March was a starry month for Bordeaux’s Pessac-Léognan, but most wine lovers didn’t even realise it. Backstage at the glamorous 95th Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, nominees and winners sipped La Clarté de Haut-Brion, a white wine made by first growth Château Haut-Brion in Pessac-Léognan. Yet few wine lovers outside France know that appellation name, or that in 1987 it was carved from the northern part of the wider Graves region south of Bordeaux.
Wildly energetic Jacques Lurton, who became the president of the Syndicat de Pessac-Léognan last year, aims for global awareness. He says: ‘I want to shake the tree. Pessac-Léognan should be one of the best-known names in Bordeaux, like Margaux in the Médoc and St-Emilion on the Right Bank. Our identity is our wines’ high quality. Our style is elegance and balance, not excess.’
Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores of 12 top Pessac-Léognan wines
You could argue it’s the most dynamic wine spot in Bordeaux.
Defining a region: McCoy’s pick of 12 from Pessac-Léognan
Wines are listed in colour order, white then red, by score