2011 Ch. Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac

2011 Ch. Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac

Product: 20118009157
Prices start from £1,300.00 per case Buying options
2011 Ch. Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac

Description

Louis Roederer acquired this venerable estate recently and under the guidance of Director Sylvie Cazes the changes are already evident.

Historically Pichon had about 30-35 % Merlot in its blend which partly accounted for its lush texture and enticingly soft aroma. This year, however, there is much more focus on the Cabernets, which together account for 90% of the blend. The team clearly feel that the quality this year lies with the Cabernets and the tasting confirms this impression. The bouquet shows amazingly purity with the focus on cassis and graphite. On the palate the tannins are staggeringly fine, indicative of a very delicate touch in vinification to avoid extraction of excessive or bitter tannins. Overall the impression is of great purity, freshness and elegance. The lack of Merlot means that the wine is not very fleshy at this stage but it will undoubtedly put on weight in barrel and I have no doubt that this will prove to be a Pichon of exceptional finesse with great ageing potential.
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About this WINE

Chateau Pichon Lalande

Chateau Pichon Lalande

Château Pichon-Longueville Lalande is one of the most important Super Seconds and this 2ème Cru Classé Pauillac estate has made tremendous strides in the last 20 years. This is largely due to the energy, drive and ambition of May-Eliane de Lenquesaing, who took over the property in 1978.

Pichon-Longueville Lalande is a 75-hectare property that produces on average 36,000 cases per year. Located in the east of the Pauillac appellation, the vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 45%, Merlot 35%, Cabernet Franc 12%, Petit Verdot 8%) lie on deep gravel beds underpinned by clay and then sandstone and limestone (part of these vineyards actually reside in the St-Julien appellation). The wine is fermented in stainless steel cuvées and then matured in oak barriques (50% new) for 18 months.

Pichon-Longueville Lalande is not as powerful or as tannic as some its Pauillac neighbours and this is mainly because of its relatively high Merlot content. In the best years, it is one of the most exotic and voluptuously scented wines of the Médoc. At least a decade of cellaring is required before the wines should be approached.

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Pauillac

Pauillac

Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.

For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.

Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.

Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.

Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.

Recommended Châteaux
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate89/100
Wine Spectator 92-95/100
Decanter17.5/100
Stephen Tanzer

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate89/100
The dark ruby/plum-colored 2011 Pichon Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande is an elegant, suave, medium-bodied effort with abundant black cherry and red and black currant fruit. Nearly St.-Julien-like in its texture and personality, this is a well-made, finesse-styled Pauillac to drink over the next 10-15 years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 30/04/2014 Read more
Wine Spectator 92-95/100
This has good intensity, with a very lively core of kirsch, steeped blackberry and dark currant flavors supported by lots of pain d'épices and licorice snap on the finish. Shows drive and length.
Wine Spectator's 2011 Top-Scoring Red Bordeaux
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 5, 2012 Read more
Decanter17.5/100
Very fine expression of Cabernet cassis, lovely refreshingly lifted fruit, great elegance and charm and hidden power to last.
Decanter - Bordeaux 2011 coverage - April 2012 Read more
Stephen Tanzer
The dark ruby/plum-colored 2011 Pichon Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande is an elegant, suave, medium-bodied effort with abundant black cherry and red and black currant fruit. Nearly St.-Julien-like in its texture and personality, this is a well-made, finesse-styled Pauillac to drink over the next 10-15 years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - Wine Advocate - Issue#212 - Apr 2014 Read more