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  • Country ranking ?

    492
  • Producer ranking ?

    8
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    Now
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

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The Story

Château Pichon Longueville de Lalande is ideally situated between the Gironde estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. The variety of parcels of land, due to the elements of the earth and their encepagement explains the complexity of the personality of the wines of Pichon. Since the end of the 1970's, the reputation of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande has acquired the status of a "super second" and a "nearly first", in light of the consistency of its quality.

The unique encepagement and the twelve hectares of vines situated on the soils of St Julien endow the wines of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande with an exceptional personality compared with the other crus of the Pauillac appellation. Complexity, elegance and longevity are the hallmarks of this race, they are found every year during the creation of the vintages..

The nose is distinguished by a bouquet of aromas, mixing blackcurrant and violet, vanilla and cinnamon. In the palate, the tannins appear mature and melted, revealing a strong and affirmed structure, a surprising suppleness, perfect harmony and long persistency. The wine is seductive when young without prejudicing its longevity. James Laubé of the Wine Spectator baptised Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, "A First Class Second Cru", a most fitting tribute...

 

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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Wine Information

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande



Château Pichon Longueville de Lalande is ideally situated between the Gironde estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. The variety of parcels of land, due to the elements of the earth and their encepagement explains the complexity of the personality of the wines of Pichon. Since the end of the 1970's, the reputation of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande has acquired the status of a "super second" and a "nearly first", in light of the consistency of its quality.


History
1686-1689
The archives record the creation of a property by Pierre de Mazure de
Rauzan, a great name in the history of Bordeaux wine. Thérèse, the founder's daughter, received it as dowry when she married Jacques de Pichon Longueville, the first President of the Parlement de Bordeaux. Thus began the history of one of the greatest Bordeaux vineyards.
1850
The Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville’s children Raoul and Virginie inherited the property. After a period of several years during which the property was administered by the Baron Raoul de Pichon Longueville, the rupture was effective. From then on the lands of Pichon Longueville would have two very different futures.
Anticipating this indivision, Virginie married Count Henri de Lalande,
and took over the control of the domain, the Count giving her independence and the title of Comtesse de Lalande. Her passion for vines and the quality of her management made her a strong personality in the Médoc in the last century, leaving her mark on the domain that has kept her name. In 1855 the Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande acquired the status of Second Cru Classé.
1900-1925
In 1920 the vineyards were auctioned. Edouard and Louis Miailhe, descendants of an old Bordeaux family of Vineyard owners and wine dealers, bought the Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in 1925.
1978-today
May Eliane de Lencquesaing, the daughter of Edouard Miailhe, became the
owner and administrator of the Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de
Lalande. She quite naturally revived the tradition of the Comtesse de
Lalande, personally overseeing the management of the family domain with
her passion for wine and strict management.

Vineyard soil: gravel on top of clay

Production area: 75 ha

Grape varieties: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% of Cabernet Franc, 8% of Petit Verdot

Harvest method: hand picked

Winemaking: fermentation in thermoregulated stainless steel tanks

Ageing: 18 months in 50% new oak and 50% one year old oak barrels


Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
33250 Pauillac - France
Tél. 05.56.59.19.40 - Fax. 05.56.59.29.78
Email : pichon@pichon-lalande.com
www.pichon-lalande.com

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Vintage 1961

1961 - the greatest Bordeaux vintage of all time?

I am writing this during the primeur campaign and I notice that Bordeaux château owners and merchants have been exceptionally quiet this year. I've been following this part of the market remotely for almost 30 years now and have been told about a lot of the "vintages of the century". Once wines are bottled and sold or vice versa, as is the case in Bordeaux, these claims tend to be changed.

Who are the serious contenders for the title of “The Greatest Vintage Ever”?

During the 19th century there were a number of vintages with great reputations made from pre-phylloxera vines. These include the legendary "Vintage Comet" 1811, 1864, 1865, 1870, 1893, 1895 and 1899. Most are too old for anyone now alive to have tasted them in their prime.

During the 20th century, claims were raised for the vintages 1900, 1921, 1929, 1945, 1947, 1949 (by me), 1959, 1961, 1982, 1989 and 1990.In the current century already three of the eight vintages produced – 2000, 2003 and 2005 – were mentioned by an overly excited press as candidates for the title, as well as the superb duo - 2009 and 2010.

