Château Pichon Longueville Baron, 2ème Cru Classé, Pauillac, 2014

  Château Pichon-Longueville

Christian Seely’s Pichon Baron has been on fine form. The addition of another second label 'Les Griffons' means there is even greater selection. All the fruit for the Grand Vin now hails from the original vineyards closest to Chateau Latour. 45% of the crop will be used in the 2014 Pichon Longueville; it is typically rich and thick, with a velvety structure, packed with seductive fruit. So far so good you'd think. Well, not quite. Our expectations are very high at this estate and while this is a very worthy wine, it doesn't have the same pizzazz as the other Pichon. The flavours are just a little bit blurred and lazy in comparison. Yes, it's all very svelte, with layers of griotte cherry, black forest gateau, Valrhona chocolate, espresso and the velour texture we've come to expect from this sumptuous second growth, it just lacks a certain energy and elegance. While Lalande has this wonderful nervy tension, this comes across as a bit cumbersome.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Pichon-Longueville

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. AXA Millésimes, the current owner has overseen the resurgence of this venerable estate. After some lacklustre wines in the 70s and 80s, AXA bought the property in 1987 and enlisted the help of Jean-Michel Cazes have rebuilt the Chateau’s reputation. Jean-Michel stepped down in 2000 and Englishman, Christian Seely has taken the reigns and continues to push the quality level still higher.

Of the 73 hectares of vines, 65% are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% with Merlot. Jean-Rene Matrigon chooses to vinify plot by plot using small fermentation vats and wines are typically aged in 80% new oak barrels. Stylistically, Baron appears to be less classical and more opulent than neighbour Pichon Lalande, however, in bottle the wines adopt a more orthodox Pauillac character. In recent years, Baron has excelled at Southwold tastings and from barrel tastings, with critics and merchants alike heaping praise on the wines – this is an estate at the very top of their game.

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

A classic partnership. The stock left bank Bordeaux blend also used to good affect in the New World. Cabernet's, acidic, tannic complex qualities marry ideally with Merlot's sweet, softy flesh characteristics.