We don't know how Nicolas Glumineau does it, but there's some sort of alchemy afoot at Pichon Lalande. Yet again, Pichon Lalande is one of the strongest performers in the Medoc; a wine with First Growth breed. Nicolas explained his intention, 'we wanted to make an expansive wine, as straight as an arrow, dense but at the same time reserved. We sought a balance between power and a tannic backbone, which supports the taste without being aggressive, and the aromatic, ethereal elegance of the chateau's wines'. He hit the bullseye! Stylistically we find this very similar to the glorious 2014 with a little more depth and sensual fruit in the mid palate. The bouquet offers scents of pure violets and mineral infused Cabernet fruit: menthol cassis notes, crème de mûre, herbs and a touch of spice; this is regal - as aromatically precise as you'll find in all of Bordeaux. The palate is effortlessly charming with swaths of fleshy, creamy purple fruit. There is good density and lots of underlying power, but the appearance is that of grace, tension and freshness. Everything is present in perfect measure - gorgeous aromas, silky textured fruit and sleek, refined tannins, flecked with gravelly minerals. Graceful, restrained and very very beautiful. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
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 up to Monsieur Rouzaud of the Champagne House, Louis Roederer. Gildas remained to ensure a steady transition until he retired and Sylvie Cazes, formally of Lynch Bages became the Chateau’s Director. Sylvie is also the president of the Union des Grands Crus
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. Typically, the Grand Vin utilizes a much higher percentage of Cabernet than the plantings would suggest. Despite the changes in personnel, the estate has continued to produce excellent wines and remains one of the pre-eminent ‘Super Seconds’.
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.