Here are my notes from the fantastic Pichon Baron tasting held at the Tower of London last week.
The first wine in our vertical flight of 10 vintages and what a truly sensational way to start. This is a quite brilliant Pichon Baron, highlighting its extraordinary pedigree sitting alongside the famous vineyards of Ch Latour. In my book this was a faultless wine on the night fully justifying a score of 20/20.
Deep opaque colour, there is an opulence of sweet dark berried fruits, with a fine layer of soft vanilla oak. A wine with amazing polish, but also possessing real substance of weight and texture. This has wonderful aging potential, but I fear will prove too irresistible for many and could be drunk quite young as well. 2018 – 2035
A bulkier wine than the 2010, combining stunning Pauillac power and sweet dark summer berry fruits. It has a central core of weight and fine tannic structure but never loses sight of the succulent sweet black fruits which are the very essence of the finest wines from this great vintage. 2017 – 2030
The 2008 was undoubtedly the surprise package in the line-up. The fact that it showed so well after the 09 and 10 highlights it class and appeal. A more forward style, this is fast approaching drinking. It balances blackcurrant fruit, a strong grainy tannic structure and a delicious freshness on the finish. Uplifting and very pleasurable indeed. 2015 – 2025
There is no doubting that 2005 is one of the greatest vintages of the last 50 years and this Pichon shows all the characteristics of a great wine in the making. It is in the mid-term phase of its development, between youth and maturity. There is so much density, fruit and structure, it would be criminal to drink now, but in 5 years’ time it will be starting to approach its prime. 2020 – 2035
A wine absolutely entering its prime of drinking which highlights the justifiable acclaim for the superb millennium vintage. A fine balance between dark black fruits, hints of liquorice and secondary truffle aromas and flavours. The delicious sweetness of fruit is doubly rewarding due to the natural freshness throughout the palate, providing real life and vigour to this stunning wine. An absolute pick for drinking now. Brilliant, brilliant Pauillac. 2015 – 2025
A more traditional style of Pichon and Pauillac. This has the characteristic weight and sturdy structure of the vintage. There is no doubting its masculinity, with masses of power and strong herbal secondary fruit flavours. 2015 – 2023
The appellation of Pauillac unquestionably produced some of the wines of the vintage and this delicious example highlights the appeal of the 96s to true claret lovers. Bright, fresh and lively, this balances a bite of striking currant fruits with a finely knit tannic structure. The sweet finish of truffles and wild mushrooms contribute to its distinguished personality. Long and classy. 2015 – 2020
Following the open 1996, this wine was a little more closed and reserved. With lots of power and weight, there is a very appealing broadness and a sensation of full ripe fruits, which coat the bulky tannins. This has potential to age for many more years, and the lovely sensation of sweetness on the finish, provides additional levels of complexity and class. 2015 – 2025
This vintage was always hailed as one of the most appealing of recent times and this gorgeous 1990 is no exception. Sweet, juicy and fully mature, with a fine velvety texture, this is a wine at its best with hints of silkiness on the finish. Stunning. 2015 -2020