CHÂTEAU PICHON LONGUEVILLE BARON
2011 2ème Cru Classé Pauillac
|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot. Twice we have now been privileged to taste a ten (or more!) vintage vertical of Pichon Baron, and twice this has stood out as being the wine which comes closest in the style to the magnificent 2010 - it has the same sort of balance, but it is smaller-scaled. It is beginning to open, and can be drunk now with huge pleasure. Oh, and it's nearly half the price of the 2010. Drinking range: 2016 - 2040 Rating: 95-95 L&S (Apr 2017)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Inky purple. Smoky aromas of dark berries, coffee and cocoa, with a peppery topnote; strong element of torrefaction. At once chewy and a bit tart on the palate, offering spicy redcurrant and ripe blackberry flavors along with strong suggestions of mocha and coffee. The broad finish features slightly chewy tannins. I'd have liked a bit more definition here, but it's probably just a matter of time. Cellar this for five years and see where it's headed. Rating: 88(+?) Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website(Jul 2014)
The nose is rich deep brooding lots of powerful fruit. Blackcurrant and black cherry are backed by liquorice and coffee beans a lovely depth of flavour layers of interest. The tannins although firm feel ripe so that the rich fruit fleshes out the back palate. 2020-45 Rating: 92-95 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(Dec 2013)
Bright purplish crimson. Particularly fresh appetising nose. Great energy. Thick and first-growth-like on the palate. Lovely lusciousness. Convincing. 2020-2035 Rating: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(May 2012)
This splendid Pauillac estate’s 2011 exhibits an impressively saturated ruby/purple color as well as notes of spring flowers interwoven with creme de cassis, licorice and background incense and toasty oak. The tannins are firm and the wine is medium-bodied and rich with layers of fruit and extract as well as a long finish. An outstanding example of the vintage, it will need 3-4 years of cellaring and should drink well for 15-20 years. 2015 - 2035 Rating: 90-92+ Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Apr 2012)
A blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Merlot picked from 12th September until 28th or something (according to a vague Mr. Seely.) It sports a ripe, more extrovert nose than some of its neighbours, with lush blackberry, boysenberry, a touch of cherry liqueur and underneath, typical Pauillac traits of graphite and tobacco. Leaving the glass for five minutes it unwinds nicely and shows great purity. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins on the entry, good grip and weight, a 2011 with real substance and chutzpah. The more I leave this in my glass, the more I like it. Very harmonious with layers of ripe blackberry and a touch of white pepper, the finish forgetting it is 2011 and not 2009. This is an outstanding Pichon Baron for the vintage. Tasted three times with consistent notes. Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2012)
A great wine, complete, among the best. (Les Echos, April 2012) Rating: 18-18.5 TAST, Bettane & Desseauve(Apr 2012)
This year the blend is Cabernet Sauvignon 82%, Merlot 18%, and will see 80% new oak. This seemed a bit closed at the UGC, but tasting later at the château there was a very good style on the nose, with good purity of fruit, dark and tannic. A broad and supple presence on the palate, the overall poise very bright and fresh, but underneath there is a thick seam of ripe, substantial and velvety tannins. It has a beautiful purity in terms of structure, with dark fruit character laid over the top of that. And there is deliciously fresh acidity too. Delicious, elegant and well worked within the contact of the vintage. Christian Seely really understood this vintage. Rating: 17-18 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com(Apr 2012)
Since 2000, there's been a more consistent separation of plots. Grand vin now always includes the old Cabernet vines on the plateau overlooking Latour. 50% of production went into the grand vin this year, 45% into Les Tourelles. 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot. 80% new oak. Colour of elderberry juice, black core. Slight dusty note on the nose, touch of cedar freshness and underlying cassis purity and an attractive savoury dark edge even though there's a slight note of dark chocolate too. Lots of pure cassis through the heart of the wine. Relatively stern but not at all hard. Lithe, fresh, graphite scented. Deft, full of fruit but not overly fruity. No excess of weight but not thin. Actually quite rich for the vintage. Finely balanced. 2020-2035 Rating: 17.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2012)
Ripe Cabernet cassis fruit, very good structure and length, firm Pauillac elegance. Drink 2017-2030. Rating: 17.5 www.decanter.com(Apr 2012)
This has muscle, but is fleshy and almost creamy along the edges, with a very dense core of plum, blackberry and cassis waiting in reserve. A sleek iron edge cruises in on the finish and adds some serious length. Rating: 92-95 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2012)
A wine that doesn’t have the polish of its neighbour, Pichon-Lalande, in 2011, but is still a praiseworthy red in its own right. Smoky, backward and quite tannic, this was a little four square from barrel, but it’s a big strapping wine that takes its richness from concentration rather than oak. It should soften with time. 12+ years. Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Apr 2012)
Very pretty aromas of currants and blueberries with hints of flowers. Full body with silky tannins and a fruity finish. Refined. Very polished tannins. Rating: 92-93 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2012)
Château Pichon Longueville Baron
Pauillac Deuxième cru 1855 Facing Château Latour across the road, at the southern end of Pauillac, are the twin Château Pichons. Originally one estate, the two were divided in 1850 on the death of Joseph Pichon. His daughters inherited the portion that became Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, whilst his son Raoul inherited the title of Baron de Longueville and the vineyards of Château Pichon Longueville Baron de Longueville (usually more conveniently referred to as Pichon Baron). The two estates continued to be run as a single vineyard for another ten years, allowing them jointly to be awarded 2nd Growth status in 1855. Raoul built the present château in 1851 on his half of Pichon. At Raoul's death in 1860, the split was formalised and the two Pichons went their relatively seperate ways. By the time AXA Millésimes bought Pichon Baron in 1987, it had fallen a long way behind its sibling neighbour and was in dire need of investment. Investment has been forthcoming from AXA, and expertise from the involvement of Jean-Michel Cazes (of Château Lynch Bages) and, once again, the two Pichons can be seen on a par with one another. There are 73ha of vineyard at Pichon Baron, planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Since the installation of the new chais, grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless-steel before spending 18 months in oak (70% new, 30% one year old). The AXA take-over also saw the introduction of a second wine - Les Tourelles de Longueville - in order to tighten up the selection for the grand vin. Inevitably, there is the temptation to compare the two Pichons. With a slightly higher proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the cuvée, the Baron is a little more structured and masculine, dare one say offering a little of the feel of its illustrious neighbour Château Latour.
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