A trip to the heart of the estate’s history
An estate full of promise...
In 1987, Château Larrivet Haut-Brion was acquired by the Gervoson family, who set about recreating the grandeur of the Chateau. Currently, the Château is comprised of 17 hectares of vineyards, a wooded park of 13 hectares and other notable attributes, giving the Château an undisputed potential. In keeping with their dedication and attention to detail, Philippe and Christine Gervoson have succeeded in reestablishing the unity of the estate.
In just a few years, the area under vine has reached 72.5 hectares (11.5 hectares of white wine grapes and 61 of red) thanks to newly-planted plots and the purchase of neighbouring vineyards. Assisted by a motivated and dedicated winemaking team, the owners continue to modernise infrastructures, reorganise the vineyards (based on a detailed soil survey), and make quality wines with a unique personality and characteristic elegance.
Availing the estate of his considerable expertise and ambitions, Bruno Lemoine took over his functions as Managing Director and Winemaker at Larrivet Haut-Brion in 2007. A respect for tradition and the important role played by women are part Château Larrivet Haut-Brion's identity.
The team grew in 2009 to include Emilie Gervoson, one of the château owner's three daughters, who represents a new epicurean generation anxious to be as professional as possible in all aspects of winemaking. Sharing the same philosophy, and complementary to one another, Bruno and Emilie have given an important new impetus to the estate.
The adventure of
Château Larrivet Haut-Brion
Let us take a look at the Château Larrivet Haut-Brion's history to understand the rich and complex background reflected by the estate's archives.
Since 1840 –the year in which the Château was first mentioned among the first growths of Pessac-Léognan – till today, the fame of Château Larrivet Haut-Brion has continued growing.
Called at various times Château de Canolle, La Rivette, and Château Brion-Larrivet, the estate was renamed Château Haut-Brion Larrivet by the owner Ernest Laurent (a Bordeaux négociant) in 1874.
In 1893, the estate was acquired by the Bordeaux ship owners, Les Fils de Théodor Conseil, who enlarged the vineyards to some 50 hectares.
A trip back in time takes us to 1898, a fabulous year in which the Féret "Bordeaux and its Wines" rated the château a Graves cru exceptionnel.
Wine production was almost non-existent during the depression of the 1930s, at which time many vines were uprooted.
The property was given its current name, Château Larrivet Haut-Brion, in 1929 by Jacques Guillemaud (owner since 1941). Devoted and hard-working, he conscientiously managed the estate until 1982.
From the vineyard to the cellar
Larrivet Haut-Brion is made by a dedicated team who oversee every stage of production, meticulously tending the vines in order to harvest perfectly ripe, healthy grapes.
Once the harvest is over, the magic of creating wine begins in the cellar – calling for a unique set of skills.
Area under vine: 75 hectares
Soil: typical of the Graves de Bordeaux middle terrace. Very gravelly with a sand or clay matrix
Gravelly rises with excellent sun exposure and perfect drainage.
50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc (red wine)
80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Sémillon (white wine)
Average age of the vines: 25 years (red wine) - 25 years (white wine)
Average yield: 45 hectolitres/ha (red wine) and 40 hectolitres/ha (white wine)
Vine density: 7,700 vines/ha
Viticulture and harvesting
The grapes are hand picked into small crates and mechanical.
Red wine: one third in new French oak barrels and two thirds in barrels previously used to age one or two vintages for 14 to 18 months, depending on the year.
White wine vinification: 50% fermented in new French oak barrels, 20% in concrete eggs, and 30% in 25-hectolitre oak vats with integrated lees stirring.
Ageing: 10-11 months with regular bâtonnage (lees stirring with a stick)
Pictures : Philippe Roy