Château Pichon Comtesse de Lalande, 2ème Cru Classé, Pauillac, Non OWC, Lightly Bin Soiled, 1996

  Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande

"Tasted at the château as part of a private vertical. The 1996 Pichon-Lalande has always been a marvellous wine and perhaps now it is beginning it even rival the 1982. It has a brilliant, Cabernet-driven bouquet with intense blackberry, cedar and graphite scents that remain resolutely linear - a nose that does not flinch. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins that encase layers of ripe black and red fruit interlaced with white pepper and cedar. This has a little more focus than the great 1995 and will probably last longer, demonstrating greater persistency towards the finish. Excellent. Tasted March 2014."

96/100 - Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, September 2014

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.