|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
All about silky harmony. Not a big wine - may even be rather slight, but it is precise and all elegance. Rating: 90-91 L&S (Apr 2014)
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A rarity in terms of the final blend for a Pichon Lalande, the 2013 is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, which is an historic first at this estate. Only 33% of the crop made it into the final blend. New manager Nicolas Glumineau worked at Montrose until hired away by the owners, the Roederer Champagne house. Yields were absurdly low at 13 hectoliters per hectare. This hasn’t translated into a blockbuster, massive wine by any means. The vintage wouldn’t permit that. However, the 2013 Pichon Lalande shows attractive red and black currant fruit, hints of bay leaf and underbrush, soft tannins, medium body and a supple, charming, seductive character. I’d be hard-pressed to guess that this is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon based on how it smells and tastes, but it is. Drink it over the next 10-12 years. 2014-2026 Rating: 87-89 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Aug 2014)
Bright red-ruby. Perfumed blackcurrant, raspberry, gunflint and minerals on the precise nose. Juicy, pure and minerally, with a floral flavor and some oaky torrefaction notes nicely complementing the red berry and mineral flavors. Not hugely sweet or fleshy, but quite finely delineated and long and pure on the finish. This is the first ever Pichon Lalande to be 100% cabernet sauvignon, as the merlot was judged not good enough to use in 2013. Rating: 88-91 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website (May 2014)
Cabernet Sauvignon 100%. It is very unusual to make from only Cabernet but very successful. The black fruited nose is fresh light brambly with some bilberry but the palate has more depth a strong cassis character the fruit supported by fine tannins. The freshness on the back palate brings out fragrances lots of charm. 2018-30 Rating: 91-94 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk (May 2014)
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
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 son Raoul inherited the title of Baron de Longueville and the vineyards of Château Pichon Longueville Baron de Longueville, whilst his daughters inherited the portion that became Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. The only daughter to produce off-spring was Marie-Laure who had married Comte Henri de Lalande in 1818 and it was her descendents, therefore, who shaped the future of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (or Pichon Comtesse as it is often more conveniently known). 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. Pichon Comtesse is now owned by the Rouzard family, owners of the Champagne house of Louis Roederer. Under the ownership of May de Lencquesaing in the final quarter of the 20th Century, the vineyard area of Pichon Comtesse grew from around 40ha to today's 75ha. The vines are 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel, with the wine spending 18 months in wood (50% new). Pichon Comtesse produce one of the most highly regarded second wines - Réserve de la Comtesse - which rivals many other estate's grand vins. The healthy reputation that Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande enjoys puts it clearly in the mould of a "super second" - those 2nd Growth estates who's wines merit comparison with the Premier Grand Cru Classés. Pichon Comtesse has had the better of comparisons with its sibling Pichon Baron whose fortunes waned during the 20th Century even if, today, they are on a more equal footing. It is inevitable that the two Pichons will be compared with one another, with Comtesse being a more subtle seductive wine than its slightly foresquare namesake.
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