Bordeaux 2023: Pichon Baron and Pavie

4 June 2024

What links these two unlikely bedfellows? Well, nothing except they’ve decided to release their 2023s on the same day, and in an attempt reduce email traffic, we’ve decided to group them together… One facet they do share is their ability to improve during élevage and in bottle.

Both are often quite sturdy as barrel samples, but few can match Pichon Baron’s record at blind tastings. This has been one of the best performing Pauillacs for as long as any of us can remember. The magnificent terroir of Pavie is often slightly overshadowed by winemaking when tasted from barrel, although recent vintages have displayed a more toned-down, sympathetic style. Once those massive tannins find balance and harmony with the deep well of fruit, one can begin to understand the potential of this great site and why it keeps getting 100 point scores!

Pichon Longueville

“A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, the 2023 Pichon-Longueville Baron is a terrific effort from this estate, unwinding in the glass with aromas of crème de cassis, dark berries, pencil shavings, cigar wrapper, violets and burning embers. Medium to full-bodied, layered and textural, it's deep and concentrated, with sweet structuring tannins and a long, resonant finish. The charm and vibrancy of the vintage lends this considerable appeal, without effacing Pichon Baron's more serious, Cabernet-driven personality."95-97/100, William Kelley, Wine Advocate

“The 2023 Pichon Baron was picked September 12 until October 4 and matured in 70% new oak. Now, this is a conspicuous level up over the Les Griffons. Perhaps the quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon, comprising 80% of the blend, exaggerates the difference between the two cuvées. It seems to gain intensity with each swirl of the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins that frame the graphite-infused black fruit. It’s very focused, fresh and quite sapid in the mouth, with a subtle strictness that codifies this as Pichon Baron. The 2023 is a quintessential Pauillac that will age gracefully over the next 30 or 40 years. It reminds me a little of the 2019. Classic "P.B."”94-96/100, Neal Martin,


“The 2023 Pavie was picked from September 18 to October 5 at 32.76hL/ha, with some Cabernet Franc actually picked after the Cabernet Sauvignon. Raised in 72% new French oak plus one-year-old barrels, this has a very well-defined and fresh bouquet that articulates the terroir with some style. It is completely different from the Pavie wines I tasted at the estate 10 to 15 years ago—more classical and sophisticated. The palate is medium-bodied with a clean and precise entry. It's lightly spiced with a subtle marine influence—shucked oyster shells and seaweed are embroidered through the black fruit. There's a dash of black pepper toward the finish that remains focused and feels long in the mouth. This is an excellent Pavie in the making.”95-97/100, Neal Martin,

“The depth and intensity is really out of this world. The richness is there, but it's all in balance and has an almost weightless feel to it. It's medium- to full-bodied with purity and definition, and the magic of limestone soils keeps the pH low, giving energy, bright acidity and verve. Terrific young red. 51% merlot, 32% cabernet franc and 17% cabernet sauvignon."99-100/100, James Suckling,

“The 2023 Pavie is deep garnet-purple in color. It needs a few moments of swirling to unlock scents of blueberry pie, cassis, and preserved plums, eventually giving way to a gorgeous perfume of violets, star anise, cedar chest, and iron ore. The medium to full-bodied palate shimmers with bright, fresh black fruit layers, framed by firm, ripe, rounded tannins and Pavie's signature tension, finishing very long and very fragrant. This is breathtaking! The blend is 51% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, with pH 3.66.”98-100/100, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent

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