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  • Country ranking ?

    502
  • Producer ranking ?

    6
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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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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Vintage 2019

BORDEAUX 2019 VINTAGE

When I was visiting Bordeaux early March, Corona was a threat on the horizon and France has been more concerned by a strike of the air traffic control. However, I was travelling to Bordeaux and had the chance to get some first insights to the 2019 vintage. I was very much looking forward to the “en primeur tastings” which were scheduled for March 26, 2020 but the tastings were cancelled mid-March. Immediately I contacted the different associations and wineries in Bordeaux and asked for samples.

The result was a small number of wines which arrived in Essen before the shutdown of France made shipments rather difficult. These first samples of the vintage 2019 were tasted under pristine conditions to assure a fair and equal assessment of all qualities. In fact, the samples proved right the opinion of some of Bordeaux’ leading figures. Bruno-Eugène Borie from Château Ducru-Beaucaillou sees 2019 in a line with the excellent vintages of 2016, 2010, 2009 und 2005.

Henri Lurton talks about his best vintage, along with 2016, he has ever vinified at Château Brane-Cantenac. Philippe Dhalluin from Château Mouton-Rothschild asses the vintage as rich and abundant in quality and also in quantity. After some smaller crops they came back to an average production.

Emmanuel Cruse from Château d’Issan sees that 2019 has a lot in common with 2016 yet preserving more freshness. It is a very good vintage but appearing at a very difficult time on the market. In fact, the start of this vintage was very positive. Enough precipitations during winter were retained by soils like chalk and clay. Vineyards on these water retaining soils had a huge advantage in the future growing period. With exception of a wet June, the vintage has taken advantage of a rather dry climatic condition, which prevented diseases in the vineyards to a huge extend. No chance for powdery or downy mildew. Even the heat waves were not really harming the vines as rain set in, always at the last moment but still early enough to prevent massive water stress and a slow-down of the maturity. The late physiological maturity brought a lot of alcohol, but the wines show more freshness as in the previous years.

Fabien Teitgen, Winemaker of Smith-Haut-Lafitte relates this freshness to the good acidity “due to cool night temperatures during the ripening period”. This fact is also good news for white wines. „They are the big surprise “, says Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier.

At Château Coutet in Barsac, Philippe and Aline Baly were harvesting in three passes with a total of 19 harvesting days. They judge the conditions as rather ideal: “These climatic conditions have generated a harvest whose quality is indisputably present.” Same samples made their way to Essen and I have tasted them. Some more samples are announced and will hopefully arrive during the current week. There will be a weekly update of my tasting notes, whenever samples will arrive.

Unfortunately, 2019 arrives in a difficult time, the Corona virus puts the world in fear and makes trade more and more difficult. Trade berries and new customs duties create a difficult frame for this vintage. However, we should not forget one thing: there are wonderful 2019s waiting for us, wines with ageing potential and charm which will survive every crisis.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

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Written Notes

71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc. 
More leafy than most of the Pauillacs in this small selection, very much what I expect from Comtesse. Dry, firm, elegant texture, really elegant in its dry finesse. Very cassis-focused, dry and refined. (JH)

  • 90p

The 2019 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande evokes a feeling of real power and breadth, with tons of energy giving the wine drive that builds into the finish. Time in the glass brings out the aromatic intensity of the Cabernets. Dark fruit, menthol, rose petal, licorice and grilled herbs all flesh out over time. The 2019 Pichon Comtesse is a very serious wine that almost certainly has more to say than it is willing to express at this stage. Tasted two times. 95-97p

General Manager and Winemaker Nicolas Glumineau describes 2019 as a year of drought, until rains arrived at the end of July and middle of August, which were very important for the maturation of the Cabernets in mid-October. Yields were 42 hectoliters per hectare, which is typical for the château. Glumineau added that the Merlots showed a wider range of quality, while the Cabernets were more homogeneous. In tasting, I found the two wines more differentiated stylistically, which has not often been the case.

  • 97p

Pichon Comtesse – 71% Cabernet Sauvignon + 23% Merlot + 6% Cabernet Franc, 14.12% alcohol, 60% new oak. Sensual with breathtaking elegance and finesse, refined and sophisticated, long, long rows of creamy blackcurrants and cherries, spectacular complexity and length, multi-layered, noble and refined. Another magic effort from the property! 99p.

  • 99p

The 2019 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande was picked 16 September to 8 October. It has a showstopping nose: intense black fruit laced with graphite and mint. (Whisper it...it reminds me of their First Growth next door neighbor.) The palate is underpinned by very refined tannins that cradle what may well be the purest fruit you will find in this vintage. Unbelievably precise all the way through to the finish, I admit staring at my glass trying to find fault with it. Unless winemaker Nicolas Glumineau gets distracted by the new Cure album and makes a catastrophic error during the rest of its élevage, which he is not prone to doing, you are not looking at a modern-day 1982 or 2016, but something even better and more profound. Tasted from three bottles with consistent notes. 97-99p

  • 99p

Dark purple red with violet hue and almost black core. Superb nose with fine aroma reminiscent of ripe blackcurrants and hints of blackberries, mulberries in the background. Well integrated, subtle oak and hins of almost balmy spices. On the palate well balanced with excellent length and depth, ripe tannins, fine acidity, juicy fruit and delicate toasting flavour lingering in the aftertaste.

  • 96p
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Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

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