PICHON COMTESSE 'LA RÉSERVE'

2020

IN STOCK
Grapes Merlot, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
ABV 13%

Love the lead pencil, black berry and graphite aromas and flavors with iron shavings. It’s medium- to full-bodied with very fine and polished tannins, that are poised and balanced. Classy. Almost drinkable but better in four or five years Rating: 95 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (May 2023)

*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.

The 2020 Réserve de la Comtesse is a big, big wine. Black cherry, grilled herbs, lavender, licorice and smoke are some of the many notes that add to an impression of brooding intensity. This is a very serious second wine. Maybe too serious. Then again, Estate Director Nicolas Glumineau is quite clear in his ambition to want to make 100% Grand Vin. The inclusion of 10% Petit Verdot in this year's blend is felt in both the wine's flavor and structural feel. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035 Rating: 92 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Feb 2023)

The 2020 Réserve de Pichon Comtesse retains that generous licorice-tinged nose with blackberry and boysenberry fruit, an underlying mineralité emerging with time. The palate has a bit of muscle on the entry, beautifully structured and fresh, quite edgy and energetic, building discretely with just a little oak to be assimilated towards the finish. Be a bit more patient with this Deuxième Vin - it'll be worth the wait. Drinking range: 2026 - 2038 Rating: 92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Feb 2023)

On the surface, this is a fresher, lighter wine than its Grand Vin parent, but when you consider the prodigious finish, which rolls on for minutes, it is imperative to have a second and then a third look because there is more to discover here than I expected. Unmistakably PL-shaped, this is a rather grand second wine with an almost identical silhouette of its parent. The nose is superb and the palate is medium-weight, refined and savoury. This is a great effort and it suits the recently renovated label and name! Bearing in mind just how backward the Grand Vin seems, I would be tempted to shop here in 2020 and save some cash! Rating: 17 Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Jun 2021)

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.

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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