Château Pichon Longueville Baron, 2ème Cru Classé, Pauillac, 2018

  Château Pichon-Longueville

It's been no secret that we've been in the Pichon Comtesse corner for a little while. This year it's more of an even contest. We were really impressed by Christian Seeley and team's effort. It is still modern, flamboyant and big, but there is a precision, focus and taut muscularity that makes this really compelling. We tasted this twice with similar results. Initially introspective, then it begins to reveal beautiful floral griotte fruit and ripe damsons. This is much more classical and restrained than recent efforts. There's nothing blousy here, it's all cool cassis and minerals; generous but no excess. The tannins are really impressive; they coat the palate and grip the mouth with fine detail. Flavours build and weave over the mouth. Complex, really well measured, with lingering cassis and gravel, salt and spices; finely detailed and very impressive. The most serious Baron for some time. Bravo. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot.

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 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

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.