volle Brombeerladung, Black Currant, ausladend im Bouquet. Cremiger Gaumen, viel Souplesse, weiches, schon fast samtenes Finale mit mittlerem Druck. Kann noch zulegen. 2017-2030

Asian Palate.com
- 86 - 87/100

This is a thickly textured full-bodied wine with ripe plummy fruit. It is a well made La Garde with juicy, plummy flavours made for early term drinking. This vintage has more generous of both flavours and tannins. Modest finish.

timatkin.com
- 93/100
TAST
- 15/20

Un Pessac-Léognan qui joue sur le registre de la puissance: nez riche de fruits noirs, avec des notes épicées et fumées, bouche charpentée, s’appuyant sur une trame tanique très solide, avec de la fraîcheur et de la longueur.

Decanter
- 16.5/20

Densely-extracted black fruits, slightly briary with good energy, high quality northern Graves with good future. 2015-22

The Wine Cellar Insider
- 87 - 89/100

La Garde Utilizing 62% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, with a perfume of smoky blackberries and soil, this medium bodied wine offers round textures and finishes with a cassis and a hint of chocolate. This wine should offer pleasure early. 87-89 Pts

Wine Enthusiast
- 90 - 92/100

This wine is ripe with notes of spicy fruit. It is packed with new wood, yet shows the bright fruit of 2010. The wine has weight and richness with a very dense aftertaste.

Jancis Robinson.com
- 16/20

«Dark crimson. Very attractive fresh fruit on the nose. Really savoury and luscious, There's a middle charge of fruit here, which is lacking on many others. Though it is not that dense. Nice easy drink that seems to have been fairly heavily extracted. Pretty rich and intense for a Pessac-Leognan. «

The vintage

Apart from hail in May, which resulted in slightly reduced volumes in the affected vineyards, the 2009 vintage enjoyed textbook weather conditions. Water shortages did not affect La Garde, where the vines are perfectly suited to the terroir. More than ever before, the plateau delivered the true extent of its exceptional quality potential and the Cabernet and Petit Verdot grapes were superb. Prolonged fine weather allowed growers to calmly await the optimum harvesting time for each individual parcel. Even though the first parcel was picked on 24th September, the harvest only really began at the start of October.

Tasting notes

The wine displays a pronounced, attractive dark red colour. On the nose, aromas of preserved red fruits and figs intermingle with delicate, perfectly integrated oaky notes. The rounded, generous attack is affirmed by attractive weight on the palate, accompanied by very ripe tannins and a concentrated finish. The 2009 vintage is well-balanced and extremely complex, and reveals all the qualities of a fine Pessac-Léognan. A benchmark vintage for La Garde!

Blend

50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Gault&Millau
- 15.5/20

Sur fond d'épices, de boîte à tabac et de mine de crayon, ce Château La Garde préserve son caractère intense alors que le fruit commence à basculer sur un registre automnal. Au final, un beau pessac, fin et complexe qui commence à livrer ses charmes.

Le Figaro - L'Avis du Vin (Club Vin)
- 15.5/20

Souple, rond et suave, charmant.

Wine Advocate
- 89/100

Served blind at the Southwold 2009 tasting. This is a better performance from Chateau La Garde than it «middling» barrel display suggested. This has a lifted blackberry and briary scented bouquet with crushed flowers and minerals. The palate is medium-bodied with a chewy entry. It is quite firm in the mouth, solid but nicely composed on the concentrated finish. Tasted January 2013.

La Presse

17.5/20

Opaque, ou presque, comme tant de 2009...Corsé, dense, corpulent, il est très typé 2009 avec des tanins bien enrobés. De grande ampleur, très fruits noirs, le bouquet, au beau boisé distingué, n'a cependant rien de massif. Très-très bon et sans doute vieillira-t-il en beauté. 

Guide de la RVF des meilleurs vins de France
- 15.5/100

Plus dense et chaleureux, le 2009 est plus concentré.

