Chateau Pichon Lalande is one of the best examples of Bordeaux wine from Pauillac. Sensuous textures, deep concentrated layers of ripe fruit and a perfume filled with earth, tobacco and cassis are what you’ll find in Pichon Lalande.
Pichon Longueville and Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande were originally one huge property. When Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville died in 1850, his estate was split between his two surviving children, Raoul and Virginie. Raoul’s part became Château Pichon Longueville, while Virginie’s became Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande.
Edouard and Louis Miailhe, descendants of an old Bordeaux family of vineyard owners and wine brokers, bought Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in 1925. May Eliane de Lencquesaing, Edouard’s daughter, inherited it in 1978 and ran it with great devotion and rigour for 30 years, during which time it gained international renown. Finally, in 2007, eager to ensure the continuing success of the estate in the future, she decided to sell it to another family firm, the Louis Roederer Champagne house.
Most common varietal blend of Chateau Pichon Lalande:
- 61% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 32% Merlot
- 4% Cabernet Franc
- 3% Petit Verdot
The terrace of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande offers a magnificent view of the vineyards of Pauillac and Saint-Julien and the Gironde Estuary. The vines lie mainly in Pauillac, yet 11 of its 86 hectares are actually in Saint-Julien. Pichon Comtesse is Château Latour’s neighbour and, like the illustrious Premier Cru, has poor soil of gravel mixed with clay, which benefits from excellent drainage. Poor, yet ideal, since the vine needs hardship if it is to produce good wine, and its roots must plunge several metres down in the quest for nutrition.
An unusually high percentage of the vineyard is planted with Petit Verdot, which brings freshness and great aromatic complexity to the wine.
In very sunny years such as 1982, 1986, 1989 and 1990, in which the grapes reach excellent maturity, it has a remarkable influence. Since Roederer took over the estate, major work on restructuring the 78-hectare vineyard has been undertaken. Thorough studies of the soils and sub-soils have produced very detailed mapping of the many different plots and better knowledge of the terroir. A replanting programme has been launched to ensure varieties and their root stocks are best suited to the type of soil.
FOOD PAIRINGS AND SERVING
Chateau Pichon Lalande is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. It is best paired with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.
WINE TASTING NOTES
The wine is seductive when young without prejudicing its longevity. As well as an oaky flavour imparted by new oak barrels, the wines show inimitable aromas of tobacco, violets, blackcurrant and ripe fruit, and also hints of pencil lead, which help the taster single out Pauillacs from the other Médoc appellations.
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