The history of Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron is a tale of two estates. The chateau and vineyard known as Pichon Baron was given in dowry to the founder’s daughter when she married Jacques du Pichon Longueville. After the death of their descendent, the Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville, in 1850 the estate was again divided - on his deathbed, he gave what became Chateau Pichon Baron to the men of his family, and what became Chateau Pichon Lalande to the women - resulting in, some say, more masculine and sensuous styles of wine respectively!
Between the 1960’s and the 1980’s, the estate went through a period of rather lacklustre production - however, since 1990, they have been producing, according to many, some of the best wines in their history. The 2016 has earned high praise and glowing comparisons to their legendary 1990 Pichon Baron.
An estate that has been on fire of late, the 2020 Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse De Lalande is another brilliant wine in a succession of brilliant wines. Revealing a dense purple hue as well as full-bodied aromas and flavors of blac currants, scorched earth, tobacco leaf, and violets, it hits the palate with an expansive, rich, yet pure, precise texture that carries fabulous tannins, perfect balance, and a stacked mid-palate. Based on 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc, it's an incredible wine that's going to flirt with perfection and is unquestionably one of the finest, if not the finest, Left Banks in the vintage. Bravo. Tasted twice.
(98-100) points, JebDunnuck.com (May 2021)
The 2020 Pichon-Lalande has a backward nose similar to that of its neighbor Pichon-Baron, and so I decanted the bottle for 45 minutes. It then revealed gorgeous scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow, seaweed (Japanese nori) and wild mint. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and gentle but insistent grip. Very intense but not ripe; there is a coolness about this Pauillac that I like, while the finish is very classically styled and leaves behind a persistent, slightly briny aftertaste. This is a magnificent, cerebral Pichon-Lalande that will deserve serious aging and the patience of anyone still waiting for The Cure's new album. Tasted three times, including directly from the château.
(96-98) points, Vinous (May 2021)
This is extremely structured, but with a level of polish and refinement that highlights the excellence of the terroir. Very long and expansive on the palate, showing class and beauty. Powerful.
(96-97) points, JamesSuckling.com (April 2021)
Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande begins on a single, well-defined, wonderfully pure note of ripe blackcurrants, opening out to a melody of redcurrant jelly, kirsch, ripe blackberries and tar, with emerging suggestions of dark chocolate, cardamom, ground cloves and violets, with a waft of black truffles. Medium-bodied, tightly wound and with loads of fantastically nuanced black fruit layers, it has a rock-solid frame of finely grained tannins and bags of freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. The blend this year is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc.
(95-97) points, Wine Advocate (May 2021)
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.