‘2018, 2019, 2020: three great years! And a trilogy that will be a milestone in the history of Pichon Comtesse. A series in the making…’
– Nicolas Glumineau, Winemaker and Director General of Château Pichon Comtesse and Château de Pez.
2020 was an eventful vintage, with an early bud break, a rainy spring and a warm and dry summer. Winter and spring were very wet followed by a hot April and May which saw rainfall levels higher than average over the last thirty years. After a cool and rainy June, drought and heat set in until mid-August. Careful leaf thinning at both Château Pichon Comtesse and Château de Pez helped to limit the bunches’ exposure to the sun’s heat, preserving freshness. The rains in mid-August were enough to alleviate any vine stress, allowing vines to complete photosynthesis under healthy conditions. The harvest at Château Pichon Comtesse took place in ideal conditions between 9th – 29th September and at Château de Pez from 11th – 26th September, producing fresh yet structured and complex wines.
Nicolas Glumineau’s tasting notes
2020 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (sold out)
A balanced, seductive, powerful and racy Pichon Comtesse 2020.
2020 Pichon Comtesse Réserve (sold out)
The palate, sensual and light, is at the same time, rich, full-bodied and very lively.
2020 Château de Pez (available)
Full-bodied and well-balanced, a captivating wine of fine dimensions.
2020 2nd Pez (*new second label* available)
A long and powerful palate, with both floral and fruity notes and well-integrated tannins.
2020 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
Neal Martin (96 – 98)
The 2020 Pichon-Lalande has a backward nose similar to that of its neighbour Pichon-Baron, and so I decanted the bottle for 45 minutes. It then revealed gorgeous scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow, seaweed (Japanese nori) and wild mint. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and gentle but insistent grip. Very intense but not ripe; there is a coolness about this Pauillac that I like, while the finish is very classically styled and leaves behind a persistent, slightly briny aftertaste. This is a magnificent, cerebral Pichon-Lalande that will deserve serious aging and the patience of anyone still waiting for The Cure’s new album. Tasted three times, including directly from the château.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (95 – 97)
Deep purple-black in color, the 2020 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande begins on a single, well-defined, wonderfully pure note of ripe blackcurrants, opening out to a melody of redcurrant jelly, kirsch, ripe blackberries and tar, with emerging suggestions of dark chocolate, cardamom, ground cloves and violets, with a waft of black truffles. Medium-bodied, tightly wound and with loads of fantastically nuanced black fruit layers, it has a rock-solid frame of finely grained tannins and bags of freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. The blend this year is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. Drinking Window 2026 – 2050.
Jane Anson (96)
Softer and silkier than many Pauillacs in the vintage, this is a clear success. Hugely silky and seductive, with grip, power and finesse. One of the best of the appellation, with finessed tobacco, heather and plump blueberry and cassis fruit, expertly managing the low 30hl/ha yield. 60% new oak. Tasted twice. Drinking Window 2030 – 2048.
2020 Pichon Comtesse Réserve
Neal Martin (90 – 92)
The 2020 Réserve de Pichon Comtesse is very harmonious on the nose, featuring plenty of blackberry, wild strawberry and light touches of salted licorice and estuarine scents; this is going to be very seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and fine-grained tannins, not a powerful or deep Deuxième Vin, leading to a poised, quite spicy, peppery finish. This should give 12–15 years of drinking pleasure.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (91 – 93)
Composed of 47% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot, the 2020 Reserve de la Comtesse is redolent of cassis, redcurrant jelly and raspberry coulis, plus suggestions of chocolate box, lilacs and stewed tea, with a waft of unsmoked cigars. The medium-bodied palate delivers mouth-coating, juicy black fruits with a soft texture and seamless freshness, finishing long with a spicy kick. This is a very different style from the grand vin, possessing a more playful, upfront and effortlessly delicious character that truly draws you in! Drinking Window 2024 – 2041.
Jane Anson (92)
Bright ruby colour with violet reflections. As with many second wines in Pauillac in 2020, you should expect fairly high tannins, although they are fine in construction and softly-expressed when things open up. Cocoa bean and coffee smoke on the finish. This is seductive but underplayed. Drinking Window 2024 – 2038.
2020 Château de Pez
Neal Martin (92 – 94)
Hidden gem […] The 2020 Château de Pez is one of the more aromatically fruit-driven Saint-Estèphes, presenting a nose of black cherries, raspberry and light blueberry scents, and hints of cedar and mint. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins and real salinity and precision. A slightly powdery-textured, quite mineral-driven finish completes this superb de Pez. Tasted twice with consistent notes.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (91 – 93)
Medium garnet-purple colored, the 2020 de Pez skips out of the glass with lively notes of Bing cherries, fresh blackberries and blackcurrant pastilles, with suggestions of pencil shavings, wild thyme and damp soil. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled and refreshing, delivering intense red and black berry layers with loads of herbal sparks and a grainy texture, finishing long and savory. Drinking Window 2024 – 2039.
Jane Anson (92)
Extremely drinkable and very easy to recommend. The tannins are already showing elasticity and a sense of embracing the fruit without constricting it. No need to wait too long – give it two or three years to soften further, and then enjoy for the next decade. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 45% new oak. Drinking Window 2024 – 2038.
Colin Hay (90 – 92)
(St Estèphe; from a vineyard of 42 hectares on a graves over clay-limestone terroir, 3 hectares of which are managed biodynamically; 51% Cabernet Sauvignon; 43% Merlot; 3% Cabernet Franc; a final yield of 51 hl/ha; aging for 12 months in oak barrels, 35% of which are new; IPT 75; pH 3.71; 13.4% alcohol). This is a beautiful wine that has so much of the Pichon Comtesse de Lalande signature, with a gloriously refined and elegant, deep and slightly sombre nose – of very dark berry fruit, graphite and a hint of cedar. Voluptuous, soft and sumptuous on the attack, with ultra-fine grained tannins that support the radiant and bright fruit so seamlessly. Long and all in perfect harmony. The 2019 was exceptional; this is very much at the same level.
2020 2nd Pez
The Wine Cellar Insider (88 – 90)
Forward, fresh and fruity, this medium-bodied, already fully-drinkable, red berry, soft textured charmer is ready to go for easy drinking pleasure.
Please contact Lucy.Bland@mmdltd.co.uk should you require any further information or like to place an order for 2020 Château de Pez or 2020 2nd Pez.