2022 Château Pichon Baron, Pauillac, Bordeaux
The 2022 Pichon Baron was picked 8 September to 3 October and matured in 70% new oak. It has wonderful precision on the nose, with intense blackberry and bilberry fruit, crushed stone and graphite. The oak is seamlessly integrated.
The palate is tensile right from the start. Taut and linear, fresh, quite saline with a nuanced touch of black pepper toward the finish. Real pedigree and sophistication here, this is a magnificent Pichon-Baron that achieves a new level of precision thanks to the more piecemeal Sauternes-inspired harvest in tandem with their new winery.
Drink 2030 - 2070
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Pichon Baron is marvelous. It continues a series of vintages that have been absolutely compelling. Bright red-toned fruit, spice, rose petal and blood orange lend considerable brightness throughout. More than anything else, the 2022 impresses with its precision and magnificent balance.
Drink 2032 - 2052
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023
The 2022 Pichon Baron, 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot, is deep garnet-purple in color. It swans out with gregarious notions of blackcurrant jelly, baked black plums, and Morello cherries, giving way to hints of lavender, cedar chest, and cumin seed plus a touch of cinnamon.
The medium-bodied palate is tightly wound with bright, bold, black and red berry layers, complemented by firm, grainy tannins and impressive tension, finishing long and savory/spicy. It will need time, but promises to be amazing.
Drink 2030 - 2067
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent (May 2023)
You are firmly wading through intense, sculpted Pauillac tannins here, gripping from the first moments with their structure and intent. Blocks of intense chocolate, slate, liquorice and black chocolate, this feels vertical and concentrated, could let more light in at this stage, but that should come over ageing.
Petit Verdot vinified in amphora, and they did a cold soak for every plot this year for the first time. 70% new barrels and 30% from barrels of one vintage.
Drink 2030 - 2047
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot. Cask sample.
Dark fruit with an edge of char and toast. Smooth attack, the tannins plentiful but suave. Lovely texture. Restrained but plenty in reserve. Ageing potential. 14.3%.
Drink 2032 - 2050
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2023)
An unusual gourmand, sensual wine from this estate, the 2022 Pichon-Longueville Baron bursts with aromas of crème de cassis, sweet dark berries, liquorice, lilac and pencil shavings. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and velvety, with excellent concentration and a relatively rich, supple profile. A blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot results from sub-block by sub-block picking and cooler than usual fermentation temperatures.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
A very structured and racy PB with blackcurrant, stone and black cherry aromas and flavors. Medium to full body with racy and fine tannins that are precise and focused. Elegance with structure. 81% cabernet sauvignon and 19% merlot.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
Beautiful fragrance, lots of fresh and ripe black and red bramble fruit - so alive and expressive on the nose with liquorice, wet stones and cedar spicing. Smooth, ample and full in the mouth, but not overly textured or plush. There’s a real refinement to the tannic structure, clearly giving the frame to the wine but detailed and precise with edges of liquorice, slate, dark chocolate, cedar and tobacco.
It balances richness, intensity and concentration with sleekness, bright acidity and a real charm to the juicy fruit. Rich and tense, just giving a hint of its potential; clearly powerful but totally seductive too.
A sublime wine in the making. Ageing 18 months in French oak, 70% new, 600% one wine.
Drink 2030 - 2047
Georgina Hindle, Decanter.com (April 2023)
I loved the Grand Vin 2022 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, based on 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot that will spend 18 months in 70% new oak. It's not the most showy or exuberant 2022, yet it shines for its incredible class, purity, and balance. It has a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated profile (no surprise) with its focused, precise, inward style that still brings stunning depth and richness.
Cassis, graphite, espresso roast, crushed stone and spring flowers are just some of its nuances, and where many 2022s are broad and mouth-filling, this stays tight, compact, and focused, with a beautiful mix of elegance, concentration, and richness. The 2022 is pulled from 48% of the total production, and it will warrant 7-8 years of bottle age and have 50+ years of overall longevity.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
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.