Château Pichon Comtesse de Lalande, 2ème Cru Classé, Pauillac, 1995

  Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande

"In 1995, fifty percent of the crop was cut off the vine in a vendange verte (the culling of fruit in order to lower production and increase the concentration of the remaining grapes). That resulted in one of the top dozen wines of the 1995 vintage. This wine was terrific on each of the four occasions I tasted it during the last two weeks of March. The color is an opaque purple. The knock-out set of aromatics offers up smoky, sweet, black-cherry and cassis scents intermingled with hints of coffee and herbs. This ripe, full-bodied wine exhibits outstanding texture, layers of flavor, and a low acid, firmly delineated, moderately tannic finish. I would rate this awesome example of Pichon-Lalande higher than both the outstanding 1989 and the uninspiring, light-weight 1990. Although it will be hard to resist its charms, give it 3-4 years of cellaring after its release and drink it over the subsequent 20+ years. It is a knock-out 1995! All of the wines in this segment were tasted between March 19 and March 28 in Bordeaux. Most of the important wines from both the 1994 and 1995 vintages were tasted three separate times during my ten-day stay in Bordeaux."

95/100 - Robert Parker, December 2003

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande

The two Pichon Chateaux stand guard at the entrance to Pauillac from St Julien. These two formidable structures on opposite sides of the D2 are two of the most iconic building of the Medoc and two of the most iconic wines. Until recently, Madame de Lencquesaing along with her nephew, Gildas d’Ollone ran this estate with great success. The estate’s vineyards, bordering those of Chateau Latour at the south of the commune have produced many outstanding wines; this is classic Pauillac terroir ideally suited to producing great Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2007, Madame de Lencquesaing sold to Monsieur Rouzaud of the Champagne House, Louis Roederer. The appointment of Nicolas Glumineau, formally of another high flying second growth, Chateau Montrose has really transformed the fortunes of this superb estate. Nicolas has a Midas touch – he has managed to retain all the feminine charms of the Comtesse vineyard, but has added a polish and poise to the wines that is very impressive. It is now consistently amongst our favourite wines of the primeur tastings and one of the most sought after brands of Bordeaux.

There are currently 89 hectares under vine, 11 of which are actually in St Julien! The dominant varietal is unsurprisingly Cabernet Sauvignon (45%), but there is a slightly unusual 35% of Merlot planted in this region where Cabernet is king. This is a legacy of the previous owners, the Miailhe brothers. Replanting programs are addressing this balance and over time we will see more Cabernet in both wines.

Appellation: Pauillac

The Cabernet Sauvignon domanates the appellation, in fact some might justifiably call Pauillac the most classical expression there is of Cabernet based Claret. It is sandwiched between St-Julien to the south and St-Estèphe to the north, a stone’s throw from the Gironde Estuary. The excellent drainage of the intensely gravely soils are the key to quality, producing some of the world’s most long-lived wines. The First Growths of Latour, Lafite and Mouton-Rothschild are found here, while other great Châteaux include Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande, Pontet Canet, Lynch-Bages and Grand-Puy-Lacoste.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot | Cab. Franc

The hallowed Bordeaux trinity of grape varieties that form the stock left bank blend. Cabernet's Sauvignon's acidic, tannic complex qualities marry ideally with Merlot's sweet, softy flesh characteristics, and Cabernet Franc's finesse and freshness. This classic combination has worked so successfully in Bordeaux that it is now mirrored the world over, particularly in warm sunny climates such as the Languedoc, Tuscany, South Africa, Australia and Napa Valley.