|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac|
This great 73 hectare vineyard has been producing top class Pauillac since the late 1980's when Jean-Michel Cazes of Lynch Bages took control and re-vitalised the property. In recent years, under the ownership of AXA insurance, Englishman Christian Seely has been in charge and quality continues to rise. The vineyard is planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The grand vin is now made only from fruit produced in the original vineyard, which is opposite Latour and next to Léoville Lascases. Latour-like in style, Pichon Baron has been a star performer in our recent blind vintage tastings. Two second labels are now produced - Les Griffons (from the younger vines) and Les Tourelles de Longueville (from a specific parcel of mostly Merlot vines). A regular winner of our blind tastings and a classic of the appellation.
The 2021 Pichon-Longueville Baron (which, incidentally, has been the legal name since 2021!) is matured in 70% new oak. It opens up nicely in the glass, revealing a straight-down-the-line, floral bouquet of violets intermingled with graphite notes. There is a delicacy about the aromatics that distinguishes it from recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, very pure and "athletic.” No extra fat here; instead, perhaps, slender like the Mouton-Rothschild, which is not a bad thing. Nimble might be a better word. Very fine.
A brilliant achievement, the 2021 Pichon-Longueville Baron opens in the glass with aromas of dark berries, blackcurrants, cigar wrapper, loamy soil, pencil shavings and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it's concentrated and penetrating, with terrific concentration and a beautifully refined, classy profile. A blend of fully 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot, it represents the wine this great estate could have produced in 1996. One of the real successes of the vintage, readers who overlook this wine will live to regret it.
The 2021 is 88% Cabernet Savignon and 12% Merlot. The volume is down 35% on last year. Deep purple colour. The high level of Cabernet translates into blackcurrant and cedar on the nose. There is a toasty richness from the wood, but enough fruit to match. The palate has very refined black fruit, turning to red with high acidity on the palate. Tightly coiled with tannins that create a very linear, focused finish. This is highly precise but remains compact for now. It should achieve the upper end of the scoring bracket with some fleshing out in the bottle.
Blackcurrant, blueberry, violet and blackberry notes, as well as plenty of spices. Medium to full body with plenty of richness and blackcurrant and ink character. Tar and graphite, too. Precise and structured. Very Pichon Baron in nature here. 88% cabernet sauvignon.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2021 Pichon Baron needs a lot of swirling to conjure notes of ripe raspberries, fresh boysenberries, and cassis, plus suggestions of tree bark, violets, and fertile loam with a hint of cardamom. Light-bodied, the palate has a racy line and chewy tannins supporting the lithe, electrically charged fruit, finishing with compelling freshness. At 88% Cabernet Sauvignon to 12% Merlot, this is the highest-ever proportion of Cabernet in the blend, which will be aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, 70% of them new.
Gorgeous depth through the palate, plenty of character, enjoyable, clear power to the well structured tannins. There is less density than the past three vintages of Pichon Baron, but they focused instead savoury Cabernet-dominant fruits and added complexity by drawing out the fennel, rosemary and pencil lead character that keeps us firmly in Pauillac. Highest level of Cabernet Sauvignon ever (just more than 2018), with 70% new oak for ageing. Harvest through to October 8.
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot. Aged for 18 months in barrels (70% new). Represents 50% of the estate’s production in 2021. Cask sample.
Like other wines from this estate, this wine has a distinctly pink rim and is not that concentrated a crimson. Smells ripe and satisfying. The palate is on a tightrope – only just ripe enough but one little tremor would be disastrous. Bone dry and defiant. Rather an inky finish. There is a little hole in the middle but the palate entry is convincing and suave. Major refreshment factor!
Drink 2028 – 2040
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot. Cask sample.
Distinctive Cabernet nose (highest percentage ever in the blend) with graphite and cassis notes. Very pure and precise. Dense, tight and assertive on the palate, the tannins abundant but just a little wayward. Needs time to settle. Very long finish. Enough substance for ageing. (JL) 12.9%
Drink 2030 – 2046