Château Pichon-Lalande Réserve de la Comtesse
February 3, 2018, James Suckling
“This is an impressive second wine. It shows a lot of vibrant red berries, blackberries and darker plum fruits. The palate is impressive for the vibrant and lively acidity cast amid sturdy but supple tannins. Second wine from Pichon-Lalande. Try from 2021.”
February 2018, Antonio Galloni
“The 2015 Réserve de la Comtesse is a superb second wine. Time in barrel and egg white fining have softened some of the tannins the 2015 showed as a barrel sample, but the fruit intensity, pedigree and class of the estate are all in the glass. Black cherry graphite, smoke and licorice are some of the many notes that infuse this potent, almost shockingly virile Comtesse. Quite simply, in 2015 Comtesse is equal to, or greater than, many Grand Vins. Don't miss it. The 2015 spent 12 months in oak, 25% new.”
The second growth of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, the Réserve de la Comtesse, was created and sold for the first time in 1973. Second growths represent between 20 percent and 50 percent of the total production of the Chateau. From the same soil, the second growth benefits from the technology and reputation of the great wine. The archives kept at Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande mention the existence of a second wine as early as the 19th century.
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.
Complex, fruity nose dominated by blackberry and cedar. Powerful, structured, dense and persistent palate with notes of blackcurrant and tobacco on the finish.
Varietals: 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot