Château Roland La Garde “Grand Vin” 2012 – Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux – Biodynamic cultivated wine


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A beautiful bourgeois house, remodeled in the nineteenth century, dominates the vineyard. A few steps away, Roland’s mound, monitors the vineyard like an ancestral guardian. The land of Château Roland La Garde is steeped in history and gives envy to the men who cultivate it to excel. Terroir, traditions and Great Wine blend well in this place. Bruno Martin, in continuation of what had been started by his father Olivier, knew how to make the most of a vineyard that offered many predispositions.
Character of the soil (clay-limestone with clay-loam variations), sunshine, and a name to defend. This 7-generation heritage makes sense only if it’s appropriate for you and that’s what Bruno Martin did. Today, his son Guillaume, 8th generation, comes to continue the work of these lands. From his father’s 25-hectare estate, Bruno Martin has started a revolution since 1990 and has entered modern times at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Eight years have been necessary to create a Great Wine. But what a wine! Château Roland La Garde – Grand Vin is a worthy heir to the Grands Vins de Bordeaux.

Château Roland La Garde now covers 29 hectares with vines dating back twenty years on average, composed of 74% of Merlots, 20% of Cabernets Sauvignons and 6% of Malbec. All these grape varieties, make it possible to produce a range of 3 red wines. Being closest to nature and what it gives each year, has always been the priority for Bruno Martin. Making the most beautiful wines as naturally as possible and allowing terroirs to express themselves without artifice is one of Bruno’s motives. The vineyards have been converted to Biodynamie since 2008. Vines have always been grown on this property. Soils were plowed with the horse, then with the tractor, but no chemical weedkiller was used. The life of the soil has always been respected. With these practices, Bruno decides to go through the entire vineyard in organic farming, and this is the first step. “We must not give our children a poisoned gift” he said wisely. “We simply want to respect the natural laws of nature. The objective remains the wine: its value, its originality and its purity”; “Wine is a sense, it is alive, it must invade us with its energy. The path of discovery is still long and the path of biodynamics will help us.”

Bruno Martin, a passionate winemaker, loves nature. Much more than a working tool, his relationship with nature is passionate. The conversion of these vineyards into biodynamics is a prime example. Far from a simple fashion effect of consumption, it is for him a true principle of life. From a philosophy, “This is my way of life”, he likes to say. Thus on his domains he preserves the plant species, that he likes to photograph when the weather allows it. Wild orchids at Roland La Garde, tulipe Raddii (red) and tulip Sylvestris (yellow) in Sainte-Luce Bellevue, testify to the soils he respects. Soils that also keep traces of men for millennia and which he keeps precious vestiges. For Bruno Martin, “it’s a legacy that makes sense.” His domain has been in conversion since 2008; certifications for organic farming are obtained in 2012 and those for biodynamics in 2014, with the Demeter label for all the wines of the property. The work on biodynamics, both in the cellar and in the vineyard, by respecting the schedule of Maria Thun (see Biodynamie on the home page), has brought a conservation and an improvement of the richnesses of the grounds, as well as a strengthening of the plant/soil interaction. The results of this work are reflected in the wine during the tastings where we find a better aromatic expression, as well as a characteristic minerality and purity of this biodynamic work.

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