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Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2015

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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13.5% ABV
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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V 98
Vinous
The 2015 Margaux is a compelling, arrestingly beautiful wine that expresses all the best qualities of the vintage. Dark, fleshy and richly textured, the 2015 nevertheless retains the super-classic Margaux sense of structure. Time in the glass brings out the wine's rich, multi-faceted personality. I imagine the 2015 will enjoy a very long and uninterrupted drinking window that will last decades. As exceptional as the 2015, it is not easy to taste. I walked the vineyards at Margaux with Paul Pontallier in late July of that year. A few months later, Pontallier's life was tragically cut short by a very aggressive cancer. The 2015 will live on as a fitting testament to the legacy of a man who did so much for Chateau Margaux and Bordeaux.
Rating: 98+
JS 97
James Suckling
This shows spices, pepper, blueberries and blackcurrants on the nose. Full body, very polished tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Shows such gorgeous texture. Precise and transparent. Try in 2022.
D 97
Decanter
Beautifully extracted, this is rich, ripe and layered. It is utterly gorgeous and has real precision and tension. It delivers its Pauillac swagger with the most gentle of hands - the tannins are fine, layered-up and building their defences without imposing too heavily on the succulent black fruits. It judges the vintage extremely well and is the best in this line-up for me. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 60% new oak.
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
I tasted the 2015 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande on three separate occasions rating it 97 twice and 98 once. Checking in as a final blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this is a nuanced style of wine that grows on you with time in the glass, and the larger Merlot component always gives it a more supple, seductive texture. Crème de cassis, black raspberries, spring flowers, leafy herbs and lead pencil notes all flow to a full-bodied, ultra-pure, seamless beauty that builds on the palate, has fine tannin and a great, great finish. As classy as they come, it will continue to impress for two to three decades.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Pape Clement is blended of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, matured in 80% new and 20% one-year-old French oak barrels for 18 months. Medium to deep garnet-purple, it opens with profound notes of crushed red and black currants, black cherries and cassis with touches of mocha, baking spices, menthol and lavender plus a hint of new leather. Medium-bodied, firm and concentrated with tons of tightly wound black fruit and earth layers, it has a grainy frame and refreshing lift on the long finish.
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
This is the new taste for this estate: richly endowed while remaining elegant and suave. Certainly, there is great concentration here as well as rich black fruits. But they are given a sense of style and poise that will remain with this wine as it ages. Drink from 2026.
Cellar Selection
WS 94
Wine Spectator
A fresh and focused style, with a terrific beam of black cherry and black currant compote flavors. Strong graphite and black tea notes harness the finish, ending with alder and tobacco echoes. This has serious length without losing any drive along the way. Best from 2022 through 2038.
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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 in 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 most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) 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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

MMDF153434_2015 Item# 153434