Lovely grilled and graphite notes right off the bat; this is big and muscular, and extremely Pauillac. There is grace here too, with raspberry purée, cassis, fig and blackberry fruits set against charcoal and fine tannins that quickly build up to suggest how well this will age. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 60% new oak used. 13% press wine. 3.75pH, 88IPT – higher even than the 80IPT in 2016. (JA)
The 2018 Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse De Lalande is a monster of a wine with an almost Château Latour-like stature and structure, offering deep, backward, slightly reductive notes of blackcurrants, crushed stone, scorched earth, lead pencil shavings, and tobacco leaf. Based largely on Cabernet Sauvignon mixed with 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, it's full-bodied, concentrated, and powerful on the palate, with masses of tannins, beautiful mid-palate density, and a great finish. As I've commented previously, the up-front, sexy style of the past (due to the larger Merlot content, I believe) has been replaced by a more regal, at times austere profile. Nevertheless, it's still its own wine and very Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in style. This 2018 is going to need 5-7 years of bottle age and will evolve for 40+ years. 98+
This famous estate at the southern end of Pauillac has produced a powerful wine. Packed blackberry fruits, laced with acidity, are just starting out on a long journey along with the tannins. The wine’s elegance is beautifully preserved within the structure. With considerable potential, the wine should not be drunk before 2027. *Cellar Selection* (RV)
Offers a deep well of dark currant, blackberry paste and plum preserves fruit that needs time to unwind fully, as it’s shrouded in warm earth, tobacco, singed cedar, sweet bay leaf and savory notes. A ramrod of graphite adds to the strident, structured feel. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. *Highly Recommended* (JM)
Aromas of blackberry, dried blueberry, gravel, mocha and cigar box. Light fresh-herb undertone. It’s full-bodied with firm, ultra fine tannins and fresh acidity. Focused and minerally with a long finish. Great length. Very tight and restrained at the moment. Wait until at least 2026 to take a look.
The 2018 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a blend 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. The grand vin represents 50% of the crop this year. Deep garnet-purple colored, it charges out of the gate with bold scents of baked plums, ripe blackcurrants and wild blueberries, followed by hints of cedar chest, pencil lead, bouquet garni and charcuterie, plus a waft of lilacs. The medium-bodied palate is beautifully crafted with its seamless freshness and firm, grainy tannins supporting the compelling, finely knit black fruits and savory nuances, finishing on a lingering fragrant-earth note. This will need a good 5 years to come around and should easily cellar for another 30 years or more. (LPB) 97+
The 2018 Pichon-Lalande was given an hour’s decant and then observed over the next 24 hours. It has clearly retained the showstopping nose that I encountered from barrel, those same “gentle waves" of black cherries and blueberry, incense and violets lending it a Margaux-like allure. The palate is vibrant and full of tension from the start, the acidity slicing through the layers of quite plush black fruit, judiciously laced with tobacco and mint. There is a beguiling sense of harmony conveyed by this Pichon-Lalande and although there is clearly plenty of structure, the tannins are so pixelated and pliant that it might well be broachable in 4–5 years’ time. Personally, however, I would prefer to cellar it for 8–10 years (by which time I hope that the new Cure album is finally released). However long you decide to keep it tucked away, this is a quite brilliant Pauillac. (NM)
Black core. Cedary cassis-leaf aroma, typically Pichon Lalande. Like the Réserve de la Comtesse, this is so gentle, charming, rounded, fresh and tender. Easy to underestimate. Extremely fine, intense but no show of power even with a long finish and even knowing that it has real depth. A gentle and surprisingly subtle beauty. (JH) 17.5/20
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