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CHÂTEAU PICHON LALANDE

2014 2ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 2ème Cru Classé
ABV 13%

What a nose - beautifully fragrant and intensely rich and broad. This has an incredibly sexy mouth-feel, full of sappy, rich fruit and then a lovely zip and chew from incredibly fine, glossy tannins. Super polished but not too opulent there is amazing elegance. Superb, spiced brambly fruit, a whiff of blackcurrant jelly. Finishes with more serious intensity and grip. Very good. Rating: 94 L&S (Apr 2015)

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Last year's varietal Cabernet Sauvignon wasn't to everyone's taste (although I loved it), but this is a more classic Pichon Comtesse. It's typically fresh and alluring with compact, age worthy tannins, oodles of perfume, fine black cherry, graphite and blackcurrant fruit and a chalky, minerally lift. Very impressive. Drinking range: 2022 - 2032 Rating: 95-95 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(May 2015)

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot. Up to 60% new oak. Very opulent nose. But almost more like a scent than a wine - as though all the effort has been put into the rather exotic perfume. Then quite vigorous and chewy. Rich and glamorous. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2015)

Red fruits, bramble the nose is fresh the start of the palate bright quite fragrant and fresh. The mid palate is rich serious deep lots of black fruits enriched by cocoa. Lighter at the back length of fruit precision and harmony the fresher black fruits lingering on the finish. Drinking range: 2027 - 2040 Rating: 89-92 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(Apr 2015)

The Château Pichon-Lalande 2014 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot picked over five weeks between 16 September and 20 October. It has a very pure and precise bouquet with a light marine influencing the black cherries and blueberry fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with a tense, graphite-tinged opening, a fine line of acidity (pH 3.72) and a silky smooth finish. The Cabernet Sauvignon is very expressive and dominates the Merlot at the moment, although the Merlot is essentially counterbalancing what might have been a much more austere Pichon-Lalande. Under Nicolas Glumineau, this Pauillac estate is really beginning to "motor" and this is an excellent wine, one within touching distance of the First Growths. Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2015)

What a joy to feel the ultra-fine tannins in this wine! It really is like touching fine silk. It’s full-bodied with integrated drip fruit of tar, blackberries, minerals as well as a compacted and very long finish. Polished texture. Strong elegance. Reminds me of some outstanding wines of the 1980s such as 1986. Rating: 93-94 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2015)

Vibrant, with a blaze of iron running from start to finish, while dark currant, cherry and plum fruit forms the core. The long, grippy, integrated finish shows excellent vivacity. Rating: 92-95 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2015)

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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