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Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

089

Address: 33250 Pauillac

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 59 19 40

E-mail: pichon@pichon-lalande.com

Website: www.pichon-lalande.com

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalade, Pichon-Lalande for short, produces flamboyant and sensuous wines and marked by terrific balance and decadence in the top years. This is partly attributable to the large percentage of Merlot in the blend. For a long time the estate was closely associated with proprietor Madame de Lencquesaing who did much to champion the estate in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2007 Louis Roederer Champagne house acquired the estate. The 2009 and 2010 look very good here.

Vineyard/Terroir: 86 hectares on Guntz gravel with a clay subsoil. Vineyards comprise 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot.

Winemaking/Elévage: Traditional with twenty months in oak, 50% new each year.

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Deep and attractive looking; legs; real viscosity in the glass; lovely blackcurrant tones; real Pauillac beauty; deep and classy; supple entry to the palate; nicely harmonious wine; real depth and velvety fruit tones; lovely length; layered finish. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 13.6% alc]. Drink 2024-2035. Tasted 5/4/16 UGCB. 95-97
  • 2014 Deep and polished looking; vibrant at edge; saturated colour in the middle; tighter and more composed on the nose; very measured; really finely focused seam of blackcurrant fruit; some mineral; perfumed lift as it opens up in the glass; concentrated palate; blackcurrant, black cherry and dark chocolate; texture and matter here; nicely balanced; acidity and texture; length and matter. Very exciting wine here. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2022-2035. Tasted 2 April, 2015 at Pichon-Lalande. 93-95+
  • 2013 Mid depth; menthol, blackcurrants; attractive aromatics; blackcurrant fruit tones dominate the palate; little stalky and dry on the finish; certain hardness without the Merlot this year. In that sense this is a unique Pichon-Lalande but feels a little savage at this stage. See how it turns out. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2020-2030. 87-89+ [Second note] Mid depth; very pronounced Cabernet aromatics [the wine is 100% Cabernet in 2013]; purity and elegance; grippy palate but not over-extracted; acidity gives sappy feel; lively and fresh style certainly. Tasted UGC 3/4/14. Drink 2020-2030. 88-90
  • 2012 Mid depth; fresh blackcurrant aromatics; some briary and spicy notes; attractive and sophisticated; creamy blackcurrant flavours on the palate; very good purity; nicely done; plushness here; stalky note [not unattractive]; very good positive finish. Excellent effort for the vintage. Drink 2017-2030. 92 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Good depth; healthy looking; nice elegant blackcurrant tones on the palate; glossy; elegance again on the palate; blackcurrant but a minerality and lean-ness on the mid-palate. Stalky blackcurrants. Nevertheless fine tannins and very good length. Will fill out. Tasted Thursday April 11, 2013. 89-91+ [Earlier note] Mid depth; fresh looking; good Cabernet fruit; stalky blackcurrants; layers; fresh and elegant; pure Cab on the palate; quite silky with elegance and balance; maybe lacks a bit of stuffing in the middle currently but should fill out. Nice length on the finish. 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit-Verdot. 13% alc. Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 90-92.
  • 2011 Deep looking; blackcurrant, undergrowth and pencil tones on the nose; good palate – blackcurrants, some stalky notes; elegance here with smooth tannins although there is some grip from the acid. Overall feels complete and elegant with more harmony than arch rivals Pichon-Longueville and Lynch-Bages. Drink 2016-2028. 90 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; cassis, cream and blackcurrant; feels pretty laden on the nose, nice [less sultry and low res than usual], some blackcurrant bite, black cherry note; earth; slighter cooler than last few years; palate full, ripe; nice cassis and blackcurrant; slighty sturdy note but polished. Creamy mouthfeel here and fine tannins. Not pushed to the floor. Some elegance. Good effort. Tasted 3/4/12 and 5/4/12 at UGCB. 91-93
  • 2010 Deep colour; blackcurrants and spicy notes; earth, autumn leaves and pencil shavings; ripe and full; quite open currently; wonderful blackcurrant purity on the palate; cool and pure and very well defined; very nicely done in a beautifully elegant style. Drink 2017-2035. 95+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Depth; glossy look; pure blackcurrants; creamy tones; some black cherry and plums; very enticing; lots of blackcurrant and cassis notes on the palate and lots of depth and chew. Pichon Lalande has really succeeded in this vintage. It can seem a bit sullen early on but this wine is singing nicely. Structure and grip beneath the wonderful fruit tones. Reflects the vintage but also the more rounded Lalande style, versus Pichon Longueville’s power. 95 UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Deepish; saturated but less so than some; some cream and blackcurrants; some rose petal; intense palate, blackcurrant notes; concentration; tannin and grip. Nice balance on the palate. Not overdone – good length. 92-94/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC [Second tasting] Dense; maybe less so than some [cf Pichon Baron], some floral notes, little dumb, cream and blackcurrants; opens up in the glass; actually quite voluptuous and satiny; quite dense on the palate, feels a little awkward; is density here and good finish. Tannic but ripe and fine. More 92-94/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Mid depth; floral tones and soft blackcurrant notes; more open and delicate than Pichon Baron; stalky blackcurrant fruit on the palate with more sap and chew; plenty of fruit but the structure is there. Needs to integrate a little. Promising if a little off the pace of the very best. Drink 2019-2030. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid red; not the deepest here; lovely seductive cassis and blackcurrants on the nose; really deep and alluring; almost Burgundy Grand Cru aromatics; opulent and ripe palate; blackcurrants; cassis; simply wonderful Pauillac but more silk and satin to Pichon Baron’s obvious power. Terrific stuff. Great length and delicacy. 97/100 UGCB Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Less dense than the Pichon Baron; very fresh, very clean and precise; blackcurrants and cassis; quite well gone; focused; strawberry and red fruits; depth; a really voluptuous nose; very sweet, ripe attack; pure and focused; v tight; soft and supple tannin; very ripe tannins. Concentrated but very elegant. Polished and very good 94-95/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Classically lighter and more Burgundian in feel than Longueville; lacks apparent depth; feels a bit loose actually; and palate lacks definition. Acidity here gives freshness but without matching extract makes palate feel touch hard. Subdued and shut down if I’m being generous, a disappointing showing nevertheless. 88?/100 MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2006 Red black; good density without looking too forced; more voluptuous on the nose [always higher proportion of Merlot than other Pauillacs]; sweeter, more violets; very polished and attractive – this wine certainly seems to settle well in bottle; real blackcurrant cassis too; good entry on the palate, fruit and acid; structured yes but with more flesh here; more velvety qualities along with chocolate and mocha notes; blackcurrants on the finish; tannins too but chewy and not dry. Good length. Attractive. 92+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 2007 Mid red; some depth and darkness at centre; real beauty and polish to the nose; graphite and cool blackcurrant here on the nose; good palate; blackcurrant fruit that feels elegant and charming; little dryness towards the finish. Classis Pichon Lalande though dips a fraction compared with Pichon-Longueville. 90+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier note] 2007 Mid red; some creamy notes; less expressive on the nose than Baron; fresh and clean; quite tannic and angular [this is Pauillac after all]. Good length and class with grip – may very well fill out. 88+/100 Oct ’09 UGC London tastings
  • 1988 Deep; black red; some blackcurrants and tobacco – nice nose; some oak. good; some sourness at edge; good structure; chewy and tannic. Needs food but very good. 90/100 Apr ‘08
  • 1986 Deep black; tobacco, blackcurrants; huge depth; palate big and bold [the vintage] with lots of cassis and tobacco notes; great length. Tannins at end but plenty of fruit. Terrific. 95+/100 July ‘89

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