For drinking at the present time, it is hard not to love the more middleweight vintage of 1981 at Pichon-Lalande. The wine is at its absolute apogee of peak drinkability at the present time, wafting from the glass in a beautiful and quite classic aromatic blend of sweet cassis, cigar wrapper, gravelly soil tones, a touch of chipotle pepper, cigar ash and a whisper of merlot-derived sweet herb in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish and utterly suave on the attack, with a fine core, lovely focus and grip, melting tannins and impeccable balance on the long and complex finish. A lovely vintage of Pichon. (Drink between 2016-2035)
Tasted at the Fine Wine Experience’s Pichon-Lalande vertical in London. Showing a lot of maturity with its wide tawny rim, the nose is fully mature with singed leather, wild mushroom, green leaves, perhaps a little lean BUT give it 30 minutes in the glass and wow, what a wonderful espresso-scented nose! The palate is medium-bodied with good acidity, perhaps a little pinched and lean and if I recall showing better 3-4 years ago. Hints of blackberry, leather and a little thyme. But there is elegance and a sense of harmony towards the finish. This is still a decent Pauillac for the 1981 vintage and no doubt given it value, worth every penny. (NM)
Harmonious and delicious. Entices with aromas of spice and fruit. Medium in body, with medium, velvety tannins and a tobacco, berry aftertaste. (JS)
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