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CHÂTEAU PICHON LALANDE

2015 2ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
District Left Bank
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 2ème Cru Classé

So silky and suave, the fruit - blueberry and blackberry - and tannins all coming together in velvet power. Almost as serenely velvety as the Reserve de la Comtesse, just a bit more serious. Simply fab. I want this one in my cellar. This is dense with tannin, but it seems simply to be there to lift and exalt. It's the fantastic succulent black fruit which is so expressive and long. Rating: 94-95 L&S (Apr 2016)

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This shows spices, pepper, blueberries and blackcurrants on the nose. Full body, very polished tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Shows such gorgeous texture. Precise and transparent. Drinking range: 2022 - Rating: 97 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Feb 2018)

Mid crimson. Heady and dense and so thick it almost tastes as though you could stand a spoon up in this wine!! Lots of fun. Not too sweet and masses of structure but maybe slightly less sophisticated than the other Pichon? Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 17.5+ Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Nov 2017)

This is a delicious Pichon, showing the château’s classic femininity and poise. The Cabernet is particularly fine and aromatic, providing the core of the wine, and is complemented by the spice, perfume and plushness of the other varieties. Brilliant winemaking. Drinking range: 2022 - 2035 Rating: 96 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(May 2016)

In the 2015 vintage this is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The alcohol level is 13.6%, This has a very evocative nose, clearly showing a very confident style, brimming with notes of dark fruits, black plums, black cherries, overlaid with a fresh blackcurrant intensity too. It all feels very pure and open, and accessible. The palate is more reserved than the second wine, fresh, with a real middle of ripe tannins, rolling and velvety, with all those beautifully expressed black fruits wrapped around them. Real texture and confidence here, a wonderful combination of structure and fruit. Fresh and pure and bright. A fantastic wine, and one of the best vintages of Pichon-Lalande I have tasted in quite a few years. Tasted twice, although to be straight the sample presented at the château to which this note largely relates showed better than the sample I tasted at the UGC tasting. Rating: 17.5-18.5/20 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com(Apr 2016)

Fragrance and depth on the nose but a sense of over-ripeness puts it out of step with the vintage at the moment – even with the Comtesse lift and freshness. But time will probably be on its side. Drinking range: 2023 - 2035 Rating: 92 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2016)

The 2015 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot that was picked from 10 September with the young Merlot, finishing on 9 October. It includes 12.5% vin de presse (which incidentally was included in the blend). It has a very pure bouquet with expressive Merlot imparting black cherries and wild strawberry aromas that are embroidered with a thread of graphite. I noticed how it errs more towards black fruit with extended aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy tannin on the entry, the Cabernet Sauvignon here in the driving seat despite that level of Merlot trying to get in a look. Together they give a sense of completeness to this Pichon Lalande that has semblances towards the great 1996. Whereas this Pauillac has a tendency to be more approachable than others, in fact, the 2015 has the backbone and substance to suggest that it will require a minimum of ten years' ageing, but patience will be amply rewarded. Nicolas Glumineau has overseen a quite brilliant Pichon Lalande here. Drinking range: 2027 - 2060 Rating: 95-97 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2016)

A dazzling, towering wine, the 2015 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande has put on considerable weight in just the last few months. Today, the 2015 is vivid and intense, with a huge backbone of tannin and marvelous complexity. In 2015, the Cabernet Sauvignon is pushed higher as the Merlot was less consistent in its ripening. Graphite, charcoal, tobacco, crème de cassis and new leather are some of the signatures in what is shaping up to be a super-classic Pichon-Lalande. Simply put, the 2015 is one of the wines of the vintage. Rating: 96-98 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2016)

This has excellent energy, featuring voluptuous blackberry and black currant fruit lined with cassis bush, bay leaf, wet stone and iron notes, with sweet tobacco filling in the background. The finish is broad and long, with a nice graphite edge. This is Pauillac. Rating: 94—97 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2016)

This is absolutely beautiful with super tannin quality that gives you the most silky texture. Precise. It goes for minutes. Full and concentrated yet all in balance. Rating: 96-97 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Mar 2016)

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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