2010 Château Barde-Haut ( St. Émilion Grand Cru)
Chateau Barde Haut Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The 16 hectare St. Emilion vineyard of Chateau Barde Haut is being replanted. When that work is done, the vineyard will show a marked decrease in the amount of Merlot. Most of the the walled in vineyard of Chateau Barde Haut is one large parcel. The vineyard is planted to 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, which in turn, shows a big increase in the amount of Cabernet Franc. These changes have taken place over the years on a gradual basis. They were started after the estate became managed by Helene Garcin. Chateau Barde Haut is located in the eastern portion of St. Emilion on a well elevated, limestone plateau. Most of the vineyard is placed next to the chateau and the chais. They also have parcels of vines planted close to Chateau Fombrauge.
The terroir of Chateau Barde Haut is clay over chalk soils, with limestone below the surface. Their best terroir is on the plateau and the top of their slopes. Most of the vineyard is on a beautiful, well-drained, hillside slope. The vines are on average 35 years of age. However, they also have some very old, Cabernet Franc vines. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 7,150 vines per hectare. Chateau Barde Haut has good neighbors. They are located close to Troplong Mondot, Tour Saint Christophe, Pavie Macquin and Lif.
To produce the wine of Chateau Barde Haut, in the cellars of Barde Haut, everything is transported by gravity. For the vinification of Barde Haut, the cellar is equipped with a combination of 15 temperature controlled wooden vats, stainless steel tanks and concrete vats that vary in size from 50 hectoliters to 70 hectoliters. Pigeage is conducted by hand. Malolactic fermentation is performed in mostly new, French oak barrels. The wine is aged on its lees for a portion of time, during the barrel aging process. 5% of the crop is produced using micro vinification techniques, meaning that the wine is vinified in barrel and not tank. The wine is aged in 80% to 100% new oak barrels for about 18 months. The amount of new oak varies, depending on the character of the vintage.
The best vintages of Chateau Barde Haut are: 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2001 and 2000.
Chateau Barde Haut is managed by Helene Garcin Levesque also runs two other Right Bank estate, Clos LEglise in Pomerol and Chateau Poesia in St. Emilion. Helene Garcin Levesque is also in charge of Chateau Haut Bergey and Chateau Branon in the Pessac Leognan appellation. Vignobles Garcin also owns Poesia in the Mendoza region of Argentina. Chateau Barde Haut is popular with consumers as the wine offers both quality and character, coupled with sensuous, age-worthy style and it sells for a fair price.
Dr. Alain Raynaud was the consultant through the 2014 vintage. Starting with the 2015 vintage, Thomas Duclos has been retained as their consultant. While the wines of Chateau Barde Haut have been steadily improving, clearly 2015 is the finest vintage ever produced at the estate. This modern Saint Emilion drinks well early and offers ripe, dark berry and licorice notes. There is a second wine, Le Vallon de Barde Haut. Close to 3,500 cases are produced each year of Chateau Barde Haut.
Serving and Decanting Chateau Barde Haut with Wine, Food and Pairing Tips
Chateau Barde Haut is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages can be decanted for 1-2 hours. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might also need decanting, for both aerating and to remove the sediment. Chateau Barde Haut is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Barde Haut is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.