2020 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, Bordeaux

2020 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Product: 20208009157
 
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2020 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 77%, Merlot 17%, Cabernet Franc 6%

The position of Pichon Comtesse so close to the Gironde was a real benefit this year. The wine is more classically proportioned than some, with more Cabernet Sauvignon than in 2018 or ’19. There are layers of cassis, black cherry and blueberries, intertwined with graphite and wet slate. The palate shows a little star anise, menthol and earth, tightly wound around a core of fresh blueberry fruit. This is complex and suave; it was a standout wine in our UK tastings.

Drink 2028-2050
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Critics reviews

Jane Anson96/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous95-97/100
Neal Martin, Vinous96-98/100
Wine Advocate95-97/100
Jancis Robinson MW18/20
James Suckling97-98/100
Jeb Dunnuck98-100/100
Michael Schuster94-96/100
Jane Anson96/100
Softer and silkier than many Pauillacs in the vintage, this is a clear success. Hugely silky and seductive, with grip, power and finesse. One of the best of the appellation, with finessed tobacco, heather and plump blueberry and cassis fruit, expertly managing the low 30hl/ha yield. 60% new oak. Tasted twice.

Drink from 2030 to 2048

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous95-97/100
The 2020 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is holding so much in reserve. Tightly wound and not fully expressive, the 2020 is going to need at least a few years to come out of its shell. Bright acids and persistent tannins give the 2020 a super classic, mid-weight feel. I very much like the wine's persistence. Readers will have to be patient with the 2020. The exuberance of some recent vintages is not present today. The blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc, which means a touch more Cabernet Sauvignon than in recent years, and quite a bit more than in the past. Harvest ran from September 7 to October 1, which is about ten days earlier than normal. In the cellar, Estate Manager Nicolas Glumineau opted for light extractions, with minimal pumpovers of just one volume of wine per day, at no more than 25 degrees Celsius. Time on the skins was 21 days, pretty much the norm these days. Tasted two times.

Drink from 2032 to 2060

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous96-98/100
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.

Drink from 2027 to 2055

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate95-97/100
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.

Drink 2026 - 2050

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW18/20
Cask sample. Bright crimson hue. Generous, vineyard-nuanced fruit on the nose with complex cassis and graphite notes. Fruit equally generous on the palate, backed by an abundance of fine tannin. Lots of drive and persistence. Punchier and more masculine in style than 2019. Definitely one for the cellar.

Drink 2028 - 2045

James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling97-98/100
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.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck98-100/100
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.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster94-96/100
Inky black-red; a dense, core of raw blackcurrant at the heart of the dense “gravelly” aromas; full of subtle, complex promise; immediately rich and generous and taut and contained, a concentrated, effortless blend of superfine dry tannins, close-knit flesh, and freshly carrying acidity; deep and very “Pauillac,” mouthcoating without any sense of excess, great tenacity and complexity of flavor and with splendid, aromatic, gravelly length. An imposing baritone performance (appropriately enough, as a baritone was Nicolas Glumineau’s initial career). Magnificent wine. First-growth quality

Drink 2032 - 2050

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

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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