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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac 2018

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Available Thu 22nd Feb
Available Thu 22nd Feb: 5 × 75cl
Available Fri 23rd Feb: 47 × 75cl
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Deliver Fri 23rd Feb
Available Fri 23rd Feb: 5 × 75cl
Available Mon 26th Feb: 47 × 75cl
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Description & Technical Information
The estate was founded in 1689 by Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan and the vineyard acquired its name a few years later when his daughter Thérèse received it as part of her dowry on her marriage to Jacques de Pichon Longueville, the first President of the Parliament of Bordeaux. In 1850, the estate was divided amongst the five children of Baron Joseph, however only two of his children finally inherited the vineyards. Raoul took the plot destined for the two sons, while Virginie took the plot for the three daughters. From then on, the lands of Pichon Longueville would have two very different futures. Virginie married Count Henri de Lalande, giving her the title Comtesse de Lalande, and took over control of the Domaine. Her passion and the quality of her management made her a strong personality in the Médoc and she very much left her mark on the estate. In the 1855 classification Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande acquired the status of Deuxième Cru Classé.

The 89 hectares (220 acres) of this vineyard border the property of Château Latour and stretch south of Pauillac towards the Commune of St Julien, whence it gets its extraordinary charm. The exceptional character of the wines produced here is distinguished by their elegance and finesse. This is due to a harmonious balance of different grape varietals: the vineyards are made up of 35% Merlot (a very high percentage for this appellation) to give roundness and suppleness; 45% Cabernet Sauvignon to provide longevity; 12% Cabernet Franc for finesse; 8% Petit Verdot to ensure a certain freshness and aromatic complexity.

Vinification: To produce the wine of Chateau Pichon Lalande, the vinification takes place in 70, temperature controlled, stainless steel vats that vary in size that range from as small as 50 hectoliters and increase in size to 50, 70, 80, 120 and even 150 hectoliter vats. This allows for very precise fermentation work. Malolactic fermentation takes place in tank. Aged 50% new oak for 18 months.

Weather in 2018: After a cold and wet Winter, the bud break was late, around mid-April. A relatively mild April to June allowed for flowering at the end of May, marked by several storms in this period creating an unparalleled pressure of mildew. Pichon Comtesse vineyard, thankfully had little coulure and was spared hail damage. Hot and dry weather from mid-July resulted in a uniform veraison; beginning on July 28th for the Merlot, it finishes on August 14th for the Cabernet and Petit Verdot. From September 13th to October 11th, the harvest was carried out in excellent conditions and each parcel was picked at optimum ripeness.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: AOC Pauillac, Bordeaux
Grape Varieties: 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc & 1% Petit Verdot
Aging: 18 months in 60% new oak barrels
Winemaker: Frédéric Rouzaud & Nicolas Glumineau
Soil Composition: Gravel, clay and sand
Average Vine Age: 35 years
Alcohol: 14%
pH: 3.75
Drink: Now to 2040

Tasting Note: This has to be up there with one of the most seductive Comtesses on record with layers of alternating softness and concentration combined with a lot of 2016’s elegance and power. The nose on this stands out a mile, getting it right up on the podium before you even take a sip. Rich raspberries combine with peonies and curls of woodsmoke while the appellation’s signature slate, cedar, liquorice and tannic grip slowly builds up on the palate. - Tasted by Jane Anson
Chateau Pichon Longueville Overview
Expert Reviews
Neal Martin
“The 2018 Pichon-Lalande was given an hour’s decant and then observed over the next 24 hours. It has clearly retained the showstopping nose that I encountered from barrel, those same “gentle waves" of black cherries and blueberry, incense and violets lending it a Margaux-like allure. The palate is vibrant and full of tension from the start, the acidity slicing through the layers of quite plush black fruit, judiciously laced with tobacco and mint. There is a beguiling sense of harmony conveyed by this Pichon-Lalande and although there is clearly plenty of structure, the tannins are so pixelated and pliant that it might well be broachable in 4–5 years’ time. Personally, however, I would prefer to cellar it for 8–10 years (by which time I hope that the new Cure album is finally released). However long you decide to keep it tucked away, this is a quite brilliant Pauillac. 2025-2055”
Jane Anson
“This has to be up there with one of the most seductive Comtesses on record with layers of alternating softness and concentration combined with a lot of 2016’s elegance and power. The nose on this stands out a mile, getting it right up on the podium before you even take a sip. Rich raspberries combine with peonies and curls of woodsmoke while the appellation’s signature slate, cedar, liquorice and tannic grip slowly builds up on the palate.

I’ve tasted this several times with each conveying a juiciness and elegance that is quite different in style to many in Pauillac this year - it's a 98-100 for me, and I'm already looking forward to re-tasting it in bottle. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 60% new oak used. 13% press wine. 3.75pH, 88IPT – higher even than the 80IPT in 2016. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
“The 2018 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot with a pH of 3.85, an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 87 and 14% alcohol. The grand vin represents 50% of the crop this year. Deep garnet-purple colored, it charges out of the gate with bold scents of baked plums, ripe blackcurrants and wild blueberries, followed by hints of cedar chest, pencil lead, bouquet garni and charcuterie, plus a waft of lilacs. The medium-bodied palate is beautifully crafted with its seamless freshness and firm, grainy tannins supporting the compelling, finely knit black fruits and savory nuances, finishing on a lingering fragrant-earth note. This will need a good 5 years to come around and should easily cellar for another 30 years or more. Drink: 2026 - 2056”
Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2018 Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse De Lalande is a monster of a wine with an almost Château Latour-like stature and structure, offering deep, backward, slightly reductive notes of blackcurrants, crushed stone, scorched earth, lead pencil shavings, and tobacco leaf. Based largely on Cabernet Sauvignon mixed with 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, it's full-bodied, concentrated, and powerful on the palate, with masses of tannins, beautiful mid-palate density, and a great finish. As I've commented previously, the up-front, sexy style of the past (due to the larger Merlot content, I believe) has been replaced by a more regal, at times austere profile. Nevertheless, it's still its own wine and very Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in style. This 2018 is going to need 5-7 years of bottle age and will evolve for 40+ years.”
Jancis Robinson MW
“Tasted blind. Richly nuanced deep crimson. Light nose but the suggestion that there is a lot there. Gentle and subtle with a glorious combination of ripe fruit and ripe tannin with freshness. Much less chewy than many others and already approachable, which perhaps forfeits half a point. But a lovely wine for now. 14.5%
Drink 2026 – 2045”
Julia Harding MW
“71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot; 60% new oak. 35 hl/ha. Barrel sample.
Black core. Cedary cassis-leaf aroma, typically Pichon Lalande. Like the Réserve de la Comtesse, this is so gentle, charming, rounded, fresh and tender. Easy to underestimate. Extremely fine, intense but no show of power even with a long finish and even knowing that it has real depth. A gentle and surprisingly subtle beauty. (JH) 14%
Drink 2028-2038”
James Suckling
“Aromas of blackberry, dried blueberry, gravel, mocha and cigar box. Light fresh-herb undertone. It’s full-bodied with firm, ultra fine tannins and fresh acidity. Focused and minerally with a long finish. Great length. Very tight and restrained at the moment. Wait until at least 2026 to take a look.”
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