2023 Pichon Comtesse Réserve, Pauillac, Bordeaux

2023 Pichon Comtesse Réserve, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Product: 20238012788
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2023 Pichon Comtesse Réserve, Pauillac, Bordeaux

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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Storage charges apply.
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Price per case
6 x 75cl bottle
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 4 cases £201.00
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En Primeur Limited availability
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Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon; 30% Merlot; 5% Cabernet Franc; 5% Petit Verdot.

This is the 50th vintage for this, the second wine of Ch. Pichon Comtesse. Stylistically it feels very similar to the grand vin, in part due to the record-high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon. There is a charming core of blackberry, dark cherry and sweet liquorice, with a touch of pencil shavings. This is a serious, charming and very complete Pichon Comtesse Réserve that should not be missed out on. There is 30% new oak this year.

Drink 2027 - 2035

Our score: 17/20

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson93/100

The success of Pichon over recent years extends to its second wine also, and this delivers waves of cassis bud and red roses on the opening beats, followed up by vibrant raspberry and and blackberry fruits, easier drinking than the powerhouse 2022. A vintage that sees 50 years of Pichon Comtesse Reserve (once known, of course, as Reserve de la Comtesse). 55% of the production, more than usual because they were focusing so much on Cabernet for the main wine. Nicolas Glumineau director.

Drink 2028 - 2040

Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (April 2024)

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Neal Martin, Vinous90-92/100

The 2023 Réserve de la Comtesse has a lovely bouquet, discrete initially, then opening with cassis and light violet fruit. It never shouts too loudly at this early stage. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannins on the entry. There’s also a stronger graphite element than I have noticed in recent vintages, due to the higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%). This is a classically styled Réserve.

Drink 2027 - 2037

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous92-94/100

The 2023 Réserve de la Comtesse is fabulous. This is the first vintage in which Cabernet Sauvignon drives the blend, the result of extensive replanting over the years and vines that are now old enough to be used here. Among other things, that means the Réserve is more closely aligned with the Grand Vin in style, starting in the vineyard. Potent and explosive, the 2023 offers up a heady mélange of dark fruit, leather, spice, grilled herbs and lavender. It’s a stellar wine in every way. Tasted three times.

Drink 2028 - 2043

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW91-93/100

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2023 Pichon Comtesse Reserve rolls out with evocative notes of ripe black cherries, redcurrant jelly, and boysenberries plus underlying hints of wild sage, wet slate, and damp soil. The medium-bodied palate is so fresh and elegant, with gentle powdery tannins supporting the delicate black fruit flavors, finishing on a lingering mineral note. The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. This is a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon than is typical, a sign of the future since more of this variety is being planted.

Drink 2028 - 2042

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2024)

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Wine Advocate91-93/100

A terrific second wine, the 2023 Resèrve de la Comtesse wafts from the glass with a pure bouquet of blackcurrants, dark berries, lilac and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, layered and velvety, it's sensual and vibrant, with melting tannins and a deep core of cool fruit framed by polished but present tannins. This blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc marks the 50th anniversary of this second wine's production.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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James Suckling94-95/100

I like the freshness and linear character to this second wine of Pichon Lalande. It's medium-bodied with creamy and polished tannins that are fine at the end. It is linked from start to finish. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 5% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2024)

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Deep nose - lush, ripe fruit, chocolate, blackcurrants, smells sumptuous and rich but still with an element of graphite and cool minerality on the nose. Streamlined and well defined, lovely energy and focus and all in balance. Fruity with high acidity but not too sharp, not too angular. You can feel the power underneath and the minerality on top but it’s got good movement. Not so long, but it’s finessed and really easy to approach. If anything it’s a bit quiet right now, subtle and elegant, though this has structure and some firmness. Good quality. 12% press wine. Ageing 12 months, 50% new oak and 50% one year. 5% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. 3.67pH.

Drink 2029 - 2040

Georgina Hindle, Decanter (April 2024)

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Jeb Dunnuck91-93/100

The second wine of this great château is the 2023 Pichon Comtesse Réserve, which is based on 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc raised in 50% new oak and the rest in once-used oak. Notes of black cherries, currants, smoky tobacco, and graphite give it a real Cabernet Sauvignon character. Medium-bodied and balanced, with ripe tannins, it's a beautiful second wine that will evolve for 15-20 years.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2024)

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About this WINE

Château Pichon Comtesse

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.

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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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Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

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.

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