Guide Bettane et Desseauve
- 15/20

Un nez tendrement fruité, fumé et épicé, une bouche ample, savoureuse, bien tramée et équilibrée. Propriété très bien située, sur des graves bien drainées de Martillac, et objet de beaucoup d'attentions de la part de son propriétaire, La Garde améliore lentement mais sûrement ses blancs et ses rouges.

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
- 88/100

Full medium red. Slightly high-toned aromas of blackberry, black cherry, hot rocks, licorice and herbs. Juicy and moderately intense, with good energy to the dark fruit and spice flavors, which carry nicely on the fresh aftertaste.Tannins are quite suave. For drinking over the next ten years.

Wine Spectator

Silky yet solid, this focused red delivers plenty of black cherry, currant, tobacco and spice flavors, with a firm texture, well-integrated tannins and lively acidity. The long finish carries toast, mineral and floral notes.

Wine Advocate
Sexy black cherries, unsmoked cigar tobacco, hot rocks and roasted herbs all characterize this soft, lush, very fruity and enticing wine, which is mid-weight and ideal for drinking over the next 6-8 years.
Jamessuckling.com
- 93/100

Blueberry, mineral and dried flower aromas follow through to a full body, with silky tannins and a juicy, slightly austere finish. Structured and dense. Very well done. Better in 2018.

La Revue du Vin de France
- 15/20

Le nez est franc, puissant, avec un fruit très présent. En milieu de bouche, les tanins se font moelleux et fins.

Guide RVF des bonnes affaires du vin
- 16.5/20

Cette bouteille témoigne d'une bonne tension aromatique. Avec sa belle expression et ses boisés plus discrets, elle présente une bouche ample et généreuse, dotée d'une grande rondeur liée à la maturité du millésime. Voici donc un délicieux Pessac…

Guide de la RVF des meilleurs vins de France
- 15.5/100

La Garde se compare désormais aux valeurs sûres de l'appellation...Le rouge 2009 possède un fruité généreux et un élevage qui semble bien dosé. Il ne manque pas de charme.

Le Figaro

89-91/100

Robe grenat. Nez fruits rouges. En bouche, souple, rond et suave, charmant.

Weinwisser
- 17/20

Tiefes Purpur. Sehr aromatisches, würzigesBouquet, viel Tiefe. Sehr elegant, mittlerer Körper, blaue Beeren, Schwarzpfeffernote, kann noch zulegen. 2016-2026.

La Revue du Vin de France
Réussites: Ce vin pulpeux procurera beaucoup de plaisir d'ici quelques années.
Wine Enthusiast
- 92 - 94/100

Spicy wood, ginger and nutmeg, balancing with solid black fruits. The wine is rich, a powerhouse of sweet tannins, finishing freshly with black currant juice.

TAST
- 15/20

Le tanin de ce rouge est encore bien présent en bouche mais il est fin. L’ensemble très mûr conserve de la fraîcheur en finale.

Wine Advocate
- 88 - 90/100

A sleeper of the vintage, this may turn out to be the finest La Garde yet made. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by notes of burning embers, charcoal, black cherries, and black currants. Medium to full-bodied, lush, complex, and already impressive, it should drink well for 10-15 years. (Tasted two times.) 

Jancis Robinson.com
- 16/20

Fresh and focused. Quite zesty with a fair amount of tannin on the end. Reasonably classic Pessac-Léognan with extra ripeness. Plush ink.Drink 2015-2020

Decanter
- 16.5/20

Black red, deep crushed black fruit nose, well-expressed briary fruit with good extract, middle and length, very ripe grapes backed by good vineyard character. 

Anthony Rose
- 89 - 91/100

Good fresh aromatic quality, quite oaky, very nice rich dark berry fruit with quite a lot of spicy oak and firm tannins, but also fresh juicy acidity, so while quite showy and flashy at the moment, should settle into a very attractive drink.

Wine Spectator
- 90 - 93/100

Mineral, spice, stone and fruit aromas follow through to a full body, with soft, velvety tannins and a pretty finish.

timatkin.com
- 92/100

After the redesign of the vineyard at this CVBG-owned property, the investment is paying off. This is rich, perfumed and slightly spicy, with stylish oak and fresh acidity adding extra layer. The Cabernet certainly makes its presence felt given its comparatively small (numerical) contribution.

