As we now move into the heart of the campaign today we have the release from one of the great terroirs in Pauillac, Ch Pichon Baron. This great chateau has long been a Goedhuis favourite and that position was reaffirmed by the exceptional ten vintage tasting recently held at the Tower of London; they really are making wonderful wines.
The Chateau is now run for the owners by Englishman Christian Seely and the Grand Vin only comes from fruit grown in the original parts of the vineyard, alongside Latour and Léoville Las Cases.
The 2014 was on fine form throughout the En Primeur tastings, combining a lovely balance of rich, ripe sweet fruit with a refreshingly lifting finish. It is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, almost identical to 2010 and James Suckling suggests “this could be a remake of the 2010 but fresher. 95/96”. David Roberts MW rates the 2010 as “being of 1st Growth quality”.
We are recommending it wholeheartedly.
2014 Ch Pichon Baron 2eme Grand Cru Classé Pauillac
£645.00 per 12 In Bond (available as a six pack at £323 per 6 In Bond)
Dense opaque colour, this is full of opulent black cherry aromas and hints of vanilla and cocoa. There is a real feeling of volume, richness and sweetness of fruit. Under Christian Seely’s expert stewardship this great Château only selects its very best fruit from its ridge of vines alongside Latour and Léoville Las Cases for its grand vin. The class of fruit really shines through in this excellent 2014. Concentrated and juicy, with a very long, lasting finish. Drink: 2024-2035
Score: 92-94. David Roberts MW
The Château Pichon Baron 2014 is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, almost the same as 2010. It was picked between late September and 16 October. It has a tightly wound bouquet at the moment, very “contained” and not as flamboyant as say, the 2009 or the 2010 at this early jucture. But there is remarkable precision here – an aristocratic nose with fleeting glimpses of cedar and pencil lead. The palate is medium-bodied. The acidity is quite noticeable although the pH is 3.8, higher than you would have expected. There is certainly a lot of body and structure (IPT came in at 91) with a precise, almost stoic, graphite finish. If the disappearance of Château Latour from en primeur is getting you down then this will fill that gap nicely. Drink: 2020-2045.
Score: 92/94 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (218)
A fabulous young wine with superb depth of fruit and density that shows blueberries, blackberries, oyster shells and stones. Full-bodied, chewy yet with a laser-guided backbone of tannins. Goes on for minutes. Concentrated yet so fine and beautiful. The tannin content analysis is the same as 2009 and 2010 apparently from the winemakers, but the tannin quality is better. Amazing. This could be a remake of the 2010 but fresher.
Score: 95/96 James Suckling
Features a solid core of dark plum and blackberry fruit, backed by judicious toast that allows tobacco and loam hints to emerge in end. This picks up steam through the finish, showing ample base notes.
Score: 92-95 Wine Spectator
Dark red cherry, plum, cedar, smoke and cinnamon are some of the notes that meld together in the 2014 Pichon-Longueville Baron. One of the rounder, more supple wines from this sector of the Médoc, today, the 2014 appears to be a wine that will drink well with only a handful of years in the cellar. The soft, seamless finish is quite striking, but there is plenty of tannin lurking beneath, it is just buried by the fruit. Technical Director Jean-Rene Matignon adds that the tannin levels are the same as 2010, although that would be nearly impossible to ascertain on taste and feel alone. In 2014, the blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. Overall, this is a very stylish Pichon-Baron distinguished by the great purity of its fruit.
Score: 91/94 Antonio Galloni, vinousmedia.com
This is a very smoky, rich, plush, oaky and spicy Pichon Baron with a deep garnet core and very complex nose. The tannin index (IPT) registers 93, which is similar to 2010 and I think it is only a nudge off the quality of the 2010 in every respect. Perhaps it is a little less profound than the 2010 but it is still very rich and luxurious. With rose petal and violet notes leading the way and racy acidity underpinning the finish, this is a keenly packaged wine, too. I have no doubt that it will blossom into a stunning creation and this is thanks to the fabulous blocks of old vine Cabernet Sauvignon which make up the heart of this wine.
Score: 18+ Matthew Jukes
Score: 94 Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com