A fine attack of red and back fruits, graphite, minerals and iodine. On the palate it is very poised, sumptuous and tannins are very refined. The ripe merlot shines through, but it has fine balancing acidity. This is most accessible and has not closed down. A fabulous wine from start to finish with more gravitas than the 2009. A notable and great success in this overlooked vintage.
At this point in time, I got very little pleasure from drinking this.
On the plus side, it is a very concentrated, medium bodied, rich wine, with lots of power and intensity. Which means that in 10-20 years it may have settled down from its current form.
As of today though, I found it unbalanced and quite bitter. I would love to check in on this in 5-10 years to see how it evolves. Difficult to score, as I started at 86, then considered 88, then 90. I don't think his will achieve greatness, but it could be strong for the vintage. For the price though, would rather stick to cru bourgeois or 3rd to 5th growths from 2009/10. Not a great QPR. Benefit of the doubt given with a 90, but would have awarded much lower if I didn't know this had the pedigree to age well.
*Please note that this was purchased in a non-specialist wine bar in hot country with potentially unknown sources / storage conditions.
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(Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande) Very dark red violet color; rich, appealing, cassis, currant nose with herbal lift; tight, tart cassis, currant, cedar palate with depth, needs 7-plus years; medium-plus finish 92+ pts. (63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc)
(Chateau Pichon-Lalande (Pauillac)) A softer nose than the Pichon-Baron, a more feminine style I think, perhaps suggesting a more silky quality to the fruit. It does seem to come across a little hot on the nose though. Rather boldly structured on the palate as well, the wine presenting a really hard outer shell to penetrate here. There are some interesting elements of perfume to it but they seem hidden behind a sooty structure and a big wall of tannin at the moment. It does seem rather austere for the chateau on the palate in contrast to the seductive elements found on the nose. I don't find this as convincing as I did en primeur when I thought it showed very well. It may just not be showing so well today; I will leave a note of uncertainty in my score and I will reassess in the future.
(Chateau Pichon-Lalande Pauillac) Harvest here began on September 29th, and the wine is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Dense and perfumed aromas here, evocative, suggestive of dark, almost crystalline cherry fruit. Pure and elegant to start, linear and softly perfumed, clearly very primary but will substance and an elegant, supple composition. An impressive wine with good extract and balance.
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