2018 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Reserve Pauillac
"Impressive" 2nd wine from 2nd Growth Estate
"Well Worth Seeking Out" ~ Jeb Dunnuck
"Tastes More like a Grand Vin Than a Second Wine"
Same Wine-Making Team & Vineyard as $300 btl
96pt Vintage, Vinous Media
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About the Wine
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is classified as a Second Growth from the 1855 Grand Cru Classification. This is the second wine from the famed estate. Sourced from the same estate from younger vines, the Réserve was created and sold for the first time in 1973 (the label was changed from Reserve de la Comtesse in 2017 and this wine is now named Reserve).
The second wine represents between 20 percent and 50 percent of the total production of the Chateau. From the same soil, the second wine benefits from the technology and reputation of the great wine and is produced by the hands of the same winemaking team. The archives kept at Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande mention the existence of a second wine as early as the 19th century.
The average age of the vines is 35 years old. The wine was in 40% new French oak for 12 months.
2018 is an exceptional vintage and joins the prestigious list of other outstanding years like 1959, 1982, 1996, 2009, 2010,… 2019.
Tasting Notes: 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. See Critical Reviews for detailed tasting notes.
The second wine of the Château, the 2018 Pichon Comtesse Reserve checks in as 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 42% Merlot, with the balance Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Terrific classic Pauillac notes of blackcurrants, lead pencil shavings, leafy tobacco, and chocolate define this beauty, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a layered, balanced, pure character, present yet ripe tannins, and a great finish. As I wrote last year, it tastes more like a Grand Vin than a second wine. The larger Merlot component shows here compared to its more Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated big brother, and it's a much more plush, silky, sexy wine that already offers loads of pleasure. It's going to evolve for two decades and is well worth seeking out. ~94 Jeb Dunnuck
The nose is fruity, mineral, well-balanced, and offers elegance. It reveals notes of fleshy blackberry, fleshy strawberry, and small notes of fleshy red berries associated with touches of minerality, discreet hints of flowers, cardamom as well as a very discreet hint of pepper and green curry. The palate is beautifully fruity, juicy, and well-balanced and offers a good definition, gourmandize, a mineral frame as well as a fine acidulous sensation. On the palate, this wine expresses notes of fleshy blackberry, juicy cassis, and small notes of juicy/ripe raspberry associated with a touch of juicy red berries, flowers as well as discreet hints of tonka bean, tea, and spices. There is an imperceptible hint of mild tobacco and coffee on the persistence. The finish and the persistence are very slightly firm. Tannins are elegant. ~94-94 VertdeVin
Strong ruby garnet, delicate ocher reflections, broader edge brightening. Delicate roasted aromas, fine nuances of cassis and blackberry confit, a hint of nougat, an attractive bouquet. Juicy, ripe red cherries, velvety, ripe tannins, pleasant extract sweetness and freshness on the finish, mineral and persistent, good aging potential. ~93 Falstaff.
This second wine represents 41% of the crop. Composed of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Reserve de la Comtesse springs from the glass with vibrant scents of ripe blackcurrants, black raspberries and baked plums, plus suggestions of pencil lead, cedar chest, ground cloves and lilacs. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly crafted with fine-grained tannins and lovely freshness nicely framing the delicate fruit, finishing earthy. ~92 Robert Parker
The 2018 Reserve de Pichon Comtesse has undergone a discreet change of name since the 2017 vintage. What has not changed is that it's a knockout Second Label. It ladles out gorgeous scents of blackberry mixed with iodine and violets, just as it did from barrel. The palate is quite rich and generous, with saturated, pliant tannins, a very fine line of acidity and hints of graphite furnishing the finish. Give it, say, three years in bottle and you will have a delicious wine on your hands. ~91 Vinous Media
Bright and juicy, with a mix of red and black currant preserve flavors lined with notes of briar and licorice root, ending with a hint of tobacco. Not large in scale, but has good latent energy. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2028. ~90 Wine Spectator.
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