The estate was founded in 1689 by Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan and the vineyard acquired its name a few years later when his daughter Thérèse received it as part of her dowry on her marriage to Jacques de Pichon Longueville, the first President of the Parliament of Bordeaux. It was divided upon the death of Baron Joseph in 1850 between his five children. However, only two of his children finally inherited the vineyards; Raoul and Virginie. Virginie married Count Henri de Lalande, giving her the title, and took over control of the domain. Her passion and the quality of her management made her a strong personality in the Médoc and she very much left her mark on the domain. In the 1855 classification, Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande acquired the status of 2eme Cru Classé.
The 75 hectares (185 acres) of this vineyard border the property of Château Latour and stretch south of Pauillac towards the Commune of Saint Julien, from whence it gets its extraordinary charm. The exceptional character of the wines produced here, are distinguished by their elegance and finesse. The average age of the vines is 35 years, the sub-soils are made up of deep layers of gravel, and the top soils are ploughed. All these factors work in favour of the terroir and the production of high quality wines. In these conditions, the water constraints created by drought can generate higher wine quality, as long as the vine doesn’t overly suffer stress.
The temperatures were carefully regulated during the fermentation and the maceration to obtain an aromatic and silky expression of the vintage. Overall, the alcohol-tannin-acid balance was excellent. Malolactic fermentation was minimal due to low temperatures. Maceration: 18 to 24 days.
A cold and dry winter led to a later than usual bud break but under excellent climatic conditions. Flowering, however, was not as ideal with instances of coulure and millerandage in Pauillac. Summer saw sunny days and cool nights but very little rain. This caused an earlier ripening than normal, although thanks to the age of the vines on the estate, these conditions can infact cause a higher quality wine. The picking period was under ideal conditions with a good crop of small and consequently very concentrated grapes.
Terrific texture and opulence, forward fruit, sweet tannin, and a lush personality are dense along with copious quantities of sweet berries, roasted coffee, underbrush, black currant, and black cherry fruit. Sensationally pure, textured, and full-bodied, this will be a flamboyant, showy offering in its youth, but it is capable of lasting 20-30 years.
Lamb, red meats, cheese, truffle and chocolate.
Serve at room temperature.
Robert Parker – Wine Advocate – April 2012 – 89-90
Decanter March 2012 – ****(*) – 16,5/20
Jancis Robinson – 20th April 2012– 16,5/20
AOC Pauillac, Bordeaux
51% Cabernet Sauvignon
3% Petit Verdot