This one nails it in 2018, with saturated, almost sappy kirsch, plum and blackberry preserve flavors at the core, inlaid with sweet tobacco, singed vanilla, worn cedar and fresh earth notes. A bolt of graphite provides support. Concentrated, long and very complete. One of the high water marks of the vintage. (JM)
A deep and intense young red with blackberries and blueberries, as well as green olives and hints of fresh tobacco. But really black fruit. Full-bodied, tight and integrated with a refreshing and harmonious finish. Just floating on the palate. Great tannin backbone to this. A classic. Another flying carpet.
The grand vin represents 50% of the crop this year. The 2018 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is made up of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot with a pH of 3.85, an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 87 and 14% alcohol. Very deep purple-black colored, it is like hitting a brick wall to begin, needing considerable coaxing to start to reveal notes of crushed black cherries, warm blackberries, ripe blackcurrants and chocolate cake with nuances of violets, rose hip tea, charcuterie, tapenade and incense with wafts of new leather and iron ore. Full-bodied, concentrated and completely laden with tightly wound black fruit and savory layers, the palate gives a rock-solid backbone of firm, super ripe, super fine-grained tannins and soft background freshness, finishing very long with a veritable display of mineral fireworks. (LPB)
The top wine is the 2018 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse De Lalande, a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. Compared to the 2010 by director Nicolas Glumineau, this saturated purple-colored effort offers the classic elegance and regal style of the estate as well as plenty of pure Pauillac character. Crème de cassis, liquid violets, charcoal, and scorched earth nuances all give way to a full-bodied, deep, layered 2018 that has remarkable purity, building yet ultra-fine tannins, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. It's in the same class as the magical 2016, and while I suspect it will be approachable with just short-term cellaring, it's going to age for 40 years or more. This estate has been on a qualitative roll over the past 5-6 years thanks to the talents of Glumineau, and this is unquestionably another great wine from him and his team. 96-98+
Ripe and stylish, it is elegance personified and will be a very fine wine to age. Its structure and tannins are generous yet gently handled, giving density while preserving the bright dark fruit flavors. (RV)
The 2018 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is powerful, dense and explosive, with a real sense of vertical lift that conveys energy. Grilled herbs, lavender, inky blue/purplish fruit and spice notes develop in the glass, but it is the wine's balance, purity of tannin and finish that stand out most. In 2018, so many wines lean towards extreme versions of themselves, but Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande remains very much within its classic parameters. The 2018 doesn't quite offer the visceral thrill of the very best recent vintages, but it comes very close. At its purest essence, the 2018 is very Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. The en primeur sample is shown from 100% new oak, although the wine will have about 60% new wood. Tasted four times. (AG)
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