The vintage

After a challenging spring and relatively cool summer, the magnificent Indian Summer sunshine of September and October more than compensated for highly selective harvesting, carried out specifically to harvest only plots of even ripeness, from identically profiled terroirs. This vintage is also characterised by the magnificent quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot from the ‘Plateau’, where the ripeness of the grapes reveals ripe and delicate tannins, and appealing structure. This vintage serves to confirm the magnificence of this exceptional terroir.

Tasting notes

Deep ruby-red in appearance. The red-fruit bouquet revealing blackberries, currants or blackcurrants, is intense and fresh. Initially direct, the wine develops to reveal a well-balanced, dense and generous palate, yet smooth presenting great richness. The finish is long, offering good fruit character, enriched with white tobacco leaf notes. The wine’s impressive balance indicates an ageing potential over 10 years.

Blend

58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Guide de la RVF des meilleurs vins de France
- 15.5/100

Une agréable fraîcheur avec un fruit délicat et une matière équilibrée

Gault&Millau
- 15/20
Guide Hachette
- 1etoile(s)

Cette très jolie chartreuse du XVIIIe siècle témoigne de l'ancienneté du domaine. Une fois encore, ce cru se montre à la hauteur de son passé avec ce vin intéressant par ses arômes de fruits noirs, d'herbe coupée et de violette. La puissance du palais n'entame en rien sa rondeur et donne un ensemble déjà fort aimable...(1 étoile = vin très réussi)

Guide Bettane et Desseauve
Propriété très bien située, sur des graves bien drainées de Martillac, et objet de beaucoup d'attentions de la part de son propriétaire….Tout en fraicheur, très aromatique…
Guide de la RVF des meilleurs vins de France
- 15/100

La Garde se compare désormais aux valeurs sûres de l'appellation...Bel équilibre et finesse des tanins pour le rouge 2008. C'est un vin typé de son terroir avec une matière délicate, expressive et qui commence à se fondre.

Erobertparker.com

A Typical blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this wine displays the classic Graves notes of unsmoked cigar tobacco intermixed with wet gravel, red and black currants, and a hint of barbecue smoke, A mineral-laced wine, it is seductive, round, dark plum/ruby and good for drinking over the next 5-7 Years.

Wine Spectator
- 89/100

Black cherry and currant flavors mingle in this solid red, while leafy, herbal notes give this a fresh green character. A straightforward wine, showing some concentration and good balance. Drink now through 2017. 7950 cases made.

Jamessuckling.com
- 90/100

A plummy and fruity red, with hints of soil. Full and fruity, with soft tannins and a fruity finish. Well done for the vintage. Always improving. Best after 2012.

Cuisine Gourmande
A l'œil, rubis foncé, au nez, pointe de fumé sur les parfums de fruits rouges et de vanille. Belle attaque en bouche sur un fruit mûr et presque confit. Suite droite, construite, avec une finale minérale, droite malgré la grande maturité. Grâce à ses tanins souples, ce vin peut se boire tout de suite. Mais si on attend, il gagnera en complexité.
La Revue du Vin de France
- 15.5 - 17.5/20

Puissance des fruits noirs confiturés et des épices douces. La bouche est charpentée, avec une trame tannique importante, du fruit, de la fraicheur et une bonne allonge. Vin solide.

Weinwisser
- 16/20

Trinkreife 2014-2026

Wine Advocate
- 86 - 88/100

Smoky, weedy notes interwoven with sweet cherry and black currant fruit emerge from this medium-bodied 2008. It is ideal for consumption over the next 7-8 years.

Jancis Robinson.com
- 16.5/20

Unusually concentrated purple. All stops have been pulled out on this one! Lots of freshness and excitement and some extremely expensive oak! Very dry finish. But very noble. A wine that has been given the cru classé treatment in the cellar without a doubt-was picked a pretty late.

Wine Spectator
- 85 - 88/100

Crushed dark berries on the nose follow through to a full body, with soft, silky tannins and a medium finish.

