53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Attractive red (raspberry) and black (plum) fruit on the nose and the sweet entry. Very, very Pichon in its plush supple superfine texture. Simply delicious. Just enough drying serious tannin on the finish to hold the interest and the length. Rating: 91-92 L&S (Apr 2016)
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This is an impressive second wine. It shows a lot of vibrant red berries, blackberries and darker plum fruits. The palate is impressive for the vibrant and lively acidity cast amid sturdy but supple tannins. Second wine from Pichon-Lalande. Drinking range: 2021 - Rating: 93 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Feb 2018)
Attractive in its youth, as it often is, the second wine from Pichon-Comtesse ages well, too. This is floral, fine and well balanced with skilfully judged tannins and oak and good underlying structure. Impressive stuff. Drinking range: 2020 - 2028 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (May 2016)
The second wine of Pichon-Lalande is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. A dark, slightly spicy nose, showing the character of the vintage a little more than the associated wines of Pichon-Baron; here we have a fresh, dark, curranty character, with dried blackcurrant skins, juniper berry and gritty toasted pip notes. A succulent start to the palate, fresh and cool, with perfumed fruit, blackcurrants and spiced black cherry. A delicious and very succulent style, full of creamed-fruit confidence. A really charming second wine, with a fine tannic backbone. An impressive second wine. Rating: 15.5-16.5/20 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Apr 2016)
Spicy, almost chocolatey aspects on the palate. Supple and rich, it makes up in body what it seems to lack in aroma. Drinking range: 2019 - 2030 Rating: 89 Steven Spurrier (Apr 2016)
The 2015 Reserve de la Comtesse is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. It has a very fine, quite sophisticated and pure bouquet with black cherries, cedar and violet aromas, perfumed and sensual. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, rounded tannin that is cloaked by layers of tobacco-tinged black fruit that segues into a long, lightly spiced finish. This is a delightful, quite serious deuxième vin that I suspect will age much longer than drinkers will afford it. Try to give this five years and you will be rewarded. Drinking range: 2020 - 2035 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Apr 2016)
The 2015 Réserve de la Comtesse is a powerful, tannic second wine that looks like it will need a few years in bottle to come together, as its structural spine is imposing at this stage. Dark, brooding and intense, the 2015 possesses magnificent depth and pedigree to burn. A host of black cherry, graphite, smoke, licorice and incense hit the building, intense finish. The 2015 is a gorgeous Comtesse, but the brooding style is going to take some time to come into its own. This is a serious second wine. Rating: 90-93 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Apr 2016)
Lively, with kirsch and cherry paste notes that are lined with fresh floral and bright iron notes, followed by a rather sleek finish. Rating: 87—90 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2016)
Lots of blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors. Full body, chewy tannins and a savory finish. A juicy second wine from PL. Rating: 92-93 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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