The 2022 Réserve de la Comtesse represents half the total production from the vineyard due to a stricter selection of the Merlot. It has a perfumed, floral bouquet with blueberry, violet and light cassis scents. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins. Very sensual with touches of graphite and espresso toward the harmonious finish. You could almost drink this now!
Drink 2025 - 2040
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Réserve de la Comtesse is fabulous. Vibrant and impeccable in its balance, the 2022 is so impressive, mostly because of its balance. In some recent years the Réserve has been quite potent, but the 2022 leans more into the realm of sophistication, and polish. Hints of dark-fleshed fruit, licorice, lavender and spice linger. Don't miss it. Tasted four times.
Drink 2028 - 2040
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Pichon Comtesse Reserve is made from 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant scents of juicy black plums, blackberry pie, and boysenberry preserves, plus hints of black cherries, cedar chest, and lavender.
The medium to full-bodied palate coats the mouth with perfumed black fruit preserves, supported by plush tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on an earthy note. pH 3.8.
Drink 2027 - 2049
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent (May 2023)
Fully ripe fruits, smoky and creamy character with charred raspberry and cassis, violet-edged, pencil lead, bitter chocolate, cocoa dust. An impressive wine, tannins close in a little tightly on the finish, with dried rosemary and black pepper spicy translating the heat of the vintage. 31hl/h yield, 3.65ph.
Drink 2027 - 2040
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
Like a number of second wines from the best classified growths, the 2022 Resèrve de la Comtesse shares much of the personality of the grand vin this year, delivering aromas of blackberries, violets and exotic spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, supple and fleshy palate with a rich core of fruit framed by powdery tannins.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
The density of fruit is serious with blackcurrants, black berries, crushed stone and coffee beans. Yet it’s not heavy and overdone. The palate is full and rich, but also agile and weightless, with tannins that are spread and pretty.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
The second wine of Comtesse de Lalande, the 2022 Pichon Comtesse Réserve is based on 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc. Ripe black and blue fruits as well as some chocolaty, tobacco nuances define the aromatics, and it's a rich, full-bodied, velvety textured second wine that's going to drink brilliantly right out of the gate.
This is well worth seeking out. Tasted twice.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
Château Pichon Comtesse
Château Pichon Comtesse is an estate in Pauillac on the Left Bank of Bordeaux. The estate was ranked a Second Growth in Bordeaux’s 1855 classification, and belongs to an unofficial group referred to as “Super Seconds”.
It is located in the southern part of the Pauillac appellation, just next to Château Latour and a short distance from the border with St Julien. The attractive château building here is visible from the D2 road as you approach Pauillac from the south, on the opposite side of the street from Château Pichon Baron. The two neighbours were once part of one larger estate, which was divided in two in 1850. From 1978 until the mid-2000s, Pichon Comtesse was managed by Madame May-Eliane de Lencquesaing, one of the most prominent women in Bordeaux history.
Today, the estate belongs to the Rouzaud family, owners of Champagne Louis Roederer. The estate, which currently has 80 hectares of vines, is managed by talented winemaker Nicolas Glumineau. Nicolas and his team also manage Château de Pez, a sibling estate further north in St Estèphe.
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.