Chateau Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse de Lalande (bin soiled labels) 1996
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
A perfect combination of power and elegance. The body is rich and dense with soft tannins. The palate, just like the nose, displays an almost endless complexity.
Wine Spectator - "Deep ruby-red. Very sexy aromas of currant, blackberry and brown sugar, all lifted by an ineffable floral quality from the thoroughly ripe cabernet sauvignon that comprises three-quarters of the blend. Dense, fresh and thick with extract; a wonderful combination of texture and guts. Has a core of steel and a powerful structure I haven't found in more recent vintages from this chateau. A very serious style of Pichon-Lalande, with much less merlot than usual. Finishes with terrific length and grip. Drink between 2005 and 2025."
The Wine Advocate - "The 1996 Pichon-Lalande is just as awesome from bottle as it was from multiple cask tastings. For Pichon-Lalande, the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon is atypically high. This wine normally contains 35-50% Merlot in the blend, but the 1996 is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. Only 50% of the estate's production made it into the grand vin. The color is a saturated ruby/purple. The nose suggests sweet, nearly overripe Cabernet Sauvignon, with its blueberry/blackberry/cassis scents intermixed with high quality, subtle, toasty new oak. Deep and full-bodied, with fabulous concentration and a sweet, opulent texture, this wine was singing in full harmony when I tasted it in January. Given the wine's abnormally high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, I would suspect it will close down. It possesses plenty of tannin, but the wine's overwhelming fruit richness dominates its personality."
Chateau Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse de Lalande Winery
The Pichon Longueville estate goes back to 1688-1689. In 1850, Virginie de Pichon Longueville, Countess de Lalande, and her two sisters inherited three-fifths of the vineyard from their father. This took on the name of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. In 1978, May-Eliane de Lencquesaing, daughter of Edouard Miailhe, in turn inherited this beautiful property and devoted herself entirely to continuing the tradition of quality wine.
Just two families have been responsible for maintaining this wine's superb reputation for three centuries. Bordering on Château Latour, Second Growth Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is located in the southern part of Pauillac, near Saint-Julien. The unusual choice of grape varieties (there is a much higher percentage of Merlot than average) is a partial explanation for this wine's outstanding personality, marked by elegance, balance and finesse. Traditional methods and modern technology combine to make the most of the estate's prestigious soil. The international reputation of this "Super Second" Growth can be attributed to unfailing quality and dynamic owners. View all Chateau Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse de Lalande Wines
About PauillacView a map of Pauillac wineries (pouy-YACK)
Home to three premier cru (first growth) chateaux, Pauillac is a leader in quality Bordeaux. Chateaux Latour, Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild are situated within the Pauillac appellation. Sandwiched between St.-Estèphe and St.-Julien, Pauillac wines are big - known for their combination of elegance and power.
Notable FactsThe gravel-based soils of Pauillac are key in creating the structured wines produced there. Like most of Bordeaux's left bank, Cabernet Sauvignon is the leading grape. Some typical descriptions of wine from Pauillac include: concentrated, full-bodied, powerful, firm tannins, ability to mature. Not all of the Pauillac wines are top price collectibles that you can only find at auctions. There are great values in the lower level crus, like the fifth growth, Chateau Lynch-Bages, as well as great Cru Bourgeois such as Chateau Pibran. These wines are more affordable and often mature a bit sooner.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.