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 (60% new for the 2019 vintage). 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.
With temperatures above seasonal averages, the Winter was mild and unusually dry. Under these conditions, the Bud Break was particularly early, from March 20th. The coolness and rainfall in the Spring slowed down the development of the vine, and adjusted back to its average period of flowering between the end of May and the beginning of June. The unstable Spring weather, caused slight coulure on the Cabernet, around mid-June. The heat and the sun then settled in for the duration. A little rain in mid-July and early August favoured a rapid and homogeneous véraison from the 9th to 14th August.
Slow ripening, with dry, very sunny conditions and cool nights allowed the harvest to start on September 16th in a very healthy vineyard. Weather instability returned at the end of September and lasted until the end of the harvest on October 8th, without impacting on the quality of our grapes.
Notes of cedar, cocoa and custard immediately evident on the nose followed by a release of pure and intoxicating notes of blackcurrant and peony. Long and intense, the aromatic structure evolves from classic notes of citron and spices (cloves, black pepper), to luscious tones of praline and blackcurrant. At first, well-balanced and smooth in the mouth, moving onto a very open mid-palate and a rich, savoury long-lasting finish, thanks to silky, refined and well integrated tannins.
Lamb, red meats, cheese, truffle and chocolate.
Serve at room temperature.
Jane Anson (98 points)
A serious, muscled Pichon Comtesse that grabs you from the first nose. The width and texture is evident, feeling both more plush and supple in its fruit character. It’s elegant and balanced but packed full of textured raspberries, blueberries and cassis, juicy, with a rise on the finish and clear tannic grip. Very Pauillac in style, more so than the 2018 with great length. Not as structured as the 2016 or the 2010 but not far off and this is easily one of the wines of the vintage. Its heft shares some similarities to its neighbour Latour, which is not always the case in this most feminine of Pauillac wines. Closes down pretty quickly on the finish, suggesting the initial rich fruit is a hint of what is to come but that it will take its time to show itself in bottle. Tasted twice, four weeks apart and it delivered both times. No Petit Verdot in this vintage.
Neal Martin (98 – 100 points)
The 2019 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande … has a show-stopping nose: intense black fruit laced with graphite and mint….
The palate is underpinned by very refined tannins that cradle what may well be the purest fruit you will find in this vintage. Unbelievably precise all the way through to the finish, I admit staring at my glass trying to find fault with it. Unless winemaker Nicolas Glumineau gets distracted, which he is not prone to doing, you are not looking at a modern-day 1982 or 2016, but something even better and more profound.
James Suckling (98 – 99 points)
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (97 – 99 points)
AOC Pauillac, Bordeaux
71% Cabernet Sauvignon
6% Cabernet Franc