TAST
- 15/20

Le style est puissant et montre que les cabernets sont arrivés en production. L'équilibre acidité/alcool lui permettra une belle garde.

The vintage

The quality of the vines increases year on year, as the parcels replanted since 1990 become more mature (high density planting, new pruning techniques, grafting and clones adapted to the soil-types.) Monitoring the development of water stress during ripening at many different sites in the vineyard (more than 500), has made it possible to adapt cultivation techniques during the season (trimming at a higher or lower level, different types of cover grass). Monitoring water stress also allows to map the soils on an increasingly detailed level, indicating different ripening levels even within the same parcel of vines. The harvesting dates can then be scheduled so that only grapes displaying even ripeness are picked.

Tasting notes

This wine is highly attractive in appearance with intense colour. It boasts a very attractive, intense and vibrant bouquet, revealing blackberry and blueberry notes. Generous on the palate with powerful tannins, the wine develops a concentrated fruit character with impressive freshness. Elegance overpowers the intensity. The finish, is long, and precise, revealing aromas of brioche, wild berries and white tobacco leaves.

Blend

52% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.5% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Gault&Millau

La trame tannique est tendre, le vin encore marqué par le fût joue entre notes toastées et mûres sauvages. Nez fruité, floral. En bouche, charnu et velouté.

Erobertparker.com
- 90/100

Tatsted blind at the 2007 Bordeaux horizontal in Southworld. This is a surprising, delightful wine that surpassed many more famous names. The La Garde 2007 has an attractive nose with dark cherries, raspberry and a fair amount of vanillary oak, but maintaining good delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, nice grip with a good weight on the finish. It will take some time for the oak to be subsumed, but this is still very finely made. Tasted January 2011.

Guide Hachette
... Ce 2007 offre un bon exemple de ces bouteilles à apprécier dans leur jeunesse: sa structure est veloutée et ses arômes vifs évoquent les petits fruits rouges acidulés. Sa fraicheur se mariera bien avec de nombreux plats, y compris les grillades de boeuf.
Guide Bettane et Desseauve
Vin agréable par son coté frais, souple, fruité.
Decanter
- 17/20

**** Spicy nose with lots of juicy and sweet cassis, black fruits and toasted oak. More sweet fruits and firm tannins on the palate with an elegant, generous fruit concentration and a nice cedar spice flavour on the finish. Oak is well-handled but needs time to soften up.

La Revue du Vin de France
- 15.5 - 17.5/20

Un nez mûr et complexe, une bouche harmonieuse, avec des tanins ronds et un boisé délicat pour ce Pessac-Léognan long et aromatique.

Weinwisser
- 16/20
Jancis Robinson.com
- 15/20

Bright but not blue crimson. A little mossy on the nose. Easy and gentle but a bit chewy and dry on the finish. Competent without being exciting.

Wine Spectator
- 85 - 88/100

Berry and mineral character, with hints of flowers. Medium body, fine tannins and fresh finish. 

The vintage

Veraison occurred evenly across the vineyard with the grapes then ripening splendidly during the first few days of September: significant diurnal temperature variation and sunshine hours contributed to the concentration of aromas, sugar and phenolic compounds in the grapes, to evels reminiscent of the 2005 vintage. Very good vine health in the vineyard allowed the harvesting to stretch to the required dates. The richness and complexity of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot varieties on the “plateau” were surprising, which only goes to prove the exceptional quality of this terroir, even though the vines remain relatively young.

Tasting notes

Chateau La Garde 2006 red is ruby-red, brilliant. Its delicate nose opens up on a note of Morelo cherries and plums. The initial attack is full, evolving into silky, integrated tannins, as a result of careful extraction during vinification. An elegant, flavoursome wine with very good ageing potential.

Blend

55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Cabernet Franc, 2.5% Petit Verdot

Medals and Accolades

Terre de Vins
- 15/20

Généreux, onctueux et séduisant, sa matière est de belle qualité. Une viande rouge bien grillée sera un complice de choix.

Gault&Millau
- 15.5/20

L'élevage se fond peu à peu et laisse derrière lui quelques notes grillées qui embellissent ce vin riche de prunes noires et de cassis. la bouche est patinée, suave et très sensuelle.

