Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 2me Cru Classé, Pauillac
The grand vin of Château Pichon Baron is a 2nd Cru Classé, ranked in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855. The fruit for this wine is sourced from the oldest vines grown on those historic blocks of the Pauillac estate.
In 1850, the then larger estate was divided into two smaller estates, the other being that of Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. In 1987, Pichon Baron was purchased by AXA Insurance, adding the estate to their large wine holdings.
Pichon Baron’s 73 hectares are planted to around two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and one-third Merlot with small-holdings of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.
Yield of 35 hectoliters per hectare and a final blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc have produced a black/purple-colored 2005 boasting gorgeous intensity as well as sweet, classic creme de cassis notes interwoven with incense, camphor, and graphite. Powerful and full-bodied with abundant glycerin, high tannin, endearing freshness and sweetness, and a long, 45-second finish, this hefty (13.6% alcohol) Pauillac should be at its finest between 2012-2030+. RP Jr. 92-95
Lovely blackberry and toasted oak character follows through to a full-bodied palate, with round and juicy tannins and a long, very fruity finish. Yummy. Not sure this is up to 2003, but clearly outstanding. JS 92-94
Deep crimson. Intense cassis/ dark chocolate aromas. The palate is very sweet and plump with dark chocolate/ cassis fruit and dense chocolaty tannins. Finishes long and cedary. This is archetypal Pauillac with remarkable fruit sweetness, power and finesse. 2018-2026. AC 95-97
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.