It was cold last Wednesday when I arrived at
Château Larrivet Haut-Brion . The first frosts of the year had blanched the countryside and it was beautiful. For those who do not live in Bordeaux (the pôôôvres …), this property is located in the Pessac Leognan appellation about 15 minutes south of Bordeaux. : Discovery of the appellation, the Château and its wines, as well as a culinary workshop with Audrey, Nathalie, and Dorian for the cooking part, Anne Victoire, Hélène, Mailys and Emma for the wine part.
A bit of history :
The name of this prestigious Château Bordelais
has varied throughout its history. First Château de Canolle, then La Rivette, then Château Haut Brion Larrivet, it only acquired its present name between 1928 and 1929. While its name Château Haut Brion Larrivet seemed to be the right one, its famous counterpart, Château Haut Brion decided to hunt down all its neighbors having Haut Brion in their name. He succeeded for many of them with the notable exception of 2 châteaux: Château Les Carmes Haut Brion and our host.
The deal of the time was to transform Château Haut Brion Larrivet into Château Larrivet Haut Brion .
The property did not experience any vicissitudes other than its name. Having counted about a hundred hectares in its heyday, it declined in the 1930s: a crisis in wine-growing, successive uprooting, and the sale of plots of land.
In 1987, Philippe Gervoson (the current owner) and his father are looking for a Castle in the Bordeaux region. They set their sights on this property. At that time, its surface area was only 17 hectares and the château was sold to a private individual.
Since this acquisition, the Gervoson family, having made their fortune in the food-processing industry, set about the task of restoring this property to its former glory and this is done today. The property now has about 100 hectares: 75 are planted with vines, 13 hectares form the park (including the future Drunkenness Garden) and the rest are woods. The château itself could be bought back.
And the wines, you may ask?
As I told you earlier, the vines are located in the appellation
10 hectares are dedicated to white wine with the Sauvignon blanc grape variety (the single grape variety of the Demoiselles De Haut Brion) and the Sémillon grape variety (which, along with the Sauvignon blanc, enters into the blend of Château Larrivet Haut Brion).
- 65 hectares are dedicated to red wine with the Merlot grape variety (about 50%), the Cabernet Sauvignon (45%) and the Cabernet Franc (5%).
- These differences in grape varieties allow for differences in style. For example for red wines, the château is built on a Cabernet Sauvignon base while Les Demoiselles de Haut Brion is built on a Merlot frame.
This may seem strange to you but these nuances are possible because we are here on a terroir located at the crossroads between the Médoc and Saint Emilion
. I particularly like Pessac Leognan for this reason. They combine the powerful style of the Cabernet Sauvignon with the fruitiness of the Merlot.
. The wines are very elegant, very balanced, not too powerful . They have an ageing capacity but can also be consumed quickly. So whether you decide to drink it right away or to forget it in a cellar, everything suits it.
We have here the alliance of the best of the 2 terroirs. If you don’t know this appellation and this Château, try it, you will be conquered I’m sure.
As for recipes, I’ll give you the link to one of those made that day: Lentil soup with tomatoes and cumin accompanied by an Château Larrivet Haut Brion red 2011 , with floral and fruity notes in its first nose then opening on empyreumatic (burnt) aromas mixing zan, toast and spices. Its structure on the palate is round and its tannins silky.
The wine tourism offer :
In addition to visits to the properties (with oyster and cheese tastings etc.) and the
oenofolies imagined in 2011 by Emilie Gervoson, which I have already told you about, the château is in the process of creating the first garden dedicated to wine. It is currently, as you can see on this picture, coming out of the ground
Its realization was entrusted to the landscape designer Soline Portmann with the complicity of Emilie Gervoson. Taking place within the natural park of the château, this Jardin d’Ivresse will be characterized by an original and moving plant scenography based on the analogy between wine and garden.
From now on, visitors can admire from the château’s cellar its land art structure deployed in perspective, in the spirit of a vineyard plot. Each creation of Château Larrivet Haut Brion will find its vegetal translation (aromas, colors, textures). I can’t wait to see the finished project.
Château Larrivet Haut Brion
– Chemin Haut-Brion – 84, avenue de Cadaujac – 33 850 Léognan.