Guide Hubert
- 4.5etoile(s)

Nez fin et délicat, très fondu et harmonieux, de fruits rouges avec des notes boisées et minérales, bouche à l'identique, ronde, aromatique, charnue, fraîche, avec une bonne suite. Tout en élégance.

Guide Bettane et Desseauve
- 15/20

Un Pessac-Léognan qui prime par son élégance: nez harmonieux, délicatement fruité, minéral et boisé, bouche dans le même esprit, rond, souple, finement tannique, fraîche et toute en longueur.

Guide Hachette

Domaine appartenant en propre depuis près de vingt ans à la maison Dourthe et commandé par une jolie chartreuse, ce cru est implanté au point culminant de Martillac. Il propose un vin plaisant au fruité agréable et enveloppé par un subtil fumet boisé. Equilibré et fin, le palais reste sur les même notes aromatiques.

Guide des Vins Gault&Millau
- 15/20

Les vins présentés cette année sont modernes par leur fruité intense, classiques par leur trame à relief et leur fraîcheur …Le 2006 offre fruité et saveur…

Guide de la RVF des meilleurs vins de France
- 15.5/100

La Garde se compare désormais aux valeurs sûres de l'appellation....Le rouge 2006 est élégant et savoureux...

La Revue du Vin de France
- 15.5 - 17/20

Grand Vin - Nez mûr exprimant des arômes harmonieux, bouche savoureuse, aux tanins fondants, à la longue finale équilibrée. Tout en élégance.

Wine & Spirit (UK)
- 88 - 89/100
Weinwisser
- 16/20

2013-2025. Mittleres Granat mit rubinem Rand. Delikates, feines Bouquet, rote Pflaumen, sanft süsse Kirschenkompottnoten dahinter. Delikater, feiner Gaumen, saftig, weich, viel Finessen, gute Balance, früher Genuss und doch mit Potenzial für ein paar Jahre.

Vinum
- 15/20

Extraktreich, herb, viel Holz. 

Jancis Robinson.com
- 15.5/20

Dark crimson. Sweet almost chocolate raisin-like appeal on the nose. The rich palate entry and reasonably gentle, relatively soft tannins. It’s interesting that, tasting this among a range of Dourthe wines from several different appellations, this is the first to show gentle tannins on the finish. Does this signal good things for the Pessac-Léognan appellation as a whole?

Wine Spectator
- 85 - 88/100

Medium-bodied, with berry and light mineral character and a light finish.

The vintage

2005 is an exceptional vintage. Rarely in the Bordeaux wine history all the conditions been in place for a harvest of such ideal quality. In completely stress-free conditions, the teams of grape-pickers at Château La Gardegathered grapes that were very healthy and rich, with concentrated colour and tannins, good balanced acidity bringing freshness and with remarkable aromatic intensity. The very favourable final ripening period had just enough rainfall to ensure ideal conditions for staggering the harvests. Picking took place during the coolest hours so as to keep all the exceptional aromatic intensity.“A la carte”vinification of each batch was carried out to optimise precise balance between fruit, structure and body, and control the unique richness of this harvest.

Tasting notes

The wines display a deep black colour with hints of intense violet. Very red fruit on the nose, changing to coffee and ending on a tropical note. The attack is fresh, and shows very good balance with freshness. Immediately full on the palate, with fine silky tannins that prove that this wine has great ageing potential.

Blend

60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc

Medals and Accolades

Gault&Millau
Le millésime réussit avec brio avec un beau volume et un boisé juste sans lourdeur. La palette aromatique est riche sur les fruits noirs et la bouche dense.
Food and Wine

This clean and polished red offers flavors of cassis, smoke and vanilla. Chewy tannins, a medium-full body and a good depth make it balanced and immensely enjoyable. Excellent Top-notch of its type

Wine Enthusiast
- 92/100

Dark in color, this wine has sold tannins over rich mint and black plum fruits.The structure is firm, but the whole wine has enough richness to sustain the dry core.

Decanter
- 17.6/20

Highly Recommended - Sweet, ripe with a minty nose. Delicious balance of ripeness and freshness that glides across the palate and goes on and on.

