The Garcin-Lévêque Portfolio, 2018

The Garcin-Lévêque family arrived in Bordeaux during the 1990s, acquiring Château Haut-Bergey in 1991 and Château Branon in 1996. It was only with the purchase of Clos L’Église in 1997, followed by Château Barde-Haut, in 2000, that they really stepped onto the Bordeaux stage though. Both properties are blessed with very favourable terroir, Clos L’Église being near the top of the Pomerol slope, just around the corner from Château L’Église-Clinet, while Château Barde-Haut sits up on the very edge of the limestone plateau of St Emilion, just to the east of the town.

I find Clos L’Église the most convincing wine in the portfolio, a conclusion reinforced by my encounter with every vintage made since the acquisition, more than two decades ago now, which I reported on in my recent Clos L’Église Retrospective. The wines are well built up by oak, but they age well, revealing a greater sense of pace as they evolve. Château Barde-Haut has a much more modern, heavily oak-framed style, and I am not so confident of its ability to develop in a positive fashion in the cellar.


These days, however, the family’s portfolio of properties in Bordeaux has broadened further (they also have a foothold in Argentina, but I am sticking purely to Bordeaux). In 2013 Hélène Garcin-Lévêque (pictured above) wrested control of the little-known Château Haut-Villet, another St Emilion estate teetering on the edge of the plateau not that far from Château Barde-Haut, from a consortium of owners. In doing so she also gained control of another of their properties, in nearby Castillon, named Château d’Arce. The former was rechristened Poesia, the same name they have used for their winemaking project in Argentina. Hélène’s first vintage at Poesia was 2014.

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