Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande, 2ème Cru Classé, Pauillac, 2013

  Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande

Nicolas Glumineau should be very pleased with his handiwork in 2013. Pichon refer to it as a 'historic year' and the start of a 'new era' at this noble second growth estate. This is the inaugural vintage produced at their wonderful, state of the art vat room. Along with Montrose, this was our favourite non First Growth from the Medoc. It is a tremendous 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine. Sadly only 2500 cases will be produced as a severe selection has lowered yields to levels that Roederer would never like to see again (13hl/ha). There has been no compromise. The nose is deeply mineral and complex with brooding black fruits interspersed with flowers, cranberries, notes of tobacco smoke and cedar. There is a wonderful tight knit core of juicy crème de cassis, sweet griotte, mulberry jam and lacy minerals. This is so complete and correct; firm, taut, muscular and very very charming. We hope it is affordable, because it's a wine we'd all like to buy. A sensational, smart Pichon which finishes with violets and effortless lift. Chapeau Nicolas!

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 dominates 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 | Petit Verdot

The full complement of permitted Bordeaux varieties (excluding the rarely used Carmenere & Malbec) and the classic left bank Bordeaux blend. The Cabernets and Merlots usually dominate the blend with small percentages of Petit Verdot blended in for colour, structure and complexity. Several producers outside of Bordeaux have tried to emulate this with a Bordeaux style blend of their own, a particularly successful example being Cain Cellars in the Napa Valley and their splendid Cain Five.