The history of Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron is a tale of two estates. The chateau and vineyard known as Pichon Baron was given in dowry to the founder’s daughter when she married Jacques du Pichon Longueville. After the death of their descendent, the Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville, in 1850 the estate was again divided - on his deathbed, he gave what became Chateau Pichon Baron to the men of his family, and what became Chateau Pichon Lalande to the women - resulting in, some say, more masculine and sensuous styles of wine respectively!
Between the 1960’s and the 1980’s, the estate went through a period of rather lacklustre production - however, since 1990, they have been producing, according to many, some of the best wines in their history. The 2016 has earned high praise and glowing comparisons to their legendary 1990 Pichon Baron.
The 2010 Pichon Lalande is performing extremely well and at the top of the range I predicted several years ago. A final blend dominated much more by Cabernet Sauvignon than usual (66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot), the wine is a tighter, more tannic and structured version of this famed Pauillac, which often tends to have more of a St-Julien-like personality than most Pauillacs. Structured, backward and tannic, yet showing a fat mid-palate that is more savory, broader and more expansive than I remember from barrel, this wine is somewhat reminiscent of the 1986, given the Cabernet Sauvignon domination of the blend. Full-bodied, impressively endowed, and less sexy and velvety than normal, this is a somewhat different style of Pichon Lalande than most readers have been used to. Whether you like it more or less will depend on your point of view, but this wine, unlike most Pichon Lalandes, needs a good 5-7 years of cellaring and should keep for 30+ years.
95+ points, Wine Advocate (February 2013)
Deep garnet colored, the 2010 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande gives up notes of warm cassis, blueberry pie and kirsch with wafts of cedar chest, pencil lead, charcoal and charcuterie plus a hint of wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied, the savory-inspired palate possesses a fair bit of chew with a lively backbone and firm finish.
94 points, Wine Advocate (March 2020)
This is a pretty and refined Pichon Lalande. Aromas of blueberries and blackberries with hints of earth and mushrooms. Full body, with velvety tannins and a juicy finish.
94 Points, JamesSuckling.com (February 2013)
The 2010 Pichon-Lalande has a very beguiling bouquet with a very expressive Merlot at the moment. There is a sense of warmth coming through, touches of liquorice and allspice, although it remains delineated and intense. The palate is medium-bodied with those subtle marine influences that I have observed in previous bottles. I was maybe expecting a little more precision and grip on the finish, but it remains a gorgeous Pichon-Lalande, even if it has been surpassed by subsequent vintages like the 2015 and 2016. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the BI Wines & Spirits 10-Year On tasting.
94 points, Vinous (April 2020)
Rock-solid, with a classic Pauillac profile of cassis, iron and graphite. Layers of blueberry, blackberry and boysenberry fruit cover the grip for now, but there's serious muscle for the longer haul, revealing a lingering pastis hint.—Non-blind Pichon Lalande vertical (July 2014). Best from 2020 through 2040.
94 points, Wine Spectator (July 2014)
Silky, sweet black fruit, black olive and truffle notes from the start. This is majestically impressive - it sparks to life in your mouth and breaks out an involuntary smile. The texture is just liquid silk and it slowly but surely builds through the palate, gaining in confidence and totally delightful. Bright, vibrant tannins make the most of the high levels of acidity that were available in 2010, while matching them pace for pace with concentrated fruit. For me this is getting better as it ages, starting to rival the 1982 at Comtesse, and I can't wait to keep tasting it over the decades to come. Last time I rated this wine, in 2016, I gave it 98 points, and I questioned whether to keep it there, which is already an exceptional score, but I want to mark just how clearly it stood out in this horizontal. 60% new oak.
100 points, Decanter (January 2020)
With signs of new wood on the palate, this is a wine that maintains the polished feel of the wines from Pichon Lalande. It has a stronger presence of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend than in the past, making it more structured than its predecessors, with a dominance of black currant flavor. It shows the soft side of the vintage, but is also meant for aging.
96 points, Wine Enthusiast (February 2013)
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 flavours 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 flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.