1988 Chateau Pichon Lalande, Pauillac,  [Ex Chateau 2022 Release], Case of 6 btls
1985 Chateau Pichon Lalande, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) [Slightly Nicked Label] LP94
1995 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) RP96
2020 Chateau Pichon Lalande, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) JL99/VM98/JD98
1990 Chateau Pichon Lalande, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) WS94

Château Pichon Lalande: Pauillac's Top Super Second

Located in Pauillac between top estates, Château Latour and Château Pichon Baron, Château Pichon-Lalande (shorthand for Château Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande) is a highly-regarded 2nd growth estate that Antonio Galloni describes as the “single hottest château on Bordeaux’s Left Bank right now.” Ranked as a 2nd Growth in the 1855 classification, Pichon-Lalande is today revered as a "Super Second" — a distinction accorded to those outperforming their historical ranking. The caliber of Pichon-Lalande is such that it is often regarded as near-equal to First Growth quality, contending closely with other highly-regarded estates such as St. Julien’s Léoville-Las Cases and St. Estèphe’s Cos d’Estournel. Since 2010, it has earned four perfect 100-point scores from top wine critics, showcasing its continued standing as a paragon of Bordeaux.

Pichon-Longueville History

Over the centuries, three prominent French wine families have been stewards of this outstanding property. Once part of the larger Pichon estate, Château Pichon-Lalande was inherited by three sisters upon Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville's passing in 1850, with the remaining portion passed to his sons, forming the separate Château Pichon-Baron. Taking control of her sisters' property, Virginie de Pichon Longueville, known as the Comtesse de Lalande, took the helm with the estate remaining in the family until 1925.

The Modern Era: In the Footsteps of the Comtesse

In 1925, the Mailhe brothers assumed control, sheparding the estate into its modern era under the watch of three successive generations, the last of which, May-Eliane Mailhe, taking over in 1978. May-Eliane oversaw significant vineyard expansion, more than doubling plantings with a particular emphasis on Merlot and tirelessly advocated for the Pichon-Lalande’s reputation internationally. Without an heir to bear the mantle, Château Pichon Lalande found new shepherds in the Rouzauds, 7th generation owners of the family-run Champagne house Louis Roederer.

Louis Roederer

Following its 2007 acquisition by Champagne house Louis Roederer, a $15 million investment was made to upgrade facilities, enlist top experts, and convert to full biodynamics in the vineyard, ensuring Pichon-Lalande's continued legacy on the global stage. By 2012, the immense overhaul unveiled a gravity-centric vat room, controlled stainless steel vats enabling meticulous vinification, and an underground cellar. A seasoned veteran of Haut-Brion, Margaux, and Montrose, Nicolas Glumineau guided the estate through its transformative years and today the estate is managed by Sylvie Cazes, of the Lynch-Bages' Cazes family.

Pichon-Lalande Vineyard & Grape Varieties

Situated directly adjacent to 1st Growth titan Château Latour, Pichon-Lalande shares prime real estate along the Gironde estuary, where "the best vines can see the river," according to an old Bordelais adage. The 20th-century vineyard expansion nearly doubled holdings, which today amount to 247-acres of land, which is divided into six blocks and 65 individual parcels.

Unusual for Pauillac, the deep gravel soils are planted to a comparatively high proportion of Merlot, with plantings amounting to 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. Average vine age is around 40 years of age with some reaching past 90. Organic and biodynamic measures were put into place starting in 2014 with a full biodynamic conversion of vineyards culminating in Demeter-certification in 2021.

Pichon-Lalande Wine Style

Over the years since the original property split, the two estates diverged stylistically, with Pichon-Lalande showcasing a charming, more feminine character to Pichon-Baron's more masculine, powerful expression. The higher proportion of Merlot, 1/3 of the typical blend, is much higher than is typically in Pauillac, influencing Pichon-Lalande final style. Aromatically, there is more expression of Merlot's black plum and generosity, but Merlot additionally inspires less new oak usage, developing a more elegant texture.

The Continuing Legacy

Among Pauillac's many distinct producers, Château Pichon-Lalande provides incredible value with its official 2nd growth status cloaking its 1st growth reputation, ensuring better price points for wine collectors. Pichon-Lalande's unwavering commitment to quality is a testament to their wine’s ability to mature gracefully for decades and back-vintage bottlings are a chance to experience the complexities and nuances that develop in only the finest Bordeaux, without needing to contend with First Growth prices.

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