Another wonderful masterclass today tasting over four decades of Chateau Pichon Lalande, a Chateau that has only had four owners since its establishment in 1850. The estate consists of 89 hectares of vines with an average age of 35 years old, planted at a density of 9000 vines per hectare with a mix of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, Cabernet Franc 7% and Petit Verdot 3%.
Reserve de la Comtesse 2012 – 90+/100
64cs, 35m, 5cf
Piercing sweet rich nose shows black berry, espresso, buttered brown toast, bruleed oak spice with vanilla pod spice. Soft textured palate with plenty of spice, pithy black currant, black cherry and soft accessible acids. Plush, gentle, suave tannins carry to an elegant lacy finish.
Reserve de la Comtesse 2011 – 91/100
43cs, 49m, 8pv
Big concentrated dry vintage to follow the block buster 2010s, but not without its difficulties. Plenty of dusty, leafy cassis fruit with pronounced coffee bean spice. Dark, deep core with black chocolate, violets and wood spice. Dense, masculine palate, power with elegance, tannin frame and dry extract concentration with fine, fresh integrated acids on the finish. Still young and worth cellaring further.
Reserve de la Comtesse 2009 – 92+/100
53cs, 38m, 9cf
Soft sweet, perfumed seductive nose of violets, black berry confit, kirsch liquor, and earthy, savoury foresty red currant fruits. Palate is soft, suave, fleshy, and accessible, ready now and showing a lot of charm and finesse for the price. Sweet ripe tannins and an elegant finish. Lovely Pauillac expression.
Chateau Pichon Longueville 2012 – 93+/100
59cs, 28m, 8cf, 5pv
Similar to the 2012 Comtesse, but chock full of bruleed black berry, espresso, mocha spice and plump caramelised plums. Suave, broad, and oh so elegant and fine. Almost like draping silk over your tongue. Accessible, seductive and seamlessly balanced finish. Beautiful lighter style vintage.
Sweet black berry, kirsch liquor, seductive fragrance and violet perfume. Oak is definitely receding revealing the most opulent, tantalising fruit purity, crisp acids and plenty of elegance. Sweet cassis, buttered brown toast, chalky, powdery marshmallow tannins. Massive full mouthfeel, reaching every corner of your palate. So impressive, so alluring, a real block buster. Leaves you weak at the knees. An icon vintage for sure.
Chateau Pichon Longueville 2003 -93/100
65cs, 31m, 4pv
Rich, savoury, ripe, opulent nose with forest fruits, confit, stewed fruits and hints of Christmas cake. Some game meat notes developing, tannery leather, sweet tobacco and plush, sweet earthy red currant confit length. Soft opulent fleshy wine with mellow acids, slightly chalky tannins that are slightly drying on the finish. Holding up well but perhaps time to start drinking if you have in your cellar.
Chateau Pichon Longueville 1996 – 97/100
75cs, 15m, 5cf, 5pv
Sweet classical nose that screams Cabernet Sauvignon expression. Violets, cedar, sandalwood spice, talc, sweet tobacco box, and mint / Eucalyptus leaf. Almost exotic in style. Palate is modern, almost new world, with hints of cinnamon spice, pithy cassis, spicy cherry skins, mineral tannins and hints of graphite. Youthful, dense and powerful. Such a beauty. Still masculine, foursquare but showing more generosity year by year. One to buy!
Chateau Pichon Longueville 1995 – 95/100
45cs, 40m, 15cf
Evolved nose of sweet herbs, earthy savoury leathery garrigue and tobacco. Cigar box, sandalwood, pencil spice, graphite and savoury red berry fruit. Big rich Cabernet cassis concentration, marshmallow powdery tannins, starting to resolve nicely, with fine balance and classical elegant cedary depth.
Beautiful lifted nose of cedar, stalk spice, dusty gravel and cassis leaf with just a hint of capsicum spice. Peppery and complex, this wine speaks of a different era in Bordeaux production. Palate treads lightly, showing plenty of mint leaf, cedar, black berry spice, grilled herbs, graphite minerality, and drying gravelly tannins. Still holding its shape beautifully, this is yet another 1985 that has turned out to have surprisingly impressive longevity with a classical framework. Just the right amount of chalk/stalk/capsicum savoury melange. Lovely food wine.