The 2019 Pichon-Longueville Baron was picked from 18 September to 11 October, fermented between 25-29°C and aged in 80% new oak for a planned 18 months. This year it represents just under half the production from their 73 hectares of vine. It has a very refined bouquet, perhaps a little more understated than the 2018, a more cerebral nose with predominantly black fruit laced with cedar, tobacco and a beguiling estuarine scent that becomes more prominent with time.
The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit framed by super-fine tannins that lend this a silky smooth, creamy texture. Certainly this is a rich Pichon-Baron, though it retains all the classicism you could ask for. Very fine salinity comes through on the finish with a persistent spice; after tasted that beckons you back for more. This is an outstanding Pauillac. Tasted twice with consistent notes.
Drink 2025 - 2060
Neal Martin, vinous.com (June 2020)
The 2019 Pichon-Longueville Baron is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot, harvested from the 18th of September to the 11th of October. It is being aged in French oak barrels, 80% new, for 18 months. This grand vin represents 49% of the harvest.
Very deep purple-black in color, the nose skyrockets from the glass with vibrant scents of freshly crushed blackberries, black raspberries and blackcurrant pastilles followed by perfumed sparks of fragrant earth, clove oil, lilacs, crushed rocks, molten chocolate and cinnamon toast.
Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with layer upon layer of black fruit, mineral and exotic spices, framed by beautifully ripe, finely-grained tannins and tons of freshness, finishing with a lingering soft-spoken whisper of floral and earth notions. This is an absolutely beguiling expression that is classic Pauillac and yet it is Pauillac like no other.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (June 2020)
87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot. Barrel sample. Deep purple-black to the rim. Powerful but less obviously muscular this year. Pure, precise and fragrant, the tannins plentiful but really refined. Lovely fruit and texture with a pervading freshness that persists. Length on the finish. Up with the best from this estate (2010, 2016).
Drink 2030 – 2050
James Lawther MW, Jancisrobinson.com (June 2020)
Very polished with creamy, lightly chewy tannins and layers of texture. Real cabernet sauvignon here. It’s full-bodied with pretty blackberry and blueberry character. Chocolate, too. Long, intense finish of fine, lightly dusty tannins. Tight and focused. Such finesse and class. 87% cabernet sauvignon and 13% merlot.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (June 2020)
Firm tannic grip lands you squarely in Pauillac from the first moment, with pencil lead and charcoal reinforcing the point. This is a serious Pichon Baron, carefully extracted black fruits that barely put a foot wrong, and a firm core of acidity. Takes its time to open in the glass, and will age for decades without breaking a sweat. 80% new oak. 49% of production in this wine.
Drinking 2029 - 2048
Jane Anson, Decanter.com (June 2020)
About this WINE
Chateau Pichon Baron
Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, a leading Pauillac 2éme Cru Classé estate, is one of Bordeaux's most illustrious "super seconds". In 1987 it was bought by the AXA Millésimes Group, who also own Cantenac-Brown, Petit-Village, Suduiraut.
AXA built a state of the art cuverie and chai at Pichon-Longueville Baron, while, in 2000, Christian Seely took over from Jean-Michel Cazesas as general manager. Pichon-Longueville-Baron's 73-hectare vineyard (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc, runs adjacent to that of Château Latour and lies on deep gravel beds.
The Cabernet-dominated Pichon-Longueville Baron is a more muscular, tannic and full-bodied wine than that of its neighbour across the road, Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. The grand vin is Chateau Longueville au Baron de Pichon-Longueville. The second wine is Les Tourelles de Longueville, introduced with the 1986 vintage. The best examples of Pichon-Longueville Baron have layer upon layer of unctuous, vanilla-scented, blackcurrant and cassis fruit, intermingled with cigar box and lead pencil shavings aromas. They require cellaring for at least 10 years.
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.
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.
Cabernet 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.