The 2008 Pichon Lalande’s final blend was 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Only 38% of the crop made it into the grand vin, and the result is a wine that blows away the 2005. Terrific texture and opulence, forward fruit, sweet tannin, and a lush personality are found in this dense purple-colored 2008 along with copious quantities of sweet berries, roasted coffee, underbrush, black currant, and black cherry fruit. Sensationally pure, textured, and full-bodied, this will be a flamboyant, showy offering in its youth, but it is capable of lasting 20-30 years. 94-96/100 Robert Parker Jr.
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavors of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavors, but are more approachable immediately upon release.