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Château Pichon-Longueville

088

Address:  33250 Pauillac

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 73 17 17

E-mail: contact@pichonlongueville.com

Website: www.pichonlongueville.com

Located on the southerly end of the Pauillac appellation on gravelly soil the estate forms half of a single Château Pichon-Longueville property divided in 1850, the other half becoming Pichon-Lalande [which is situated over the road]. Also referred to as Pichon-Baron, Château Pichon-Longueville was behind Château Pichon-Lalande in quality but this hasn’t been the case since the 1990s. Today Pichon-Longueville produces extremely rich Pauillac with lots of concentration, quite bold in style with bags of flavour. The style is bigger and more masculine than Pichon-Lalande [because of the higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the wine].

By comparison to the first growths it is well priced for the quality, though by well priced I mean £600-£1000 a case for recent vintages. Second wine Les Tourelles de Longueville is pretty good and provides textbook Pauillac at a fair discount. The estate was owned by the Bouteiller family [Château Lanessan and others] but sold to the AXA insurance conglomerate in the late 1980s. They hired the exuberant Jean-Michel Cazes of Château Lynch-Bages to oversee winemaking and the vineyard and the improvement in the estate’s wines was dramatic. After Cazes retired, Christian Seely became the estate’s administrator and remains in charge today. For me, outside the first growths, this property vies with Château Pontet-Canet and Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste as one of Pauillac’s most exciting estates.

Vineyard/Terroir: 73 hectares on Garonne gravel planted with 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc.

Winemaking/Elévage: The wine spends 15-18 months in barrel.

