Château Barde-Haut 2018
• Domaine: Château Barde-Haut
• Appellation: Saint-Emilion
• Classification: Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Château Barde-Haut is home to some mythic terroir. With neighbors like Saint-Émilion legends – Château Troplong Mondot, Château Pavie Macquin, and the Thienpont property, L’If, the logical conclusion would be fantastic expressions of grand vin are produced at this incredible Grand Crus Classés property. Château Barde-Haut experienced a meteoric rise in quality since the mid 1990s, after a series of sweeping changes were made both in the vineyard and the vat room. The wine keeps improving year after year, making it one of the Right Bank's rising stars that still sells for a relatively affordable price.
The history of Château Barde-Haut really began in the modern era, when Hélène Garcin purchased the estate from Dominique Philippe, who was already unveiling the estate’s potential to craft fantastic terroir-driven wines. For those who aren’t familiar, Hélène is the owner of the legendary estate, Clos L’Eglise. Shortly after the property was acquired, a massive renovation was completed in 2012. The emphasis was on sustainability and energy efficiency. Château Barde-Haute has a green roof with solar panels in addition to filters that collect, clean and recycle rainwater. A small wind turbine creates energy that powers the outdoor lighting on the property. This modern, minimalist design makes Château Barde-Haut one of the first major properties to go fully green. Château Barde-Haut is certified sustainable with a High Environmental Value of 3.
Château Barde-Haut is a 17-hectare estate that is planted with 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. A replanting program has been implemented to increase the amount of Cabernet Franc and decrease the amount of Merlot. The estate possesses the type of terroir one dreams of. A beautiful amphitheater of vines, with South facing exposure sits on a limestone plateau. There is plenty of good elevation here, which the vines need to thrive. Château Barde-Haut also hosts the perfect mixture of clay and limestone soils that assist in providing the vines with perfect nutrients and absorb water during drought-ridden years.
The vines are an average of 35 years, though the estate hosts some exceedingly old Cabernet Franc vines. The estate is managed by Hélène and her husband Patrice. Patrice focuses on the vineyard management while Hélène works on crafting the beautiful wine from this estate. The family also has a team of gifted consultants like Doctor Alain Raynaud and Thomas Duclos who provided guidance during each vintage. Typically, the vines are all harvested by hand prior to being vinified in the gravity fed vat room. The grand vin is vinified in a mixture of stainless steel tanks and concrete vats. It is then aged in mostly new French oak barrels for 18 months. For those who love wines with an exquisite amount of power from oak ageing, Château Barde-Haut is the perfect wine. Château Barde-Haut requires a bit of time to lay down in good vintages. It possesses the perfect mixture of purity of fruit integrated with oak, coupled with a distinctive mineral-driven quality that is associated with Saint-Émilion wine.
"The 2018 Barde-Haut is a rich, heady wine. Crème de cassis, blackberry jam, chocolate, leather and spice race out of the glass in this flamboyant, exotically ripe Saint-Émilion. There is no shortage of stuffing, but the wine needs time to come together. Specifically, the new oak needs to integrate more fully, but this is a barrel sample, and it is not uncommon to see wines at this stage showing this way. The more exotic side of the vintage is very much on display. The harvest ranged from September 29 to October 12, which is relatively drawn out by the estate's standards." - Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, (April, 2019) Rating: 92-95
"The 2018 Barde-Haut is a final blend composed of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, it sashays sensuously out of the glass with effortless baked blackberries, preserved plums and blueberry pie notes plus hints of incense, powdered cinnamon, cigar box and star anise. Full-bodied and packed with spicy black and blue fruits, it is beautifully textured with firm, velvety tannins and just enough background freshness, finishing very long and seductive." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/23/2019, Bordeaux 2018 Issue), Rating: 92-94