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)
This has to be up there with one of the most seductive Comtesses on record with layers of alternating softness and concentration combined with a lot of 2016’s elegance and power. The nose on this stands out a mile, getting it right up on the podium before you even take a sip. Rich raspberries combine with peonies and curls of woodsmoke while the appellation’s signature slate, cedar, liquorice and tannic grip slowly builds up on the palate. I’ve tasted this several times with each conveying a juiciness and elegance that is quite different in style to many in Pauillac this year - it's a 98-100 for me, and I'm already looking forward to re-tasting it in bottle. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 60% new oak used. 13% press wine. 3.75pH, 88IPT – higher even than the 80IPT in 2016. (JA)
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+
The 2018 Pichon-Lalande was picked from September 16 to October 10 at 35hl/ha. It has a voluminous, generous bouquet of ample black cherry and blueberry fruit, quite floral if not exhibiting the killer definition of the 2016 tasted in direct comparison. The palate is very seductive and lithe thanks to the supple tannins. There are plenty of layers of black fruit here, laced with graphite and touches of mint, and building nicely to a defined finish. Touches of dark chocolate on the aftertaste mingle with minerals. This is a seriously fine Pichon-Lalande that might ultimately stand shoulder to shoulder with the 2016. (NM)
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)
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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