2015 Bordeaux – Pichon Lalande – back to true greatness

by Charles Lea

Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, everyone’s favourite with its run of fabulous vintages spanning the seventies to the early nineties, definitely stumbled through under-investment over the turn of the millennium. Thankfully all that is now in the past, and ably led by Nicolas Glumineau, who came from Montrose, and with massive investment from the Rouzaud family (owners of Champagne Louis Roederer), Pichon Lalande is right back at the very top. Limited volumes so a rapid answer may be a good idea.

2015 CHÂTEAU PICHON LALANDE 2ème Cru Classé PauillacPRIMEUR FAVOURITES £995 per doz / 497.50 per six bottles in bond.

“The 2015 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot that was picked from 10 September with the young Merlot, finishing on 9 October. It includes 12.5% vin de presse (which incidentally was included in the blend). It has a very pure bouquet with expressive Merlot imparting black cherries and wild strawberry aromas that are embroidered with a thread of graphite. I noticed how it errs more towards black fruit with extended aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy tannin on the entry, the Cabernet Sauvignon here in the driving seat despite that level of Merlot trying to get in a look. Together they give a sense of completeness to this Pichon Lalande that has semblances towards the great 1996. Whereas this Pauillac has a tendency to be more approachable than others, in fact, the 2015 has the backbone and substance to suggest that it will require a minimum of ten years’ ageing, but patience will be amply rewarded. Nicolas Glumineau has overseen a quite brilliant Pichon Lalande here.” 95 – 97/100 Neal Martin, www.erobertparker.com

If this looks too bank-breaking a price, it’s worth look at Pichon’s second wine 2015 RÉSERVE DE LA COMTESSE PauillacPRIMEUR FAVOURITES at £285 per dozen, or £142.5 per six bottles. We really recommend this for its superfine supple tannins and expressive fruit – a very Pichon Lalande style.

Also out today is Chateau Margaux – 15% down in volume on last year, this is on allocation only for now, along with Pavillon Rouge and Pavillon Blanc. Finally La Mondotte has also just been released. All can be found on our Recent Releases page.