|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Sauv|
|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21 % Merlot. 80% new oak. Tasted three times over the week. Singing on all three occasions. There is a sense of grandeur - an almost aristocratic feel to the 2017 Pichon Baron. Complex nose of oak, mineral stone and meat. Sleek and energetic on the palate. Enticing dark fruit in the middle. Mineral streak throughout. Majestic. Rating: 94 L&S (Apr 2018)
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The 2017 Pichon Baron was picked from 18 to 21 September for the Merlot and 27 September to 3 October for the Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a very sophisticated, pure and quite intense bouquet with black fruit, cedar and potent graphite aromas. This feels very focused and the 80% new oak is seamlessly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with a smooth entry, very sleek and silky with a gentle grip. There is a lovely sweetness here, perhaps less austere than I was anticipating with a very long, quite spicy finish. Tasted four times with consistent notes. Drinking range: 2020 - 2045 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(May 2018)
Stricter selection this year, says Christian Seely, 270,000 bottles instead of 350,000. 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot. Very dark with black core and purple rim. Seductively dark fruit and graphite. Seductive without being flirtatious, rather serious in fact. Deep with black fruit, not sweet, dry and super-smooth with a dry elegance and restraint. Extremely fine and surprisingly juicy on the finish. Long and elegant. Firm, compact and delicious. Drinking range: 2026 - 2047 Rating: 17.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2018)
The grand vin represents 50% of production this year. A blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot, the 2017 Pichon-Longueville Baron is deep garnet-purple in color and simply sings of vibrant blackcurrants, black cherries and rose hip notes with nuances of potpourri, incense, licorice and pencil shavings plus touches of cigar box and fertile loam. Medium-bodied, super intense and possessing stunning poise, it has very firm, fine-grained tannins and a beautifully silken texture, with bags of freshness and a very long, perfumed finish. Rating: 95-97 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com(Apr 2018)
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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