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Deep and saturated look; fresh; intense, inky aromatics; very pent up and concentrated on the nose which suggests wonderful ripeness; opens up gradually revealing more blackcurrant cassis fruit tones; lovely purity here; very flattering on the palate currently; almost pretty; this will work wonderfully. Very harmonious on the finish too. Great stuff. [77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot]. Drink 2024-2035. Tasted 5/4/16 UGCB. 95-97
  • 2014 Deep and saturated look; dark and solidly opaque core; stalky, fresh blackcurrant fruit and cassis; little reductive at first but opens up; blackcurrant entry on the palate; fruit turns out to be ripe and pure with nice sweetness; lots of matter and extract and a little chewy on the finish. Needs to settle but all the elements there and in the right order. This is infant Pauillac afterall. Similar to Lynch Bages but with a little more composure. Excellent length and acidity. Quite a brilliant effort potentially. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. Drink 2022-2035. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 94-96
  • 2013 Mid depth; vibrant edge; stalky blackcurrant aromas; some depth; creamy note; nice attack with good blackcurrant fruit; good purity; acidity quite marked and sappy; some chew at the end. [82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot 70% new oak]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. 89-91 [second note] Deep; some cream, blackcurrants; quite pure; pure blackcurrant attack; quite grippy; lots of extract and acidity but there is purity here. 2013 reminds me of 2011 in Pauillac. Needs to settle. Tasted 3/4/14. Drink 2018-2030. 88-90+
  • 2012 Mid depth; dark at core; seam of pure blackcurrant fruit; elegant not full throttle; restraint; very attractive blackcurrant flavours on the palate with harmony and balance; tannins soft and round. Drink 2017-2030. 90+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated colour; some cassis and blackcurrant notes; feels fresh Cabernet with stalky note; fresh Cab on the palate pretty dense  and feels lean and a bit over-extracted; dry finish. Very tannic and chewy. Tasted UGC April 11, 2013. 87-89? [Earlier note] Very deep saturated look; powerful nose; black fruits; black cherry; wet rocks; depth and cassis; palate full; lots of material and fatness – quite big. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. 80% new oak. 90-92
  • 2011 Mid depth; pure blackcurrants; cream and resin; chewy blackcurrant fruit on the palate; little pinched at the end [probably just closed?] with tannin to resolve. Needs time. Drink 2018-2028. 89+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; sweet blackcurrant cassis; loaded nose; quite pent up but lots there; fresh and not overly worked; fresh palate; layers of ripe fruit with ripe blackcurrant and cassis notes; firmness and structure beneath. Nice chew, density and polish – up there with Mouton. Very nice chew and polish too – no hardness but plenty of depth and extract. Tasted 3/4/12 and 5/4/12 at UGCB. 93-95+
  • 2010 Deep and saturated looking; very full aromatics bursting forth; blackcurrants, spices; menthol; ink and some resin; layered aromatics of considerable depth and purity; full palate with lots of blackcurrant tones and inky notes; some spicy Cabernet Franc characters too; lots of depth here clearly. Lots of chew to the tannins too but there is ripeness and concentration that gives the wine a very textured feel. This is clearly great Pauillac. Drink 2018-2045. 98+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and more saturated than Pichon Lalande; very big, saturated nose; volume really turned up here; lots of blackcurrants, some spices; very, very deep and profound aroma; lots of fruit on the palate; cool blackcurrants, cassis; some graphite notes; lots of material here; tannic structure but with plenty of fruit. Excellent length. Best Pauillac here and of first growth quality. 96+ UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Depth and density; blackcurrants, quite pure and fresh; really concentrated cassis; quite perfumed too. Clean palate, lots of material and acid; grip and density. Good length, concentration and freshness. Maybe not as knockout as 2009 here though. 92-94/100 Tasted 5 April 2011[Second tasting UGC] Deep and dark; very tight to the rim; quite arterial; essence and very concentrated; really sublimated feel; real cassis and blackcurrants, some cream lots of fruit and high levels of concentration; layers of flavour and lots of density. Tannins well handled but there are lots of them. Very good length and power. Different from ’09, less seductive more sublimated and powerful. You choose. 94-96+/100 [13.8 alc] Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Deep and saturated look; opaque core; blackcurrants, graphite and real depth – very Bordeaux with sweet blackcurrant fruit – spot on classy Pauillac; super palate with depth, fruit and ripe tannin [lots]; very pure fruit tones and layer upon layer of them; amazing length. Surely close to perfection here? Drink 2019-2040. 98+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Dense and saturated; very big and thick; really bold blackcurrants; super lift here; really hedonistic and explosive nose; cassis and blackcurrants and wonderful depth; thick and strong on the palate; blackcurrants, earth and graphite; chewy and dense, truly great wine. 98+/100 UGCB Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Darker and tight to the rim; bigger than Pichon Lalande yet also very focused; pure and very fresh; cassis and blackcurrant; creamy; intense and layered nose; powerful yet composed fruit and layers; very soft pure tannin. Wonderful balance. Not over extracted; very round tannins. Terrific. 96+/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings
  • 2008 Deep saturated look with legs and depth; savoury edge, starting to get complex; seductive; oak intermingled with blackcurrant fruit; satiny palate, very nicely done; blackcurrants here and spices; very complete palate; tannins there and plenty of extract but great balance. Lots of depth, chew and length here. Up with the first growths. 94+ MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Deep, dark and dense looking; equally saturated in aroma too; lots of blackcurrant cassis; very deep and layered; satin palate of blackcurrants, earth and tobacco notes; very promising nose; nice entry on the palate, deep, layered and quite open; real ripeness, best Pauillac outside the first growths; this is very good wine. Fruit and tannin feel ripe and there is remarkable concentration which has been achieved without extracting bitterness. Very good length too and an excellent effort. Worth serious consideration if you’re tempted to take a dip into 2007. 94+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier note] 2007 Mid red; classy nose; this is excellent, wonderful nose of roses, violets, blackcurrants and tar woven together with classy oak; palate wonderfully layered and well bred; good poise and length. Wine fresh with tannic twist. Very good. One of the wines of the vintage.  92-94/100 Oct ’09 UGC London tasting
  • 2006 Dark core, red black; little more resinous and intense than Pichon Lalande, feels more akin to Pontet Canet; real oak resin, blackcurrants and richness here but well integrated and layered; attractive; palate open initially, blackcurrants, some leaf and lead pencil; gits and tannic; very classic Pauillac and quite a lot of tannin at the end. Pretty good but needs 5 years plus. Very different in style to Lalande. 92+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 1999 Dark colour, lovely cabernet nose – very clear and precise. Very fine wine and classic Pauillac Cabernet. Quite open and approachable now but will develop further. Excellent 90-92+/100 Oct 07

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