2014 2ème Cru Classé Pauillac

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

Impressively, intense nose, darkly floral but with a rich cassis tang. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot - this stood up very proudly in a line-up of other Pauillac and then again impressed at the chateau in vertical tasting of several vintages. It is polished, quite broad and has a lovely rich dark core - black fruits and lovely spice are well balanced here. There is a great mineral dusting which with the slick line of acidity and a sophisticated level of cedar-wood toast keeps it on its toes. Huge amount of densely packed fruit, well underpinned - leaving a very satisfying feel. This has presence and depth. Rating: 93 L&S (Mar 2015)

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The 2014 Pichon Baron has a similar bouquet to the Pichon Lalande: very precise and classic Pauillac replete with black fruit, graphite and perhaps a little more undergrowth. Maybe there is a touch more Merlot here, suggesting Pichon Lalande (when in fact it is Pichon Baron!) The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, very well defined with great depth, mineral-driven towards the finish that possesses wonderful harmony and length. It is just a beautiful, quite delicious Pauillac. Wonderful. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2022 - 2055 Rating: 93 Neal Martin, (Mar 2018)

Suave and polished. Thick and rewarding with an inky spine. Big and bold. Very clean and understated. Very long. Drinking range: 2024 - 2044 Rating: 18 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - (Feb 2018)

A solid rendering, with an ample core of cassis, cherry preserves and plum cake backed by energetic, brambly tannins. A singed apple wood accent on the finish adds range. Shows good cut throughout. Drinking range: 2020 - 2035 Rating: 94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Jan 2017)

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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