In the book “The 1,000 Best Wines Ever Made” 1961 is the Bordeaux vintage most often mentioned, with 22 châteaux. 1945 is mentioned 19 times, 1947 16 times, 1982 14 times and 1959 13 times.

What is the definition of a great wine?

It’s a wine that has an extra dimension giving you an unforgettable drinking experience – in other words, a “Wow!” effect. ". It is a wine that has a long drinking life. It should be good to drink young, but it should also be able to age for a long time without losing its appeal. A good vintage produces wines that meet these requirements.

A great vintage, however, is equally good in all major regions of Bordeaux, both on the left bank and the right bank. It’s also a vintage where something special was produced in every appellation, from the lowest Cru Bourgeois to the most powerful Premier Cru.

1961 meets these requirements better than any other vintage.

This was the vintage where the most incompetent winemaker simply couldn't make a bad wine and the wines drank very well at an early stage; In most cases, they still do this today.

Some extremely impressive wines were produced in 1945, but these came primarily from the Left Bank and many of the wines had excessively high tannin levels, making them increasingly dry as they aged.

1947 produced the most amazing Right Bank wines, but many Left Bank wines had problems with volatile acidity.

1959 has produced a number of wines that are on the same level and sometimes even a bit higher than the corresponding '61, and some experienced wine critics like Michel Bettane prefer 1959 to 1961. But 1959 does not have the same consistent quality at all levels.

1982 undoubtedly produced a lot of very impressive wines but I have the impression that the Right Bank wines lack structure and have not aged very well and that very few Margaux and Médoc wines have had a great success. The twin vintages of 1989 and 1990, or 2009 and 2010 may come closest in overall quality, but it is still too early to judge their aging capabilities.

 

What made 1961 so special?

It was a very small harvest, the smallest since World War II. This was partly due to coulure (cold weather at flowering) and in some parts due to frost on the night of May 30-31, together reducing the yield per plant to about a third of the usual size at that time. period (which, compared to today's harvests, seems tiny). This concentrated the minerals and power of the vine among the few remaining grapes and was the reason for the success of minor châteaux, which would normally produce much higher yields than would be good for their wines.

August and September were hot and extremely dry. This drought meant that maturation took longer than the 100 days usually prescribed. The harvest was delayed until September 22, but benefited from perfect conditions. Thanks to better aging techniques, winemakers avoid the harsh tannins of 1945 and the volatility of 1947. The wines have a very deep color, an attractive nose and a ripe, concentrated and full-bodied fruitiness, with sufficient tannins and acidity to give the wines structure and freshness.

I organized a large tasting of over sixty years from 1961 to 1989 and all the wines were very good, even from small châteaux

 

 

 

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Tasting note

color

Full, Ruby red and Healthy

ending

Long, Lingering and Gentle

flavors

Blackcurrant, Mint, Cigar-box, Leather, Cedar and Blackberry

nose

Ripe and Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, Perfectly balanced, Well-structured, Balanced, Medium-bodied, Ripe, Elegant, Harmonious and Silky tannins

Verdict

Outstanding and Full-bodied

Written Notes

Colour: Moderately deep garnet red with orange hue
Nose: Very elegant, spices, mint, soy, cigax box and cassis
Palate: Medium-bodied, vivid acidity, silky tannins, ripe fruitiness
Finish: Harmonious and elegant with leather and mocha flavours
In a word: Pure elegance
Buy or not? Yes, not the greatest Pichon-Lalande by no means but value for the money
Tasted: 9 times (Last time 2008)
Decant time: 1 h
Glass time:  2.5 h
When to drink: 2015
Food pairing: Duck confit
Fake factor: Moderately high
Inside information: Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande has tradition of hand picking during the harvests. Every year more than one hundred people - often the same old families from Andalusia - pick the grapes in accordance with their maturity and the age of the parcel of land.
Or try this: Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 1953
Final verdict: For this quality and at this price one of the finds of Bordeaux 1961s

  • 97p

This is the first time that I tasted the 1961 Pichon-Lalande. It has plenty of fruit and presence on the nose with blackberry, raspberry, brown spices and cedar. For me, it does not possess the complexity of subsequent vintages such as 1982 or 1989, yet there is wonderful purity here. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte tannin, a wonderful line of acidity and a silky smooth texture. This is a harmonious and sensual Pichon-Lalande, maybe not the most profound in terms of complexity that I have tasted, yet a complete joy at 58-years of age. Tasted at the vertical tasting at the château.

  • 92p
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Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux
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