PICHON COMTESSE 'LA RÉSERVE'

2020

EN PRIMEUR

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)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 12)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

The 2020 Réserve de la Comtesse is absolutely gorgeous. Far more expressive than the Grand Vin today, the Réserve is everything a second wine should be. Ripe dark cherry, plum, spice, menthol, licorice and tobacco all flesh out in a sumptuous, racy Pauillac that impresses with its alluring personality. This is an especially fine vintage for the Réserve. The 2020 is 47% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot – in other words, a high percentage of PV that undoubtedly marks the blend. Drinking range: 2026 - 2040 Rating: 91-93 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jun 2021)

The 2020 Réserve de Pichon Comtesse is very harmonious on the nose, featuring plenty of blackberry, wild strawberry and light touches of salted licorice and estuarine scents; this is going to be very seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and fine-grained tannins, not a powerful or deep Deuxième Vin, leading to a poised, quite spicy, peppery finish. This should give 12–15 years of drinking pleasure. Drinking range: 2026 - 2038 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2021)

The second wine of Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse, the 2020 Reserve De Comtesse De Lalande is a beautiful wine in the making that certainly tastes like a mini-version of the Grand Vin. Lots of crème de cassis, blueberries, violets, tobacco, and earth all define the nose, and it hits the palate with a forward, medium to full-bodied, supple texture that already begs to be drunk. I love its balance, the purity of fruit is terrific, and the tannins are spot on as well. It ranks as one of the top second wines in the vintage and will have two decades of prime drinking. Rating: 92-94 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (May 2021)

Bright ruby colour with violet reflections. As with many second wines in Pauillac in 2020, you should expect fairly high tannins, although they are fine in construction and softly-expressed when things open up. Cocoa bean and coffee smoke on the finish. This is seductive but underplayed. Drinking range: 2024 - 2038 Rating: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)

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.

Please make sure that you have read the terms of this offer which are different from those on the main website. If you are unclear as to what is involved in primeur purchases please do contact our private client team via email or on 0207 221 1982.

Ordering

Prices are all in bond by the case size stated.

Pre-Orders are a firm commitment to buy wines on release, as long as the release price sits within the upper and lower price bands set by you on the pre-order form. Pre-orders will be fulfilled subject to availability but providing this firm commitment to buy effectively gives you priority and is a good idea for the most desirable wines.

Wines listed on the website can be ordered in the usual way via the website wishlist order form. You can also send orders directly to our private client team via email. Please note that, for the most sought after wines, priority will be given to those who ordered the same wines last year and to those that have pre-ordered.

Confirmation

All orders will be confirmed by email and are binding unless written cancellation is received within seven days of email confirmation. Pre-orders are not binding if the release price is above your upper price band.

Invoices are all raised at the in bond price (excluding any duty and VAT) which will become payable at the prevailing rates when the wines arrive in the UK, should you wish to take duty paid delivery.

Payment is required on sight of invoice, by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We regret we cannot accept credit cards for en primeur orders. We reserve the right to apply a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.

Delivery

  • Shipment to our bond (at LCB Creek Road) and insurance are included in the in bond price.
  • Delivery is free to Lea and Sandeman / Elephant storage accounts, both duty paid and in bond.
  • Other deliveries (In Bond and Duty Paid) are also free subject to a minimum order from the offer of £500. Orders below this total will be charged an administration and handling fee of £16.50+ VAT when invoices are issued. We will group deliveries and this is a charge for your entire purchases, not a per-case charge.
  • Delivery of 2020 Bordeaux bought en primeur is expected during 2023. Delivery dates may vary as wines are shipped from Bordeaux at different times.
  • We do not anticipate any problems but please be aware that delays to delivery may occur should Britain's possible departure from the European Union result in additional border customs checks or other regulatory requirements. Any additional or unforeseen duties, tariffs, charges or other financial liabilities relating to 'Brexit' must be due to the customer and will be invoiced as required.

Practical notes - how it works

We start a sale in each customer's name and add all their primeur orders to one sale which is invoiced at the end of the campaign (or when the customer wishes). Immediate payment of invoices is then required by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We and our customers find that having a single invoice for the vintage is the simpler option but please note that confirmed orders are still binding even if the final invoice has not yet been issued.

Please specify on your wishlist order form where you would like the wines shipped on arrival in the UK. If this is to a third-party bonded warehouse, please specify the relevant account details. If the wines are required duty-paid we will issue a second invoice for duty and VAT at the prevailing rate when the wines are available for delivery.

Half-bottles, Magnums and larger bottles.

One of the additional advantages of buying en primeur is being able to order the wine in the format you want. While most of our listings are for 75cl bottles, we can source wines in any format if offered by the Château. Please note that format requests cannot be changed once wines have been invoiced. Additional charges for special formats do apply and are as follows:-

  • +£20 per case of 24 half-bottles
  • +£10 per case of 6 Magnums (2 bottles equivalent, 1.5 litres each)
  • +£35 per individually boxed Double Magnum (4 bottles equivalent, 3 litres)
  • +£50 per individually boxed Imperial (8 bottles equivalent, 6 litres) for Salmanazars, Balthazars, Nebuchadnezzars and Melchiors please enquire for availability and price.

Storage Options:

Wines bought en primeur won't arrive in the UK until 2023. If you do not wish to take home delivery at that point, you may wish to consider where you would like the wines shipped. Lea & Sandeman offers duty paid and in bond storage through a dedicated storage company called Elephant Storage. For more details on the terms and fees associated with storage please go to our Storage Homepage or contact our private client team for more information.