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Pichon Lalande 2012

Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Case Format: 12x75cl

Max score: 94.0

Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse De Lalande is a winery in two appellations, 74 hectares in Pauillac and 15 hectares in Saint Julien. This Deuxième Grand Cru Classé is wellknown for its subtility and finesse. 45 % of its vineyard is Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. This property is the direct neighbor of the prestigious Chateau Latour.



Neal Martin

I tasted the Pichon-Lalande three times over two weeks and it pains me to say that in 2012, the Grand Vin is not the success it ought to have been considering the percentage of Merlot in the vineyard. That is not to say that great effort was expended. There were two green harvests during the growing season which means that the yields were just 32hl/ha. The Grand Vin is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot harvested from 1 October until 18th October. They used three sorting: by hand, optical sorting and through the Ocillys de-stemmer The bouquet is a little disjointed and clearly does not possess the fruit intensity of its peers (through numerous comparisons). It just feels a little green and muted, startled by the growing season. The palate is medium-bodied with a pointed, slightly harsh tannic opening, then the wine dips where the fruit ought to be and those tannins just dominate and slightly dry out the texture on the finish. It is less Cabernet-driven than the 2011, which was 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, but I feel that had they gone further and reduced the Cabernet Sauvignon further to allow the superior Merlot to shine, it would have made a better Grand Vin. I hope to re-taste this after bottling – sometimes the Comtesse can show awkwardly en primeur and it improves in barrel, so I will bear that in mind. Tasted April 2013.

Julia Harding MW

Cedary cassis. Tight, bright and delicious. It is fresh, has plenty of fruit, but shows signs of a serious structure for longevity. (JH)


Please note the price indicated by Duty Paid shows the cost of the wine with the applicable taxes (Duty & VAT) added.
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