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Pichon Lalande 2012

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande


Tasting Notes

The grande dame, the 2012 Pichon Lalande represents only 50% of their harvest production. It has soft, round tannins, endearing elegance, and up-front fruit. It is not a blockbuster, but its lush, richly fruity style is charming and seductive, with raspberry, blueberry, mocha and blackcurrant fruit and a deep ruby/purple color. This medium-bodied, supple-textured wine is surprisingly precocious and forward, and therefore best drunk over the next 15 years. The final blend was 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Drink: 2015-2030.

Robert Parker, RobertParker.com (218), April 2015

I tasted the Pichon-Lalande three times over two weeks and it pains me to say that in 2012, the Grand Vin is not the success it ought to have been considering the percentage of Merlot in the vineyard. That is not to say that great effort was expended. There were two green harvests during the growing season which means that the yields were just 32hl/ha. The Grand Vin is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot harvested from 1 October until 18th October. They used three sorting: by hand, optical sorting and through the Ocillys de-stemmer The bouquet is a little disjointed and clearly does not possess the fruit intensity of its peers (through numerous comparisons). It just feels a little green and muted, startled by the growing season. The palate is medium-bodied with a pointed, slightly harsh tannic opening, then the wine dips where the fruit ought to be and those tannins just dominate and slightly dry out the texture on the finish. It is less Cabernet-driven than the 2011, which was 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, but I feel that had they gone further and reduced the Cabernet Sauvignon further to allow the superior Merlot to shine, it would have made a better Grand Vin. I hope to re-taste this after bottling - sometimes the Comtesse can show awkwardly en primeur and it improves in barrel, so I will bear that in mind. Tasted April 2013.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013

Wonderful nose of wet earth, mushrooms and berries. Full to medium body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Sleek and polished. Needs two to three years of bottle age to soften. 59% cabernet sauvignon, 28% merlot, 8% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2015

Ruby red, with sweet fruit on the nose, both enticing and fragrant. Grilled cedar and smoked caramel, this is expertly judged in its use of oak, balanced but with a richness that runs right through the palate. Grip and flecks of cocoa bean, graphite, cracked pepper, saline crackers make this is welcoming and gourmet. Can begin drinking with a carafe, will not outlive the most concentrated vintages of Comtesse, but absolutely no rush to get going. One of the wines of the tasting. Today's director Nicolas Glumineau did the blend of this vintage but didn't follow the vines through the growing season.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, March 2022

Round, relaxed and easy though without massive concentration. Gentle and not the most ambitious, but fresh and lively and good punch. Attractive finish. Hums along… Very dry on the finish.

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013

One of the great names of the Médoc and a true "super-second". Pichon Lalande is one of the most demanded wines of Bordeaux. It is especially popular in the Far East thanks to its slightly exotic, spicy character and plump ripe fruit and polished texture. The Chateau is now owned by Champagne house Louis Roederer and managed by Nicolas Glumineau, formerly of Montrose. In 2012 the blend is 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 28% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The yield was only 32 hl/ha. This has a good deep, black colour. A very creamy nose with cassis and cherry fruit and a hint of coffee bean, smoke and white chocolate. On the palate it is sweet, succulent, plump, and fleshy. A really classic Pichon Lalande with great balance of black Pauillac fruit and seductive fleshy richness. Pichon Lalande back on form.

Farr Vintners, March 2013

There is a lot of concentrated black cherry on the nose and depth on the palate lots of brooding black fruits. Liquorice and dark chocolate add to the mid richness but towards the back there are some fresher flavours with some spicy pepper on the finish. 2020-35

Derek Smedley MW, May 2013

Newly appointed from Château Montrose, Nicolas Glumineau said the team at Pichon took
particular care to avoid over-extraction in 2012. The higher percentage of Merlot certainly
helped, as this is a polished, assured performance from the Louis Roederer-owned property,
with a combination of concentration and freshness on the palate and the backbone to age.
Drink: 2020-35

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2013
Read more tasting notes...

Coming in at a lofty 13.2% natural alcohol, it offers up scents of black currants, white chocolate, berries, cedar and forest floor. Sweet tannin, a round opulence and medium body result in a classic, supple-textured Pauillac that should drink well young and keep for 12-15 years. It is very much in keeping with what most readers would consider the "house style" of Pichon Lalande, despite the fact that they are moving toward more Cabernet Sauvignon and less Petit Verdot in the final blend.

Fifty percent of the crop made it into the final blend of 2012 Pichon Lalande, which includes more and more Cabernet Sauvignon under the new ownership of the Roederer Champagne firm. The 2012 is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (206), April 2013

Focused and very pretty with ultra-fine tannins and dark chocolate, dark fruit. Fine texture. A beautiful center palate and finesse here. Creamy tannins. 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2013
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.