2020 Château Pichon Baron, Pauillac, Bordeaux

2020 Château Pichon Baron, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Product: 20208008769
 
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2020 Château Pichon Baron, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 76%, Merlot 24%

Christian Seely draws a comparison between the generosity of his Merlot this year and the small-berried, tannic but very pure Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot plays a bigger role in the blend than in 2019. The distinctions are evident in the wine, which flows across the palate on its bed of juicy Merlot, finishing quite firmly courtesy of the Cabernet Sauvignon’s tannins. At this stage, the wine is not as flattering as some, but the components are all in place. Christian is categoric: this is a great Baron.

Drink 2030-2050

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson96/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous96-98/100
Neal Martin, Vinous95-97/100
Wine Advocate95-97+/100
Jancis Robinson MW18/20
James Suckling97-98/100
Jeb Dunnuck96-98/100
Michael Schuster94-96/100
Jane Anson96/100
Intense, concentrated, rippling with power while still delivering finesse. A muscular Pichon Baron, layered with liquorice and chocolate shavings. Unmistakably Pauillac, and hugely Cabernet dominant, with savoury spice notes of grilled cumin and the same muscular, saline-backed tannins that you find in Les Griffons, just here with more definition and depth. 70% new oak for 18 months, 48% of overall production. Harvest September 14 to 30. Yields on the old vines here just above 30hl/ha.

Drink from 2029 to 2048

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous96-98/100
The 2020 Pichon Baron is utterly breathtaking, and also one of the very best young vintages I have tasted here. An exotic mélange of red cherry, mint, rose petal and blood orange comes alive in the glass. More than anything, though, the Pichon-Baron possesses remarkable energy and vibrancy that builds to an intense, beautifully focused finish. This is hands down one of the most impressive wines of 2020. Superb.

Drink from 2035 to 2055

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous95-97/100
The 2020 Pichon Baron underwent an early picking with relatively low yields. A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot, it has a very tight nose at first that demands 15–20 minute coaxing in the glass. It eventually reveals enticing blackberries, blueberries and hints of balsamic and undergrowth, all very precise; crushed rock scents surface with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, fine-grained tannins and touches of hoisin toward a dense but structured finish of unerring symmetry. Tasted from test tube sample and regular 75cl bottle.

Drink from 2028 to 2050

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate95-97+/100
The 2020 Pichon-Longueville Baron is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot aging for an estimated 18 months in French oak barrels, 70% new. The production of the grand vin represents 48% of the harvest this year. Opaque purple-black in color, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notions of blackberry pie, preserved plums and crème de cassis, plus suggestions of Chinese five spice, chocolate mint, graphite and cedar chest with a touch of violets. The medium-bodied palate is built like a brick house, featuring firm, ripe, grainy tannins and bold freshness to support the taut, muscular black fruits, finishing long and spicy.

Drink 2027 - 2052

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW18/20
Cask sample. Deep crimson hue. Powerful and reserved, the nose dark and restrained with just a nip of vanilla oak and spice. Dense, firm and persistent on the palate, a massive tannic frame heightened by acidity. Powerful and brooding. Will definitely need time.

Drink 2030 - 2050

James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling97-98/100
This young Bordeaux is totally seamless with fine, velvet-like tannins that are integrated and refined. Underlying freshness and verve. It’s full-bodied, linear and long with a compact palate.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck96-98/100
The inky hued 2020 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron checks in as a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot that spent 18 months in 70% new barrels. It's a dense, rich, powerful 2020 offering loads of pure cassis and almost blue fruits as well as full-bodied richness, a round, lush, incredibly sexy texture, sweet tannins, and ample classic Pauillac lead pencil, tobacco, and violet aromas and flavors. It's unquestionably in the same ballpark as the 2015, 2016, and 2018, and given its sweet tannins and beautifully integrated acidity, it should have some up-front appeal as well, yet still age at a glacier pace.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster94-96/100
Very gravelly behind the freshly ripe black fruit on the nose; full, vigorous, finely tannic, an ample but vital constitution; dense and deep and ripe in flavor, the dark, ripe fruit brightened by its acidity, long and even and tenacious within the currently slightly grippy tannin; an effortless, even, classic, fine Pauillac with great fruit and aroma length. Upright, ample, finely muscular Pauillac, a wine of class, scope, and effortless power. Will certainly need time to loosen up and yield and meld.

Drink 2034 - 2054

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Chateau Pichon Baron

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.

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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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