Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
75cl * 14% ABV * Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
The illustrious Second Growth of Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande backs onto the vineyards of Château Latour and shares a similar climate, aspect and soils as the First Growth, and make a wine which rivals (or sometimes exceeds) that of its neighbours. Once part of a much larger estate, the land was split between the children of Baron Joseph de Pichon-Longueville. One half became Pichon-Baron and the other, Comtesse de Lalande. The "Comtesse" is now owned by Champagne house Louis Roederer and managed by the brilliant wine-maker Nicolas Glumineau, formally of another high flying second growth, Chateau Montrose.
Characterised by a slightly exotic, spicy character, plump ripe fruit and a polished texture, this is classic Pauillac terroir ideally suited to producing great Cabernet Sauvignon, however the percentage of Merlot in the vineyard, at 35%, is unusually high for Pauillac. The wine is aged for 12 months in barrels (40% new) with medium long toasting.
"Cask sample. Bright crimson hue. Generous, vineyard-nuanced fruit on the nose with complex cassis and graphite notes. Fruit equally generous on the palate, backed by an abundance of fine tannin. Lots of drive and persistence. Punchier and more masculine in style than 2019. Definitely one for the cellar. Drink 2028 - 2045" 18 points, James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (May 2021)
"Stands out from the lineup as ever, a stunning wine with silky smooth tannins that are fine in character but abundant, offering decades of growth ahead. Finessed and juicy blackcurrant, blueberry and bilberry fruit, waves of tobacco, heather, liquorice root, crushed rocks, cigar box, pomegranate, orange peel and pencil lead. So consistent, amazing. 60% new oak, 30hl/ha yield, Nicolas Glumineau director. An upscore from En Primeur." 97 points, Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (February 2023)
"This is extremely structured, but with a level of polish and refinement that highlights the excellence of the terroir. Very long and expansive on the palate, showing class and beauty. Powerful." 97-98 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021)
'The 2020 Pichon-Lalande has a backward nose similar to that of its neighbour Pichon-Baron, and so I decanted the bottle for 45 minutes. It then revealed gorgeous scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow, seaweed (Japanese nori) and wild mint. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and gentle but insistent grip. Very intense but not ripe; there is a coolness about this Pauillac that I like, while the finish is very classically styled and leaves behind a persistent, slightly briny aftertaste. This is a magnificent, cerebral Pichon-Lalande that will deserve serious aging and the patience of anyone still waiting for The Cure's new album. Tasted three times, including directly from the château.' 96-98 points, Neal Martin for Vinous
"The 2020 Pichon Lalande is blended from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc but without any Petit Verdot and it has a deep garnet-purple color. It is a touch closed to start off, before soaring out of the glass with notes of juicy blueberries, black raspberries and fresh blackcurrant, plus hints of pencil shavings, cinnamon stick, red roses, and Ceylon tea, with a waft of dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a rock-solid structure of grainy tannins and seamless freshness supporting the taut, muscular black and blue fruits, finishing long and fragrant." 99 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, (November 2022)