|Grapes||Cab Franc, Merlot, Cab Sauv|
|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
75% Cabernet, 15% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. The weakness of the Merlot has resulted in a blend with more Cabernet than usual. and it is very assertive Cabernet, so this is a bit of an oddity, very unlike the usual Pichon Lalande in its palette of aromas. Intensely Cabernet, but still retaining the structural elegance and smooth, togetherness in its mouth feel. Very purple, very dark cassis nose, attack supple and pure cassis, firm, dry and extremely concentrated. An overall impression of super-bright fresh fruit definition and great length. L&S (Mar 2005)
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The 1996 Pichon-Lalande has always been a marvellous wine and perhaps now it is beginning it even rival the 1982. It has a brilliant, Cabernet-driven bouquet with intense blackberry, cedar and graphite scents that remain resolutely linear - a nose that does not flinch. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins that encase layers of ripe black and red fruit interlaced with white pepper and cedar. This has a little more focus than the great 1995 and will probably last longer, demonstrating greater persistency towards the finish. Excellent. Rating: 96 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Mar 2014)
Just starting to drink really well. Great balance and medium body with real finesse, subtlety and maturity on the nose. Very well mannered and rewarding. 2009-2020 Rating: 18 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Sep 2011)
The 1996 Pichon-Lalande is just as awesome from bottle as it was from multiple cask tastings. For Pichon-Lalande, the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon is atypically high. This wine normally contains 35-50% Merlot in the blend, but the 1996 is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. Only 50% of the estate's production made it into the grand vin. The color is a saturated ruby/purple. The nose suggests sweet, nearly overripe Cabernet Sauvignon, with its blueberry/blackberry/cassis scents intermixed with high quality, subtle, toasty new oak. Deep and full-bodied, with fabulous concentration and a sweet, opulent texture, this wine was singing in full harmony when I tasted it in January. Given the wine's abnormally high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, I would suspect it will close down. It possesses plenty of tannin, but the wine's overwhelming fruit richness dominates its personality. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2025. Rating: 96 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Mar 2005)
Château Pichon Lalande
Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a second Growth in the Pauillac appellation. The estate, which is commonly referred to as just Chateau Pichon-Lalande, used to be a part of the larger Pichon estate, owned by Pierre de Rauzan. The larger Pichon estate gained its name when Pierre's daughter Thérèse married Jacques de Pichon Longueville in the 17th Century. Pichon-Lalande was later separated from Pichon Baron in 1850 due to inheritance, with the name Lalande being gained again through another marriage. The estate was passed down through the generations until the Great War when it was auctioned to Edouard and Louis Miailhe in 1925. Edouard's daughter May Eliane de Lencquesaing became the owner in 1978 and thanks to her passion for wine and strict management; she has seen Pichon Lalande's reputation grow immeasurably around the world. In 2007 she passed it on to the Louis Roederer Champagne house, with the Rouzaud family looking to preserve the traditions. The vineyard covers 75 hectares and lies on deep gravel beds over layers of clay, limestone and sand. The vines consist of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon vines; giving the wine structure, 35% Merlot; providing a certain roundness, 12% Cabernet Franc balancing the wine and 8% Petit Verdot to provide freshness. Together these characteristics provide a softer somewhat more feminine wine, particularly more so than its brother estate Pichon Baron.
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