Chateau Pichon Comtesse De Lalande 2016
1 or more bottles$429.00
Antonio Galloni100 points
Neal Martin98* points
Wine Enthusiast98* points
James Suckling98 points
The 2016 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc.
"It has a very succinct bouquet, one that is almost understated at first, gradually unfolding with blackberry, cedar and graphite scents, in the vein of say the 1986 or 1996 Pichon Lalande of the past. The palate is very well balanced and what I appreciate here is that it is still as much identifiable as Pichon Lalande as it is a Pauillac and a 2016. There is that touch of roundness imparted by the Merlot, even though the Cabernet dominates the blend, surely the terroir sculpting the wine. It gently builds in intensity, maintaining freshness, a gentle but insistent grip towards the finish and a very long aftertaste." Neal Martin
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- Blue Fruits
- Red Meat
Critic Scores & reviews
"The 2016 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is every bit as regal as it has always been. Towering and spectacularly rich in the glass, the 2016 captures every ounce of potential is showed from barrel. The 2016 is a vivid, dramatically sweeping wine that will leave readers week at the knees. Beams of tannin give the 2016 soaring intensity that is matched by a host of aromas and flavors that open up in the glass. Blackberry jam, graphite, spice, menthol, licorice, pencil shavings and spice are all finely sketched in a bold, savory Pauillac that hits all the right notes. The 2016 Pichon Comtesse has been riveting on each of the four occasions I have tasted it from barrel thus far, making it easily one of the wines of the vintage. Nicolas Glumineu and his team turned out an epic Pichon Comtesse in 2016. Don't miss it!"
"Beautiful mix of power and restraint that you can almost reach out and touch. The extraction is so silky that the effect is a wine that seems endless, suspended above your palate, caressing it and teasing you to find the tannins that are very much hidden. There are some rich coffee seams that fill out on the mid-palate with cassis and ripe blackberry notes, whipped together with violets and peonies. The juicy, mouthwatering quality just keeps on coming. The blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc from yields around 40hl/ha and with an IPT of 82, 10% higher than in 2010 but you simply can't tell. This is clearly going to age and age. One of the wines of the vintage, and I am ready to be seduced. Drinking Window 2027-2050 Tasted by Jane Anson"
"The 2016 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc (compare that to the 2010 that had 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, for example--that should give you some pointers). The alcohol level is 13.32% and a pH of 3.76. I tasted from a new oak barrel and the final blend will include around 60% new wood and 40% one year old, which is something I took into account. It has a very succinct bouquet, one that is almost understated at first, gradually unfolding with blackberry, cedar and graphite scents, in the vein of say the 1986 or 1996 Pichon Lalande of the past. The palate is very well balanced and what I appreciate here is that it is still as much identifiable as Pichon Lalande as it is a Pauillac and a 2016. There is that touch of roundness imparted by the Merlot, even though the Cabernet dominates the blend, surely the terroir sculpting the wine. It gently builds in intensity, maintaining freshness, a gentle but insistent grip towards the finish and a very long aftertaste. This is probably just a notch up on the outstanding 2015 Pichon-Lalande, a Rolls Royce with a purring engine. 96-98 points. Drink Date: 2025 - 2060"
"Barrel Sample. Dense tannins and dark fruits are just a part of this wine's complex character. It is ripe, full of blackberries, yet solid, with a structure that balances the fruit. It should age extremely well; be ready be prepared to hold this for 15 years or more. 96-98 points."
"Glorious aromas of blackcurrants, blackberries and flowers, from violets to roses. Iron and rust undertones. Full-bodied, dense and very layered with loads of richness. It goes on for minutes. Reminds me of the 1986. Best in decades? Take a first look at it in 2025."
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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.
Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.
Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)
The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
Bordeaux produces some of the most highly sought after and revered wines in the world. Located close to the coast, in the south-west of France the town and is divided by the Gironde River. Wines to the west of the river are referred to as left bank, and are Cabernet dominant. To the East of the river, on the right bank Merlot is the dominant grape variety. Throughout the 57 appellations, over 10,000 wine-making châteaux grow the red grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. These are commonly blended and collectively referred to as clarets. Smaller amounts of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is also grown in Bordeaux.
In 1855, due to the high export demands of Bordeaux wines, Emporer Napoleon III requested an official Bordeaux classification system, based on market costs of the wines at the time. The Chateaux were classified in to five ‘growths’ from first growth to fifth growth and cru Bourgois. Also in 1855 The Sauternes and Barsac classification covered the sweeter wines, with Chateau d’Yquem the only Superior First Growth, followed by Premiers Crus and Deux Deuxièmes Crus.
Home to over 650 vineyards and spanning over 4,900 hectares, Bordeaux’s Médoc wine region comprises four of the most distinguished wine villages in the area: Saint-Estephe, Saint-Julien, Pauillac, and Margaux. The peninsula of Médoc is home to coastal lagoons, sand dunes, and pine forests. It is known to have formed into a peninsula over time as the Garonne and Dordogne rivers carried in large quantities of mineral rich silt and light reflective, well drained gravel, which turned out to be perfect for harvesting red wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The main aromas of the beautifully refined red wines from this area are: spices, oak, red fruit and vanilla.
The region of Médoc is divided into three areas: the Landes du Médoc, the Bas-Médoc, and the Haut-Médoc. The Landes du Médoc is located in the entire western half of the peninsula. Although there are no vineyards here, the land is still important because its pine trees protect the grape vines from the harsh cold winds blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. The Bas-Médoc( lower-Médoc) runs downstream on the estuarine side of the peninsula. The wines produced here are usually more affordable than those produced in Haut-Médoc. Haut-Médoc (upper-Médoc) is the most well-known of the three sections. The wines produced here are some of the most expensive wines worldwide and were famously ranked in The Médoc Classification of 1855, which is to this day in use.
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About the brand Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
For many wine lovers, at its best, 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.
The first mention of what we now call Chateau Pichon Lalande discusses the creation of the vineyard by Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan. Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan is the same man responsible for forming many of what are now widely considered the top Bordeaux estates of today. One owner, Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville succeeded his mother taking over Pichon Lalande when he was only 19. He was 90 years old when he died in 1850.
Before his death he split up the estate between his five children, becoming independent and producing two different wines very distinct in style.
After the estate was divided into the two current Pichon estates, 1925 saw Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande bought by Edouard Miailhe and Louis Miailhe. The daughter of Edouard Miailhe, May Eliane de Lencquesaing (born in 1926) later became the owner and manager of the property in 1978. She made numerous investments and improvements at Pichon Lalande, perhaps her greatest achievement being expanding the size of Chateau Pichon Lalande from 40 hectares to its current 89 hectares of vines! (Quite an accomplishment to grow a major property in the Left Bank by more than 50%.)
May-Eliane de Lencquesaing sold Pichon Lalande to the owners of Roederer Champagne in January 2007. This family-run company is managed by Frederic Rouzaud and owns several other wine estates in Bordeaux including Chateau Bernadotte, Chateau de Pez , Haut Beausejour and Chateau Reaut la Graviere. Once the purchase for Chateau Pichon Lalande was concluded, in 2008, a complete renovation of the estate took place. The wine making facilities were rebuilt and modernized. The new construction of course included work in the cellars, vat rooms and chais. The reception area, glass museum and chateau was remodeled. A targeted, replanting program for select, vineyard parcels was started. The replanting focused on making sure the best root stocks with the most potential were planted in the correct, specific soil types for each grape varietal.
On average, the vines are 45 years of age. However, they have old vines, which are now close to 90 years of age having been planted in the early 1930s. You can divide the vineyards of Pichon Lalande into 6 large blacks that are almost contiguous. You can further subdivide those blocks into a range parcels that are close to 60 in number.
The vineyard of Chateau Pichon Lalande also includes 11 hectares of vines in the St. Julien appellation that the estate is allowed to vinify as Pauillac. The grapes can be used for the Grand Vin, the second wine , or bottled as a Saint Julien. However, the majority of the time, those vines are used in both the Grand Vin and in the second wine.