96-98/100 Robert Parker Jr. The fruit from this vineyard, planted on a small outcropping of gravel close to both Haut-Bailly and Malartic-Lagraviere, used to be blended with Haut-Bergey until the Garcin family decided it had such an impressive potential that it had to be culled out. A blend of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the production is a tiny 6,000-8,000 bottles. The debut vintage, 2000, was one of the superstars of that superlative vintage. The 2010 reveals awesome potential. It offers a dense opaque purple color along with a glorious as well as classic Graves bouquet of smoky barbecue scents, blackberries, cassis, tobacco leaf and plums. Deep, full-bodied and pure with singularity, freshness and precision, this stunning 2010 should be accessible in 2-3 years and last for 2-3 decades.
Though wine has been made in Pessac-Léognan since ancient Roman times, it was only in 1987 that the neighboring villages of Pessac and Léognan were singled out from the surrounding Graves region and given their own appellation. The designation acknowledges that Pessac-Léognan is home to the most acclaimed properties of Bordeaux’s Graves region, such as the Premier Cru Château Haut-Brion.
The vineyards of Pessac-Léognan, just south of the city of Bordeaux, are crowded by suburban sprawl. About 3,000 acres are dedicated mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grown for red wines, with a small portion devoted to Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and other grapes for white wines. Pessac-Léognan red wines are elegant and concentrated, with medium to full body. They offer distinct aromas and flavors of mineral and earth, and can have lush fruit or smoky tobacco character. Pessac-Léognan white wines are dry, unlike the famous sweet white wines from nearby Sauternes. They are generally crisp and minerally with citrus notes, often with rich character from oak aging and capable of improving with additional age.