Patrice Lévêque is the winemaker for the Garcin-Lévêque properties.
Hélène and Patrice own yet another vineyard in Argentina’s spectacular Mendoza, located within the Luján de Cuyo Appellation – prized for it’s sandy, stony soil. Their Bodega Poesia was originally established in 1935, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Since the Garcin-Lévêque acquisition, the wines have received ratings of 94 PT and better from Robert Parker.
I catch up to Hélène and Patrice at their home in Barde-Haut, overlooking acres and acres of lush vineyards. My first question: “How do you manage the viticulture and international sales for four vineyards – especially with one in Argentina?”
“We have a LOT of help,” laughs Hélène. “We have a great team of people in both Bordeaux and Mendoza to assist with every phase of the operation. And we really do function as a team. Everyone is important. Also the fact that the seasons are reversed in Argentina from Europe is a huge help. We had looked at property in California at one point, but decided that since harvests are at the same time as Bordeaux, there was no way we could manage a U.S. property. Argentina works perfectly. And really, our schedules are pretty manageable. The fall is the only time that’s difficult. Harvest is beyond insane!”
On a tour of the vineyards, we sample 2015 vintages from Châteaux Poesia, Clos L’Eglise and Barde-Haut. The views from Poesia, high above Saint-Émilion are especially grand. The buildings are yet to be refurbished, but the swimming pool has been re-done. “We come up here and relax on weekends,” says Hélène, pointing out a barbecue grill. “We have great cookouts! Eventually we’ll rebuild completely, but the vineyard was the first priority, obviously.”