The 2006 Pichon Lalande is strikingly more Margaux than Pauillac in style. This is no doubtpartially due to the fact that no Cabernet Franc or Petit Verdot was included in the final blend as they are in most years. Plus, their new consulting oenologist, Hubert de Bouard de Laforest of Château Angélus in St. Emilion, may be having an impact. Rich and velvety with an ample palate, it is polished and round. Finishes on clean ripe notes of strawberry and plum. Tasted twice withconsistent notes.
The 2006 Pichon Lalande, which blows away the 2005, represents a return to the velvety-textured, rich, sexy style most readers would associate with Pichon Lalande. This blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon and 36% Merlot no Petit Verdot was included in the final blend exhibits a dense purple color as well as abundant aromas of chocolate, coffee, cedar, black currants, and a subtle touch of smoke, a rich, savory, full-bodied mouthfeel, plump, fleshy fruit, and a superb finish. This is a 21st century version of the brilliant 1996. Drink: 2013 - 2030
Pichon Lalande's new owner, the Roederer champagne firm, appears to have produced one of the finestPichon Lalandes made in recent years. Administrator Thomas Do-Chi-Nam, assisted in 2006 by consultant Hubert de Bouard, declared only 41% of the production as the grand vin, resulting in a wine that should rival both the 2003 and 2000. The final blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon and 36% Merlot was cropped at 41 hectoliters per hectare. This gorgeous wine represents an updated version of the 1996. It boasts a dense purple color as well as a beautiful nose of espresso roast, chocolate, creme de cassis, cedar, and spice. Full-bodied and powerful with high tannin, an attractive mouthfeel, and a multilayered texture, it will be a backward-styled Pichon Lalande, but it is significantly better than the 2005, recalling some of the finest vintages produced over the last 20-35 years. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030+.
No Petit Verdot in the blend, unusually. A little weak at the rim. Otherwise dense crimson. Slight brûlée note on the nose and then a bit angular. Very chewy and muscular. A bit awkward really with some slightly green notes. Lots of chew and bite. Not graceful, not sure this vintage suits this property. A bit skinny.
This estate was once merged with neighbouring Pichon Baron to form a much larger domaine. Due to inheritance problems, it was split in 1850 between only two children - one being Virginie de Lalande née de Pichon Longueville. The Lalande family sold the property in 1925 to Edouard and Louis de Miailhe. It remained in their family until Edouard's daughter, May Eliane de Lencquesaing,sold it earlier this year to Louis Roederer.
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac's renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac's wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.