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This wine stopped us in our tracks. I was seduced by the quality, harmony and sheer class of this stunning wine! This Pichon Lalande exemplifies the supremacy of Bordeaux’s two most famous grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Merlot (23%). Beautifully perfumed with hints of violets and dark cherries. It caresses the palate with its sweetness, charm and tenderness, slowly building in energy and intensity, finishing with Pauillac drive and depth. A real highlight of the vintage with a great life ahead. This is a totally brilliant wine.
The 2017 Pichon-Lalande was picked from 7 September to 2 October and underwent a 23 day cuvaison period. It is intense on the nose, the new oak coming through a little strongly since the sample came from a new barrel, the final blend consisting of 60% new wood. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, the Cabernet Sauvignon driving this alone with layers of black fruit laced with cedar and graphite. It is a very “Pauillac” Pichon Lalande, less opulent and giving than recent vintages and more in the style of say, the 1996 or 2010. There is very good persistence on the saline finish but it is clearly a wine that is going to require more cellaring than its peers. Tasted four times in total, each time this gained more substance and density. 2022 - 2045
This barrel sample is 100% new oak, whereas the final blend will be only 60% new oak. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the 2017 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is very deep garnet-purple in color with an incredibly fragrant nose of roses, lavender and baking spices over a core of crushed blackcurrants, wild blueberries and fresh plums plus touches of iron ore and underbrush. Medium-bodied and elegant with firm, grainy tannins, it's quite taut and muscular, with lots of perfumed and mineral layers and a long finish with lingering cinnamon and anise notes.
Dark crimson with soft pink rim. Lightly leafy dark fruit. Super-smooth texture and some fruit sweetness on the mid palate. Firm, dark and elegant on the finish. Sinewy and quite supple and long even without huge intensity, showing the charm of Comtesse and still clearly revealing its Pauillac origins. A smart, elegant wine reflecting the vintage. Tannins are tender – if more serious than on the Réserve de la Comtesse – and fruit just right. (JH) Drink 2027-2042
This is a really fascinating young Pichon Lalande with a dense center palate of currants, crushed stones, salt and seashells. Really long and intense. Wonderful energy. Showing character of some of the top years of the 1980s.
The 2017 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is gorgeous, but it is also going to need time to come together. The sensuality and allure typical of so many Pauillacs is not at all evident here. A rush of dark cherry, plum, smoke, charcoal and exotic spice make a strong opening statement in a powerful Pichon Comtesse that is not ready to show all of its cards. The 2017 was incredibly reticent in several tastings, which is probably a very good thing for its long-term potential. Today, though, the 2017 is dense, powerful and closed in on itself, without the layers that define the 2014, 2015 and 2016.
If you just taste the big name Pauillacs, you would be hard-pressed to understand that 2017 has been a challenging year. This is one of my wines of the vintage, no question. It's from 21ha, biodynamically farmed, with Vincent Masson as consultant. Just a few plots further away from the river were affected by frost. The slight austerity of 2017 is evident, with a savoury quality to the fruit, but this is exceptionally good, with plenty of stunning fruit and well defined tannins. The aromatics are very refined, and the intense cassis fruit doesn't sacrifice any intensity or power. It demonstrates the energy that Comtesse has displayed so consistently in recent vintages, with gorgeous finesse and structure to the tannins. The new cellar has raised the level of Cabernet from 65% to 70+%, with 12% press wine. This is going to age extremely well. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
Very clean and firm, there is a singular theme here. The Cabernet Sauvignon is so pure and dominant that while the other varieties clearly add detail, they are lined up behind the silhouette of the Cabernet and for the time being, they have to wait to add their voices to the experience. Very satisfying and very clean, this is a wonderful expression of this property and also the vintage.
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.