Pichon Lalande 2014: “within touching distance of the First Growths”

Our favourite release of the morning is certainly Ch Pichon Lalande at £625 IB.

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Under the ownership of the great Champagne house Louis Roederer and the skilled guidance of Nicolas Glumineau, formerly of Ch Montrose, this famous Chateau and ‘grand terroir’ in Pauillac, next door to Chateau Latour, is (in Neal Martin’s words) ‘really beginning to “motor”‘. He declares that the 2014 is “an excellent wine, one within touching distance of the First Growths.”

The 2014 was picked over 5 weeks, allowing each individual parcel to be harvested at peak maturity, which shows through in its super fine tannins and also in its ripe, rounded fruit character.

This was one of David Roberts MW’s favourite wines of the vintage; a view shared by Antonio Galloni of vinousmedia.com who writes, “It is without question one of the wines of the year.” As Matthew Jukes comments: “it seems that this vintage further underlines the long-awaited renaissance of Pichon-Lalande. 18+”

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2014 Ch Pichon Lalande 2ème Cru Pauillac
£625 per 12 In Bond / £313 per 6 In Bond

Unquestionably one of my favourite wines of the vintage; this was an absolute delight to taste and a beautiful reminder of the finesse and elegance of the Comtesse de Lalande wines of yesteryear. This has all the ingredients for a great Lalande, balancing true Pauillac power with a lovely feminine touch. The lasting sensation on the finish is polished, with silky sweetness. A total delight to taste. Drink: 2025-203
Score: 94-96. David Roberts MW

The Château Pichon-Lalande 2014 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot picked over five weeks between 16 September and 20 October. It has a very pure and precise bouquet with a light marine influencing the black cherries and blueberry fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with a tense, graphite-tinged opening, a fine line of acidity (pH 3.72) and a silky smooth finish. The Cabernet Sauvignon is very expressive and dominates the Merlot at the moment, although the Merlot is essentially counterbalancing what might have been a much more austere Pichon-Lalande. Under Nicolas Glumineau, this Pauillac estate is really beginning to “motor” and this is an excellent wine, one within touching distance of the First Growths. Drink: 2019-2040.
Score: 93/95 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (218)

What a joy to feel the ultra-fine tannins in this wine! It really is like touching fine silk. It’s full-bodied with integrated drip fruit of tar, blackberries, minerals as well as a compacted and very long finish. Polished texture. Strong elegance. Reminds me of some outstanding wines of the 1980s such as 1986.
Score: 93/94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2014 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a huge wine. Rich, powerful and dense, yet remarkably precise, the 2014 boasts extraordinary density and fabulous balance. Scents of black fruits, graphite, smoke, tobacco, grilled herbs and incense meld into a huge core of fruit. Hints of black cherry jam, wild flowers and mint add an attractive aromatic top register on the close. Explosive and virile in style, the 2014 appears to have the pedigree to age well for several decades. It is without question one of the wines of the year. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot.
Score: 93/96 Antonio Galloni, vinousmedia.com

Last year’s varietal Cabernet Sauvignon wasn’t to everyone’s taste (although I loved it), but this is a more classic Pichon Comtesse. It’s typically fresh and alluring with compact, ageworthy tannins, oodles of perfume, fine black cherry, graphite and blackcurrant fruit and a chalky, minerally lift. Very impressive. Drink: 2022-32
Score: 95 Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com

There is good density and freshness here, with tightly coiled tannins and a crisp punch of acidity. This is a well made and sleek wine with a long finish. Smart multi-faceted notes come from the sensitively-assembled, complex blend. This will provide a lot of joy in the short and medium term, but it won’t make old bones. Following on from the successful 2013 vintage, it seems that this vintage further underlines the long-awaited renaissance of Pichon-Lalande.
Score: 18+ Matthew Jukes

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