Jancis Robinson.com
- 16.5/20

Fragrant, lightly floral dark fruit. Dusty. Tannins a little tough but there's nicely scented dark fruit on the mid palate. Finishes a bit dry but there's more to come. Really quite dense and long.

Guide Hachette
- 1etoile(s)

Vignoble en propre de la célèbre maison Dourthe depuis 1990, ce cru est implanté sur une croupe de graves marquant le point culminant de la commune de Martillac. Encore un peu fermé au nez (fruit rouges et moka en embuscade), son 2005 se montre plus expressif en bouche où le fruit un peu confit concurrence un délicat merrain, dans un ensemble qui joue pleinement la carte de la finesse. Un très beau travail de vinification et d'élevage. (1 étoile = vin très réussi)

IWC

Silver Medal

Wine Spectator
- 89/100
Guide de la RVF des meilleurs vins de France
- 15/100

Les beaux progrès enregistrés ces derniers millésimes par le domaine appartenant à la maison de négoce Dourthe nous conduisent à lui attribuer sa première étoile. Les rouges sont désormais réguliers, modernes, richement fruités et épicés. Ils vieillissent très bien. Le 2005 possède une matière profonde et un corps imposant.

Le Monde
- 15.5/20

C'est un vin de large format, la propriété progresse constamment.

Le Magazine du Monde
- 15.5/20

«Mûr, plein de sève, riche et intense. C'est un vin de large format, la propriété progresse constamment. «

La Revue du Vin de France

Les réussites exceptionnelles : nez complexe, bouche avec une trame tannique imposante, des arômes de fruits mûrs et une bonne suite.

Le Point
- 16.5/20

La Garde est une vraie réussite, un vin qui, comme son nom l'indique, vieillit harmonieusement et offre un fruité facile d'accès qui séduit tous les amateurs de vin de graves…Epicé, fruit noirs, frais, élégant, tanins généreux, pas trop extraits, racé, fruité, bonne longueur.

Jancis Robinson.com
- 16/20

Aromatic sweet black fruit, some ripe damson, richly fruited mid palate, firm fine tannins and well sustained. Riper fruit style than many from this region , well balanced by acidity and tannins

TAST
- 15.5/20

Bénéficiant d'un travail de fond depuis plusieurs années, le cru progresse encore : mûr, plein de sève, riche et intense, c'est un vin de large format.

The vintage

Excellent vine management (leaf-thinning, topping and trimming, integrated plant protection etc) and yield control (pruning, de-budding, thinning out…) resulted in remarkable ripening and sanitary state. The harvests were staggered, and, despite a late vintage, this did not give rise to any problem. An innovation was berry selection using the new sorting/destemming SOCMA machine on two sorting tables. Only berries of similar ripeness were to be found in the same batch and all the vegetal debris was removed on new sorting tables.

Tasting notes

This vintage from Château La Gardeshows lots of balance and freshness with aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant, raspberry and spice. Onthe palate it is structured and the tannins are fine and velvety, keeping all its freshness and aromatic complexity. Good length.

Blend

60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc

Medals and Accolades

Gault&Millau
L'attaque très musclée fait place à des parfums prononcés de cuir et de feuilles de tabac, qui s'accordent très bien avec le musqué des joues de boeuf et des shiitakés. C'est un vin d'hiver de forte personnalité.
TAST
- 16/20

16/20 = grande réussite “Excellent bordeaux, riche, harmonieux et bien élevé.”

Gault&Millau
Belle évolution sur ce millésime qui garde de la tension...
Jancis Robinson.com
- 16.5/20

“Affordable red bordeaux”“…Sweet start. Lively fruit…Nice balance…it could provide juicy drinking early..”

Decanter

Une affaire...

Guide Hachette
- 2etoile(s)

Ce 2004 est bien typé, tant par sa robe grenat sombre que par son bouquet finement boisé. Charnu et bien équilibré, le palais s'appuie sur des tanins racés qui permettent d'envisager une garde de Six ans et plus. Passé tout près du coup de coeur, ce vin méritera des mets de caractère (...)

