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Our Grand Vin Château Pichon Baron, classified as a 2nd Grand Cru Classé in 1855, is made with grapes from the oldest vines on the estate’s historic plots.This quintessential Pauillac offers an intense and profound sensory experience of great complexity. Château Pichon Baron exhibits elegance, intensity and exceptional length on the palate. It is a wine that improves year after year and can age for over 40 years in the cellar.
The reputation of Pichon Baron until the 1960s was superior to that of Pichon Lalande across the road, it was also placed above Pichon Lalande in the Classification of 1855. But on the death of Jean Bouteillier in 1961 its reputation began to sink. His eldest son Bertrand was still young and inexperienced and there was a lack of money for necessary investments leading to a decline in quality of the wines during the 1960s and 1970s. During the 1980s there were signs of recovery but not at the same speed as with many other properties during this time and certainly nowhere near that of Pichon-Lalande that had prospered enormously under the care of May de Lencquesaing to become one of the first "Super-seconds".
Some green harvesting work was carried out in June and July, with leaf stripping to help the development of the grapes. Some carefully-targeted thinning work was also carried out late on, at the end of August. Then, the weather became hot and sunny, providing good ripening conditions. These stable weather conditions helped the grapes along smoothly as they reached optimal ripeness and balance in the days just before the start of harvesting. The effect of the different plots of vines played its most significant role in the past decade.
The harvest began in late September with the old Merlot vines; the warm, summery weather was very favourable for picking. After picking the Merlot, we stopped the harvest from 9th to 16th October to give the Cabernet-sauvignon grapes the time to achieve perfect ripeness. Even after the strict selection of grapes in the vineyard, rigorous sorting as the grapes arrived in the chai refined the potential quality further.
In order to continue the parcellar selection carried out in the vineyard, all the small vats were used and the larger ones were only partly filled. Alcoholic fermentation soon started at a moderate rate, enabling gentle and progressive extraction during the fermenting phase to suit each different terroir. We gave priority to the subtlety of the tannins and the expression of grape varieties according to soil types. Grapes from young vines were macerated for 15 to 18 days and those from older vines for 20 to 24 days, with extractions monitored daily for flavour. Running off was finished by the end of November.