France, Pessac-Leognan

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More-so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
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  1. Clos Marsalette Rouge Pessac-Léognan 2018(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    Savory aromas of black olive, dried mushroom, iodine and earth, as well as wild blackberry and clove. It’s medium-bodied with firm, sleek tannins and fresh acidity. Bitter berry notes on the finish. Hint of jam, but turns firm. - ... Learn More
    pts
    Wine Spectator
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jancis Robinson
  2. L'Esprit de Chevalier blanc Pessac-Léognan 2018(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    The entry-level white from Domaine de Chevalier, the 2018 L'Esprit De Chevalier is smoking good, and at some point, could make you wonder about the rationale for spending the extra money for the top wine. Ripe lemon, citrus, sliced pineapple, and ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
  3. Lespault-Martillac Rouge Pessac-Léognan 2018(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    The 2018 Château Lespault-Martillac is terrific, and despite having gravellier, draining soils, the Graves region turned out plenty of beautiful wines in the vintage. This deeply colored effort offers medium to full-bodied richness and notable elegance to go with classic ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Vinous
  4. Couhins Blanc Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    Pretty and slightly grapey on the nose, delicately floral. Fragrant with blackcurrant bud. Crisp acidity and a lightly grainy texture. Hint of spice and lots of fresh citrus on the palate. Tight, lively and persistent. - Jancis Robinson ... Learn More
    pts
    Jancis Robinson
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    Decanter
  5. Petit Haut Lafitte Blanc Pessac-Léognan 2018(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    Taken from mostly older vines (60+ years), this brings much more intensity and depth to the whole. The breadth of flavour here is staggering and the acid is crystalline and electric. There is some power here and some weight, too, and ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Matthew Jukes
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  6. Carbonnieux rouge Pessac-Léognan 2018(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Carbonnieux leaps from the glass with vibrant notes of baked blackberries, warm cassis, preserved plum and lavender with touches of Indian spices, forest floor and dried sage. Full-bodied, firm and grainy, the generous fruit has loads ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Wine Spectator
  7. Larrivet Haut Brion rouge Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    While a touch reductive on this occasion, the 2018 Château Larrivet Haut-Brion is nevertheless loaded with potential, offering a big nose of black cherry and blackberry fruits as well as complex smoked earth and chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
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    Decanter
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    Wine Enthusiast
  8. Fieuzal rouge Pessac-Léognan 2018(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    This feels closed in and confident but is not giving much away. It has a silky texture with firm and bristling tannins - you can feel the latent power, pretty much in line with 2010 or 2016 in terms of its construction. ... Learn More
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
  9. Domaine de Chevalier Rouge Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    The intensity and perfumes on the nose are extremely impressive, offering pure blackberries and violets, as well as bark, wild-mushroom and raw-tile notes. It’s full-bodied with creamy tannins that envelop the wine and a gorgeous, subtly complex center palate ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  10. Clarté de Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    The 2018 La Clarté de Haut-Brion is composed of 79.2% Sémillon and 20.8% Sauvignon Blanc, harvested August 27 to September 5. It comes bounding out of the glass with bold notions of warm pineapple, guava and peach juice plus hints of lanolin, honeysuckle, lime ... Learn More
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  11. Chapelle de la Mission Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    The 2018 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion is composed of 40.8% Merlot, 51.6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7.6% Cabernet Franc, harvested September 10 to October 2. Deep garnet-purple colored, it rocks up with ready-for-business scents of baked blueberries, raspberry compote and warm blackcurrants with touches of ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
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    Decanter
    pts
    James Suckling
  12. Pape Clément Rouge Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    This is a very driven Pape Clément with fantastic density and finesse at the same time. Linear and driven, the finish goes on for minutes with incredible tension and focus. More Cabernet. Refinement with power. - James Suckling From ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  13. Domaine de Chevalier blanc Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    This has a complex nose of dried apple, green mango, grapefruit zest, dried honeysuckle and crushed almonds. It’s full-bodied with bright acidity and a dense, phenolic texture. Vivid and layered with fantastic precision. Very, very long. This needs time. ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Wine Enthusiast
  14. Smith Haut Lafitte rouge Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot aging in 60% new barriques, the very deep purple-black colored 2018 Smith Haut Lafitte is a little shy to begin. With coaxing, it very slowly unfurls to reveal a heart-stopping perfume of ... Learn More
    pts
    Neal Martin
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    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
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    Jancis Robinson
  15. Haut Bailly	Pessac-Léognan	2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    This Pessac-Leognan property of 30 hectares is managed by Véronique Sanders. Black core. Intense black fruit, less open than Haut-Bailly II, as you might expect, but just as intense in fruit. Deep, more chewy than velvety but the layers of ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jancis Robinson
    pts
    Robert Parker
  16. Rauzan Segla Margaux 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    The 2018 Rauzan-Ségla is blended of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from September 27 to October 11; Merlot from September 13-27; Cabernet Franc on September 28; and Petit Verdot from September 28-29. The wine has 14% alcohol ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
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    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
  17. Clarence de Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    The second wine of Haut-Brion, made from 58.2% Merlot, 28.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2018 Le Clarence De Haut-Brion sports a deeper purple color as well as rocking notes of blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, and earth. It's ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  18. Carmes Haut Brion Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    The 2018 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a rock star of a wine and is based on a unique blend of 37% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 29% Merlot that was brought up in 80% new French oak. Offering a deep ruby/purple ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jane Anson
  19. Pape Clément Rouge Pessac-Léognan 2018 (1.5L)(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    This is a very driven Pape Clément with fantastic density and finesse at the same time. Linear and driven, the finish goes on for minutes with incredible tension and focus. More Cabernet. Refinement with power. - James Suckling From ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  20. Mission Haut Brion Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    Has a more concentrated, dense, powerful style that is all potential at this point. Dense purple-hued, with lots of crème de cassis, black cherries, smoked meats, lead pencil, graphite, and crushed stone aromatics, it hits the palate with full-bodied ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Decanter
  21. Haut Brion	Pessac-Léognan	2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    The 2018 Haut-Brion is a blend of 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11.9% Cabernet Franc, harvested September 6 to October 2. Deep purple-black in color, it is much more closed than the La Mission. It holds back for the first few minutes, reticent to reveal ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Matthew Jukes
  22. Mission Haut Brion Blanc Pessac-Léognan 2018(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    This is such a stunning wine and the impact on the palate is terrific. Very closed and very intense, the fruit is firm and arresting and the length is sensational. The oak, while fairly prominent, joins forces with the acidity ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Matthew Jukes
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
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