New Owner Chateau Haut Bernat Puisseguin Saint Emillion
Sean and Suzanne LEGAULT, a Maltese / Canadian couple acquired the 7 HA wines estate of Chateau Haut Bernat Puisseguin Saint Emilion in early Sept 2019, purchasing it from Dominique Bessineau owner of Chateau Cote Monprezat in Belves de Castillon.
Chateau Haut Bernat has over the past 30 years undergone a regular replanting program, with approximately ½ HA replanted every 5-7 years and the full redevelopment of it’s custom made cellars in 2000 with then winemaker Stephane Toutoundji at the helm and Michael Rolland as consultant. Chateau Haut Bernat has won numerous medals in the past 30 years showing the potential of this great terroir. With an elevation at 90m, one of the highest on the right bank commanding a south-south eastern exposure on the clay limestone slopes and stony subsoil of Puisseguin Saint Emilion it has often been an understated gem in comparison to it’s neighbouring AOC of greater Saint Emilion.
In the recent past 15 years, the property has been managed under the guidance of Technical Director / Oenologist and Winemaker Jean Francois Lalle who has worked with consulting services of Michel Rolland and Deroncourt Consulting at Haut Bernat. Jean Francois vast experience has seen him spend many years at Chateau Canon previously and currently also responsible for Chateau Cote Monprezat in neighbouring Castilion.
Since the 2015 vintage, Jean Francois Lalle has been reunited with independent wine consultant Stephane Toutoundji who left Haut Bernat as the winemaker in 2002 to start his own consulting firm, Oenoteam with fellow partners Thomas Duclos, Julien Belle and Marie – Laure Badet Murat.
The new owner, who is in the Education and Hospitality business in Malta and UK believes very much in a quality-first approach as a means to success. Likewise, Sean LEGAULT believes very passionately about wine and has collected and learnt about wine for the past 30 years in particular his passion for the Saint Emilion and the right bank areas. The new owner has agreed to continue to work with the team of both Jean Francois Lalle and Stephane Toutoundji to develop Chateau Haut Bernat further to help it reach it’s maximum potential reflected in this great terroir. Haut Bernat soils, location, altitude and orientation are very important in today’s challenging climate. When seeking a property this factor was very much on my mind when making our decision to buy Haut Bernat as well as the fact that Haut Bernat’s beautiful location just 500m outside the village of Puisseguin made our decision easy.
It has been agreed that further investment will be made in the vineyard, with the promotion of sustainable viticulture, with the use of no pesticides and being both certified HVE3 (2019) and Bee Friendly (2020). Whilst in the cellar reflecting our desire to make balanced, elegant and classical styled wines showing the finesse and characteristics of Puisseguin Saint Emilion expressing the full potential of this sacred terroir and location.
Purplish purple. Beautiful fruity expression in the Haut-Bernat bouquet. Notes of raspberries, blackberries and liquorice. On the palate, the wine is refreshing and well supported by its tannins. A wine pleasant and balanced that we can already savour in our youth but which has quite a potential, respectable wine. [2024-2035 90/100 – Yves Beck]