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CHÂTEAU PICHON LONGUEVILLE BARON

2012 2ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 2ème Cru Classé
ABV 13.25%

A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot picked between 1st and 17th October, the old vines picked form 8th October. It has a strict, quite conservative bouquet that is very focused: sous-bois, graphite and just a touch of mint. The palate is medium-bodied with a grainy entry. There is a good edginess here lent by the citric acidity with a very composed, harmonious finish that lingers nicely in the mouth. Very fine – but much more classic in style than recent vintages – in fact, more like Latour! Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2013)

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A strong effort from this Pauillac chateau, most of the old vine Cabernet Sauvignon from their parcels near Latour made it into the 2012 Pichon Longueville Baron’s final blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. A dense purple color is accompanied by an attractive bouquet of incense, cassis, cedar and toasty oak. It is medium to full-bodied as well as bigger, richer and brawnier than most Medoc 2012s. Noticeable tannin in the finish suggests 3-4 years of cellaring is warranted. Drink it over the following two decades. 2016 - 2036 Rating: 90-93 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Apr 2013)

20% Merlot, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. 15-80 years old. Bright dark crimson. Glows with health. Great vigour on the nose. Amazing sweetness on the front palate. Thick and rich. Cool and fresh. This wine goes to the gym. A little hard on the finish. Needs lots of time but twinkles with health. Lots of energy. Just a tad dry and demanding on the finish. Subtle and (very) dry on the end. 2020 - 2032. Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2013)

Christian Seely says he feels “quite positive about this vintage” and he’s surely right to do so in the case of his grand vin. It’s a stylish, classy, Cabernet-based blend, with plenty of tannin, notes of cinnamon spice and green pepper and very pure cassis flavours. The oak is deftly handled here. Drink: 2020-32. Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Apr 2013)

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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