You are currently viewing

Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande ( Pichon Lalande) is the best second Growth Chateau in Pauillac. The style of wine Pichon Lalande is atypical of Pauillac, generous amount of Merlot in the blend with a moderate use of new oak, one can say it is a feminine Pauillac.

Originally Comtesse de Lalande was part of a large property called Chateau Pichon Longueville, since the death of Baron Joseph de Longueville Lalande in 1850, the property was divided into two Chateaux, Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron and Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Since then, Chateau Pichon Lalande stayed in the same family for more than 250 years. In 2007, May-Eliane de Lencquesaing sold the majority stake in Chateau Pichon Lalande to the owners of Champagne Louis Roederer.

Vineyard and Production

Chateau Pichon Lalande has 89 hectares of vineyards, of which 78 hectares are in production. Interestingly, 11 of the 89 hectares are actually located in the Saint-Julien appellation. However Pichon Lalande is allowed to use the grapes from their Saint Julien vineyards for their Grand Vin or their second wine. Of the 89 hectares vineyards, 61% planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot.

Picture from Vinous.

Fermentation takes place in large stainless steel tanks, wines are then aged in 50% new oak for around 18 months. Their use of new oak is relatively low compared to their neighbours like Chateau Latour (100% new oak), Chateau Leoville Las Cases (90% new oak) and Chateau Pichon Baron (80% new oak). On average 15,000 cases of Grand Vin produced.

Tasting Notes

Chateau Pichon Lalande 1982

Pichon Lalande 1982 impression – The 1982 Pichon Lalande is unusually rich and concentrated. Great style, rich and sensuous. Another league above the 1989, but 89′ arguably offers better value. Surprisingly young and opulent. Very dense, at the perfect tone to drink now. Very perfumed, polished and intense sexy aromas. Ultra balanced and one of the best examples of Pauillac. Very long finish. First growth quality! It is drinking beautifully. This wine could offer pleasure for decades. (95-98/100)

Chateau Pichon Lalande 1989

Opulent, seductive mature aromas of game, leather, tobacco and black tea, pencil shavings, blackcurrant, cassis. Very rounded on the palate, very soft tannins. Very fine finish. A good representation of Pichon Lalande. Will continue to age for a couple more years and last for a couple more decades. One of the ‘value’ Pichon Lalande vintages. (93-94/100)

Chateau Pichon Lalande 1995

Tasted double blind. Lots of new oak, youthful, great concentration, mixed fruits, cassis, extremely tannic, full bodied, slightly backward but very nicely integrated. Finish is long and fine, with oak spices and rich black fruits. Chateau Palmer? (92/100)

Chateau Pichon Lalande 1996

The 1996 Pichon Lalande is one of my personal favourite wines in Pauillac, it offered great value a few years ago, it is still not badly priced today. The 1996 Pichon Lalande is starting to open up for 3 hours in the decanter. Refined dark fruits, creme de cassis, and textured graphite. Good richness and impressive power that reminds me of the 1982 Lalande. Ripe Cabernet fruits and subtle barnyard. Quite sturdy with latent complexity. Needs more time in the decanter or more cellaring for it to reveal its full potential. (94/100)

Chateau Pichon Lalande 2003

Chateau Pichon Lalande is an outstanding second growth. Normally Pichon Lalande requires at least two decades of ageing before stepping into its drinking window, the 2003 is however something different. 2003 is a hot year across Europe, and the rich jammy-fruitiness makes it much more approachable at youth. The 2003 Lalande is nice and fruity the vintage characteristics is very easy to pick up in blind tasting. Quite elegant and subtle with ripe blackberry. Lovely! (91/100)

Chateau Pichon Lalande 2005

UNDERRATED – thank god it’s only 89/100 Parker points, so it’s still not too late to buy some Pichon Lalande at a fair price! Every bit as sexy as 96 and 89′, almost 82′ level but doesn’t have the immense concentration. Very impressive sexy Lalande, textbook Pauillac spices and stunning fruits. Layers upon layers of cassis, cedar wood, earth and some floral tones. Very young but already a beauty, a combination of elegance and freshness with supple finish. Drink from 2022+ (95/100)

Chateau Pichon Lalande 2007

A few 2007s I have tasted recently seem to have aged quite rapidly over the last year – even with ex-chateau bottles. 2007 Pichon Lalande offers good concentration without being over-extracted. At its prime, good maturity with Pauillac fruits, cedar and tobacco tones. Surprisingly it managed to show the true Pichon Lalande personality at this age with a very pleasant softness. Won’t age. So my advice is to check on your 2007s Bordeaux – especially those producers that make lightly extracted wines. (89/100)

Chateau Pichon Lalande 2008

I always find Pichon Lalande different from most Pauillac wines. In most vintages they tend to be lighter and less dense than the ambitious Pauillacs. 2008 offers an elegant styled Pauillac with good structure. Layered cassis, blackcurrants, tea leafs and graphite. Rounded tannins and balanced fruits, lovely charm. In blind tastings, Pichon Lalande doesn’t always perform well, especially if there is a highly extracted wine next to it. On its own, its freshness and intensity is very attractive. (91/100)

Chateau Pichon Lalande 2009

One of the greatest Lalande ever produced! 2009 Pichon Lalande has an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon at 75%, not the usual 50-65%. Immense concentration, a huge step from the much lighter and simpler 2008. Opulent style that reminds me of their famous 1982 vintage, very close at least. Loaded with ultra-ripe cassis, sexy floral, truffle scents. Very powerful and expressive. Ex-Chateau bottle – Very very young at this stage. No doubt it’s a long-lived wine like the incredible 1982. Drink from 2022. (95/100)

Leave a Reply