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Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
  • WE94
  • JS93
  • WS91
12.95% ABV
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12.95% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 1990 vintage of this wine was ranked #6 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1993

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Don’t be fooled by the easy fruitiness of this delicious wine, because underneath the blackberry flavors is a powerfully tannic structure. Opulent and dense, it promises considerable aging. Drink this complex wine from 2018.
JS 93
James Suckling
A 2011 with blackberry, dark-chocolate and smoked-meat character. Full body, silky tannins and a long, intense finish. All about balance and polish. Very fine. Needs three to four years to soften. Try in 2017.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Warm savory and tobacco leaf notes lead the way, with a cedary frame surrounding the lightly mulled plum and cherry fruit. Cassis bush and tobacco accents are embedded on the finish. Very solid, but lacks extra drive.
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Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

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Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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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 Chateau 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 Chateau 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.

Pauillac

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The leader on the Left Bank as far as number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the finest wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

WTC129110_2011 Item# 129110