Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande, 2ème Cru Classé, Pauillac, 2014

  Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande

We are big fans of Pichon Lalande and we are big fans of Nicolas Glumineau, so when they came together, we expected great things. Last year's 100% Cabernet Sauvignon cuvee was one of the rare success stories; a magnificent and bold wine. This year Nicolas decided to make a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot and the result is even more spectacular. This is everything we look for in a Pauillac; it is aristocratic, vivid, and utterly regal - the style of 2014 really suits this estate. The nose is textbook: violets, cassis, stones, pencil shavings, a fine floral perfume, incense and sandalwood. On the palate there is wonderful delineation of flavours, classic notes of crème de cassis and this wonderful gravelly, stoney minerality. This is so gripping and vivid; it appears effortless, lithe and so complex. One has to be impressed by the purity and nobility of flavours and the sensational tannins. One is so wrapped up in the gorgeously textured fruit that it entirely possible to miss the tannins altogether. Rest assured, everything is there in perfect measure. This is truly one of the most stylish Pichons we can ever remember tasting and right up there with our very best wines of the vintage. Great job 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 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 | 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.