Is Pichon-Lalande the single greatest value in collectible Bordeaux right now? It’s tough to argue with this price. Dunnuck called it “elegant and seamless on the palate… shines for its incredible purity and precision.”
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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.
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.
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 Grand Vin 2017 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande checks in as a rough blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc, with yields a modest 36 hectoliters per hectare. Still again in 60% new French oak, it sports a deep ruby color as well as textbook Cabernet flair in its black and blue fruits, leafy herbs, violets, and building minerality. Hitting 13.1% alcohol, it’s medium to full-bodied, elegant and seamless on the palate. It doesn’t have the weight of the 2015 but shines for its incredible purity and precision.
Barrel Sample. Certainly a fine wine, this has ripe tannins that are balanced by the fine, black fruits. With its smoky and black currant character, it has the structure for aging, as well as the attractive fruitiness of the vintage. Drink from 2024.