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 76 hectares of this vineyard border the property of Château Latour and stretch south of Pauillac towards the Commune of Saint Julien, whence it gets its extraordinary charm. The exceptional character of the wines produced here, are distinguished by their elegance and finesse.
After reception of the harvest, destemming and crushing, the grapes are placed in temperature-controlled wooden or stainless-steel vats, of variable capacity, allowing a precise and rigorous selection by plot. The heating and cooling system enables the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations to be controlled with precision. The vatting period ranges from 18 to 24 days depending on the year. Frequent pump-overs are performed to extract maximum colour and tannins from the skins.
Once blended, the wine is aged in oak barrels sourced from the Allier and Nièvre forests in France. The oak refines the wine, adding its own aromas and tannins, whilst allowing it to acquire the soft richness that is lacking in its youth, thanks to the gradual, natural contact with air through the pores of the wood.
The Grand Vin of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is aged 18 months in oak barrels; a little more than half are brand new; the other half are second-fill barrels. The barrels have a medium toast, which enhances their aromas. A harmonious balance of oak and wine is always sought.
Racking takes place every three months up to the bottling. Traditional fining with egg whites is still carried out to clarify the wine.
Another early bud break on the vine began at the end of March. A very dry April with a period of heavy frost managed to spare the early ripening vineyards of Pauillac and St. Estèphe in close proximity to the estuary. An all-round dry and mostly hot spring encouraged an early flowering at the end of May in the healthiest of conditions.Following this, the veraison started at the end of July. Some summer showers prevented water stress and aided the ripening process. The harvest which began on September 7th was halted by a rainy period between the picking of the Merlot and the Cabernet. The weather improvement which followed allowed the Cabernet to ripen fully until the start of October.
“Nature and the climate can be fickle and remind the winemaker to remain vigilant and humble. Pichon Comtesse 2017 is the fruit of relentless hard work showing the epitome of exceptional terroir and allowing us to escape the ravishes of unpredictable weather. Here it is, a vintage ending in “7” of which we are proud.”
– Nicolas Glumineau
An acrobat on a wire. Well-balanced and elegant, fleshy and structured, complex and extremely rounded; a fine Pauillac according to Pichon Comtesse, expressing notes of blackberries, raspberry, a touch of granite and cedar. On the palate, extremely well-integrated tannins and an exceptional smoothness.
Lamb, red meats, cheese, truffle and chocolate.
Serve at room temperature.
March 1, 2020, James Molesworth
“A sleek, precisely dialed-in Pauillac, with a pure and racy beam of cassis, blackberry and dark plum fruit inlaid with a mouthwatering iron note. A backdrop of singed alder and sweet tobacco waits in reserve, while the finish sails through with great cut. Possesses a regal feel. Best from 2025 through 2040.”
February 26, 2020, Jeb Dunnuck
“Pure elegance and class, the 2017 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse De Lalande checks in as 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot (representing just 50% of the production) that spent 18 months in 60% new barrels. Nicolas Glumineau has done an incredible job at this estate and this wine is consistently one of the classiest, most elegant wines in just about every vintage. Pure Pauillac notes of creme de cassis, lead pencil, green tobacco, and gravelly earth give way to a medium to full-bodied, soft, supple, flawlessly balanced 2017 that shows the more straight, classic style of the vintage. It needs 4-6 years of bottle age and will evolve gracefully for 25+ years or more. Tasted twice.”
November 2019, Jane Anson
“Tasting in a blind lineup across Pauillac, it is instantly clear that what you get in this glass is better clarity of fruit, a darker and more serious texture across the palate and some lovely saffron and cinnamon notes to fill out the body. This feels like a Pauillac and even though it doesn’t have the concentration of bigger years, there is a lot to be delighted about here. Silky tannins, burnished confidence, well-handled oak. Wait just another five years then ready to go with a carafe.”
AOC Pauillac, Bordeaux
70% Cabernet Sauvignon
6% Cabernet Franc
1% Petit Verdot