Château Pichon-Lalande Château Pichon-Lalande
March 31, 2018, James Molesworth
“A fresh and focused style, with a terrific beam of black cherry and black currant compote flavors. Strong graphite and black tea notes harness the finish, ending with alder and tobacco echoes. This has serious length without losing any drive along the way. Best from 2022 through 2038.”
The Wine Advocate
February 21, 2018, Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot aged for 18 months in barrels, 60% new, the 2015 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande displays a medium to deep garnet-purple color and is elegantly fruited with crushed red currants, black raspberries and cassis with touches of lavender, rose hips, tilled soil, fungi and charcuterie. Medium-bodied, finely crafted, remarkably pure and beautifully poised, it has a firm frame of very fine-grained tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing on a lingering mineral note.”
97 Points, Top 100 French Wines of 2018
February 3, 2018, James Suckling
“This shows spices, pepper, blueberries and blackcurrants on the nose. Full body, very polished tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Shows such gorgeous texture. Precise and transparent. Try in 2022.”
96 Points, Cellar Selection
February 1, 2018, Roger Voss
“This is the new taste for this estate: richly endowed while remaining elegant and suave. Certainly, there is great concentration here as well as rich black fruits. But they are given a sense of style and poise that will remain with this wine as it ages. Drink from 2026.”
February 2018, Antonio Galloni
“The 2015 Pichon Comtesse is a towering wine, as it has always been. Rich, sumptuous and totally hedonistic, the 2015 melds together intense fruit with structure. Far from an easygoing wine, the 2015 is going to need a number of years and will then drink well for several decades. Grilled herbs, smoke, new leather and licorice are some of the many notes that are layered into the dark-fleshed fruit for complexity. As good as the 2015 is today, it also has room to grow. Technical Director Nicolas Glumineau has done a tremendous job with the 2015s at Pichon Comtesse. The blend is 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, aged 18 months in oak, 55% new.”
Founded in 1689, Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande has quite a spectacular history. The quality and elegance of the wines have been the maxim of all the château‘s owners since master winemaker Joseph de Pichon Longueville‘s reign in the 18th century.
For over thirty years, owner May Eliane de Lencquesaing modernized the château‘s installations in the truest respect for tradition. Her indefatigable passion elevated Pichon to a level equaled only by its consistency all over the world. In October of 2006, Lencquesaing joined forces with Champagne Louis Roederer, thus opening a new chapter in the long and magnificent history of Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande.
The unique encepagement and the twelve hectares of vines situated on the soils of Saint-Julien endow the wines of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande with exceptional complexity, elegance, and longevity compared with the other crus of the Pauillac appellation.
After reception of the harvest, de-stemming and crushing, the grapes are placed in temperature-controlled wooden or stainless-steel vats, of variable capacity, allowing a precise and rigorous selection by plot. The heating and cooling system enables the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations to be controlled with precision. The vatting period ranges from 18 to 24 days depending on the year. Frequent pump-overs are performed to extract maximum colour and tannins from the skins.
Once blended, the wine is aged in oak barrels sourced from the Allier and Nièvre forests in France. The oak refines the wine, adding its own aromas and tannins, whilst allowing it to acquire the soft richness that is lacking in its youth, thanks to the gradual, natural contact with air through the pores of the wood.
The Grand Vin of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is aged 18 months in oak barrels; half of them are brand new; the other half are second-fill barrels. The barrels have a medium toast, which enhances their aromas. A harmonious balance of oak and wine is always sought.
Racking takes place every three months up to the bottling. Traditional fining with egg whites is still carried out to clarify the wine.
A classic Pauillac nose offering blackcurrant, blackberry and cedar. A light, creamy, long and well-balanced palate dominated by complex notes of blackberry, tobacco and graphite.
Despite all of the surprises, fears and doubts, 2015 turned out to be a remarkable vintage. The growing cycle took place in perfect conditions up until some extremely dry weather in July, leading to worries over low yields. The rain and associated fungal diseases that we usually fear turned out to work for us from mid-July to mid-September, enabling the vine to reach optimum ripeness levels. The wines are distinctive and exceptionally precise yet also dense and restrained. They remind us of the extremely dense yet ethereal Bordeaux’s of the 1980s, with an excellent aging potential yet able to be enjoyed in their youth.
Varietals: 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot