In a nutshell: A ripe and very likeable left bank claret from a prestigious Château.
The lowdown: This is the second wine of the illustrious Château Pichon Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande, who with their 2nd growth classifiaction are among the elite châteaux of Bordeaux. For a Médoc wine this has quite a high (40%) proportion of merlot which gives it a little bit of additional silkiness. On the nose are notes of cedar and violets which is followed by a full, ripe and quite floral palate backed by well structured tannins. The finish is nicely long with an emphasis on the fruit.
When to drink: A quite seductive wine, it's ready to drink now and will remain that way right through the 2020s. Pair it with lamb, red meats and ripe hard cheeses.
This historic property was founded in 1689 by Pierre de Rauzan which included, what is now, the eqaully famous neighbouring estate of Pichon Baron. It was 1850 when these estates split after being left to the children of Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville. One his sons, Raoul, inherited what became Pichon Baron and Joseph's daughter, Virginie, inherited the Pichon Comtesse de Lalande estate.
The Château has long been on of the star performers in Pauillac. In the 1920s ownership passed to brothers Edouard and Louis Miailhe in whose family it remained until being sold to the current owners, Champagne Louis Roederer in 2006.
The estate comprises 85 hectares of vines, just under a half being Cabernet Sauvignon, a third Merlot and the remainder split between Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This is a lower proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon than most Médoc châteaux, but a gradual replanting scheme aims to replace most of the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot with Cabernet Sauvignon bring them more into line with the area's norms.
The Comtesse de Lalande estate sits among some illustrious neighbours including the likes of Château Latour and it's always more than held it's own and fully justfies it's 2nd growth ranking. Nicolas Glumineau, formerly of Chateau Montrose, was appointed Director of the Château in 2013.