château Couhins-Lurton et son vignoble en A.O.C. Pessac-Léognan


AOC Pessac-Léognan

The Pessac-Léognan appellation

The Pessac-Léognan appellation is located in an ancient territory, the cradle of great wines: “les Graves de Bordeaux”, once the provost suburb of Bordeaux. It was undoubtedly in this region, around the city of Bordeaux, that the first vines of the Bordeaux region were planted, as far back as the earliest times…

However, while the origins of this vineyard go back a very long way, paradoxically A.O.C. Pessac-Léognan is the youngest of the Bordeaux appellations.

André Lurton, then President of the Syndicat Viticole des Graves du Nord, was behind its creation in 1987.

Today, the Pessac-Léognan appellation covers almost 1,973 ha in 10 communes in the Bordeaux suburbs: Cadaujac, Canéjan, Gradignan, Léognan, Martillac, Mérignac, Pessac, Saint-Médard-d’Eyrans, Talence and Villenave d’Ornon. It is particularly renowned for its fine white wines.

vignoble Château La Louvière, A.O.C. Pessac-Léognan

73 châteaux and estates

It has 73 châteaux and estates, including Château La Louvière, Château Couhins-Lurton, Château Haut-Brion, Château Haut-Bailly, Château Pape Clément, etc.

Each year, it produces around 9 million bottles, divided as follows: 85% red wines and 15% whites.

History of the Appellation

Already in the Middle Ages, when Aquitaine was under English domination, its wines enjoyed international renown, a reputation that continues to this day.

It was in this region in the 17th century that the “New French Claret” was born, in the parish of Pessac, more precisely at Château Haut-Brion, 1er Grand Cru Classé in 1855.

After several years of fighting for recognition of these specific characteristics, André Lurton, then President of the Syndicat Viticole des Graves du Nord, succeeded in obtaining the creation of this appellation by decree on September 9, 1987.

Since then, the reputation of these wines has grown even stronger, thanks to the dynamism of their winemakers and the exceptional quality of their terroir.

Terroir and grape varieties

The terroir of this appellation is exceptional, both in terms of climate and soil.

There are many advantages:

  • A relief of low-lying ridges, whose shape is sufficient for water drainage. This system is completed by a network of small streams, tributaries of the Garonne, which act as natural drains.
  • Gravelly soils composed of fluvial deposits (up to 8 meters deep), evidence of the successive paleo-beds occupied by the Garonne during the Quaternary era, resting on a Tertiary limestone bedrock.
  • The presence of these pebbles and other stones, which reflect the sun’s rays, increases the amount of sunshine in the vineyard, accelerating the ripening of the grapes.

The appellation’s climate is oceanic, with mild winters and hot summers. The vineyards benefit from temperate weather conditions, thanks to the influence of the Garonne River, the Atlantic Ocean and the Landes forest.

  • For red wines, the grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon (the dominant variety), Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère.
  • For white wines, the authorized grape varieties are Sauvignon Blanc and Gris, Semillon and Muscadelle.

The appellation’s Cahier des Charges also lays down very strict rules for vineyard management, harvesting, yields and wine-making. Planting densities, for example, are high to avoid an overload of bunches per vine. Vines must be planted at a minimum of 6,500 vines/ha.

The men and women of this appellation are constantly striving to protect these unique terroirs and their biodiversity from the threats of increasing urbanization.

Pessac-Léognan white wines

The finesse of its great white wines sets the Pessac-Léognan appellation apart from other Bordeaux appellations. Dry white wines are generally pale straw-yellow in color. Young, they are delicate, light, aromatic and fresh. The presence of Sauvignon brings freshness and fruitiness. Combined with Semillon, they give off unique aromas of candied fruit. These white wines are complex, fleshy and round, with exceptional aromatic persistence.

One of their particularities is their incredible ageing potential, sometimes reaching over 20 years. They go perfectly with seafood, fish in sauce or hard cheeses.

Pessac-Léognan red wines

The appellation’s red wines are bright crimson in color. With a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, young Pessac-Léognan wines are full-bodied, yet perfectly balanced and elegant. They develop aromas of ripe red fruits, floral notes such as violets, not forgetting beautiful nuances of leather on the nose.

As they age, they reveal notes of cooked fruit, dried fruit and jam aromas. They sublimate game and red meats with character.

Our Pessac-Léognan