Regions and Appellations France Bordeaux Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Leognan Wine

Pessac-Léognan is a prestigious appellation for red wine in the Bordeaux region of south-western France. It was carved out of the Graves sub-region in 1987 as recognition for its high quality red and white wines. Many of the estates in what is now Pessac-Léognan were the best performers in the Graves Classification of 1959.

The regions wines tend to be based on the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grape varieties. They best suit the terroir of Pessac-Léognan. The dominant soil type is the same gravel (and sand) which gave Graves its name.

The hallmark stony soil
?Syndicat Viticole de Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Léognan's white wines are made predominantly from Sauvignon Blanc (a required minimum of 25 percent) and Semillon grapes. This duo thrive on the sandier soils of the appellation and produce extremely long-lived wines. In other regions and countries, blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are usually best consumed within a few years of harvest. The wines are often matured in oak for greater complexity.

The northern vineyards of the appellation are intermingled with the southern fringes of Bordeaux city. Those in the south are surrounded by the forests which produce the other main export of Graves: timber. Orchards and fields dominate the landscape of the Entre-Deux-Mers region just across the Garonne river, but pine forests and housing are predominant in Pessac-Léognan.

Among many top chateaux, the four most prestigious are Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion, Laville Haut-Brion and Pape Clément. The latter is named after Pope Clément V, who ordered its original vineyards to be planted in the 14th Century. Each of these is located within the southern city limits of Bordeaux. The soils here are deep, with a high proportion of gravel, and are considered the best of the appellation. Their superior drainage helps to maintain the high quality of the vineyards.

The commune (or Bordeaux suburb) of Pessac lies just to the south of these chateaux. Léognan lies 10 kilometers (six miles) further on. The latter is also home to several other quality members of the Bordeaux elite. These include Domaine de Chevalier, and Chateaux Haut-Bailly, Malartic-Lagravière, Larrivet Haut-Brion and de Fieuzal. Léognan is surrounded almost entirely by pine forests and vineyards, and benefits from the same superior drainage as Pessac.

Southeast of Léognan lies the commune of Martillac. Smith Haut Lafitte has made massive improvements since the 1990s, and boasts an impressive hotel and spa. Latour-Martillac, in the very south of the Pessac-Léognan zone is another chateau on the upgrade.

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Most Popular Pessac-Leognan Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Grape
Popularity
Score
Avg Price
Chateau Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 11th 95 $655
Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 45th 94 $453
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 71st 94 $129
Chateau Pape Clement, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 89th 93 $130
Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 114th 93 $85
Chateau Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 148th 93 $126
Le Clarence de Haut-Brion - Chateau Bahans Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 311th 91 $157
Chateau Malartic Lagraviere, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 342nd 92 $65
Chateau Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 461st 92 $126
Chateau Carbonnieux, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 484th 90 $47
Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, France Sauvignon Blanc - Semillon 490th 95 $964
Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend White 528th 93 $108
Chateau Latour-Martillac, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 540th 90 $45
Chateau de Fieuzal, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 543rd 90 $52
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend White 589th 93 $133
La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 615th 90 $97
Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 642nd 90 $52
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 'Le Petit Haut Lafitte', Pessac-Leognan, France Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot 766th 90 $47
Chateau Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 776th 89 $38
Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend White 1,062nd 94 $634
Chateau Olivier, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 1,178th 90 $40
Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, France Sauvignon Blanc - Semillon 1,236th 90 $45
Chateau La Tour Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 1,379th 90 $151
Chateau Pape Clement Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, France Sauvignon Blanc - Semillon 1,432nd 92 $159
Vignobles Andre Lurton Chateau La Louviere, Pessac-Leognan, France Bordeaux Blend Red 1,522nd 89 $47
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To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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