Gault&Millau
- 15/20

Rien n'est laissé au hasard sur cette propriété de Pessac-Léognan. Belle réalisation que le 2004 en rouge, vin souple et charmeur, cadré par une trame serrée et présente aujourd'hui.

Guide Parker des Vins de France
Mon classement: très bon.“… Des châteaux soucieux de qualité comme …, La Garde, … méritent qu’on s’y intéresse de près. … Cette propriété est régulière à haut niveau
Decanter
«Value at Glance"Classy and complex nose. Lots of dark fruit, vanilla and oak. Very complex and multi-layered palate. Great structure and complexity.
Wine Spectator
- 85/100

Offers plum and light cedar, with tea undertones on the nose. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a fresh finish. Best after 2007. 10,775 cases made.

Guide Hubert
Nez riche, avec fruit très mûr, un joli boisé et des notes fumées , bouche massive, puissante et charnue, avec des tannins serrés et mûrs ...
Wine Advocate
- 84 - 86/100

The lean, austere 2004 offers aromas of smoky tobacco, minerals, earth, currants, and figs, medium body, decent acidity, and a short finish.

Weinwisser
- 16/20
La Revue du Vin de France

7/10

Dense et moelleux, le vin présente des tanins fermes et une bonne longueur.

The vintage

The 2003 harvest was the earliest ever seen at Château La Garde but also one with the lowest yield (35hl/ha). Record-breaking temperatures lead to an early harvest –3 to 4 weeks in advance at veraison. Fortunately, the clay, found on many plots, maintained a certainlevel of humidity and avoided the grapes from stopping their maturation and the berries from drying out, a situation that could be witnessed on other gravellysoils. The works performed in the vineyard were perfectly adapted to these extreme conditions in order to preserve a balance between the plant and the fruit. The berries were highly concentrated in sugar and had rich aromas of black fruitsand excellent structure. All of this within a balance given by normal levels of acidity.

Tasting notes

Spicy, with black fruit aromas, and well melted oak flavours. The palate is ripe, full and dense, with silky tannins : A Château La Garde very delicateand elegant.

Blend

50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc

Medals and Accolades

IWSC

IWSC 2008: SILVER MEDAL - Best In Class -

Guide Hachette
- 2etoile(s)

Une nouvelle étiquette habille ce millésime. Que les fidèles du cru se rassurent, le contenu de la bouteille n'a pas changé d'esprit : il assemble 50 % de cabernet-sauvignon, 45% de merlot et 5% de cabernet franc élevés quatorze mois en barrique. La robe reste élégante, toujours sombre , le bouquet complexe joue encore sur le bois (toast, grillé et moka) et le palais gras est puissant. Riche et profond, l'ensemble, de qualité, mérite un séjour en cave de cinq à huit ans.

Decanter World Wine Award

SILVER MEDAL Decanter World Wine Awards 2006Deep, dark ruby core. Fine-scented nose. Engaging, attractive. Delicious berry and cherry fruit over a well-crafted structure.

Wine Advocate
- 87/100

Big, fleshy, and seductive, the 2003 exhibits a dark plum color as well as plenty of sweet kirsch, licorice, smoked herbs, and earth notes. Drink it over the next 5-7 years.

Wine Spectator
- 87/100

A pleasant wine with tobacco and chocolate character and hints of fruit. Medium-bodied, with velvety tannins and a delicious finish. Best after 2006. 10,750 cases made.

TAST
- 15/20

Appartenant à la maison Dourthe, La Garde produits des vins généreusement boisés, riches, gourmands, très séducteurs.

Le Point
- 15/20

La Garde est un joli vin, pas très connu mais d'une grande régularité et d'une bonne tenue au vieillissement. Nez épicé, fruits noirs, légérement boisé, bouche grasse, dense, tanins veloutés, structure solide, bonne matière, joli fruit.

Decanter

3 étoiles

Quite big extraction. Rich, dark fruit with distinct mocha, coffee notes. Solid fruit weight, fleshy, gras. Vanilla oak again present on the palate. Touch of dryness on the finish.



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