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Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Premier 2016

Winemaker's Notes:

96-97 Points, James Suckling: "Linear and racy with ultra-fine tannins and a gorgeous center palate. Full-bodied, tight and so polished. The classicism and beauty are exceptional. Love the texture. Better than 2015?" 04/17 95-98 Points, Wine Spectator: "Light savory and tobacco notes peek out from the core, but a ball of cassis and blackberry fruit is still coiled up with the strong iron spine. This is to be expected. Very pure, with a long finish. Risk-free cellaring" 4/17 97-100 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous: "A deeply emotional, moving wine, the 2016 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is simply extraordinary. The tannins are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit, while the 100% new oak is remarkably well integrated at this stage. Dark, powerful and brooding, the 2016 possesses remarkable polish for such a big wine. The purity of the flavors is simply captivating. Scents of graphite, smoke, leather, tobacco and menthol soar from the glass, enhancing a core of deep, plush, dark fruit. All the elements fuse together in a wine of nearly unparalleled beauty. Although not inexpensive, Pichon-Lalande is arguably the single finest relative value in ageworthy wine in Bordeaux right now. Readers should do whatever they can to pick up the 2016. It is without question one of the wines of the vintage and potentially a legendary wine in the making. Tasted three wines." 4/17 96-98 Points, Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc (compare that to the 2010 that had 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, for example--that should give you some pointers). The alcohol level is 13.32% and a pH of 3.76. I tasted from a new oak barrel and the final blend will include around 60% new wood and 40% one year old, which is something I took into account. It has a very succinct bouquet, one that is almost understated at first, gradually unfolding with blackberry, cedar and graphite scents, in the vein of say the 1986 or 1996 Pichon Lalande of the past. The palate is very well balanced and what I appreciate here is that it is still as much identifiable as Pichon Lalande as it is a Pauillac and a 2016. There is that touch of roundness imparted by the Merlot, even though the Cabernet dominates the blend, surely the terroir sculpting the wine. It gently builds in intensity, maintaining freshness, a gentle but insistent grip towards the finish and a very long aftertaste. This is probably just a notch up on the outstanding 2015 Pichon-Lalande, a Rolls Royce with a purring engine." 4/17 #230 98 Points, Jane Anson, Decanter: "Beautiful mix of power and restraint that you can almost reach out and touch. The extraction is so silky that the effect is a wine that seems endless, suspended above your palate, caressing it and teasing you to find the tannins that are very much hidden. There are some rich coffee seams that fill out on the mid-palate with cassis and ripe blackberry notes, whipped together with violets and peonies. The juicy, mouthwatering quality just keeps on coming. The blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc from yields around 40hl/ha and with an IPT of 82, 10% higher than in 2010 but you simply can't tell. This is clearly going to age and age. One of the wines of the vintage, and I am ready to be seduced." 4/17

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Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande:
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96-97 Points, James Suckling: "Linear and racy with ultra-fine tannins and a gorgeous center palate. Full-bodied, tight and so polished. The classicism and beauty are exceptional. Love the texture. Better than 2015?" 04/17 95-98 Points, Wine Spectator: "Light savory and tobacco notes peek out from the core, but a ball of cassis and blackberry fruit is still coiled up with the strong iron spine. This is to be expected. Very pure, with a long finish. Risk-free cellaring" 4/17 97-100 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous: "A deeply emotional, moving wine, the 2016 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is simply extraordinary. The tannins are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit, while the 100% new oak is remarkably well integrated at this stage. Dark, powerful and brooding, the 2016 possesses remarkable polish for such a big wine. The purity of the flavors is simply captivating. Scents of graphite, smoke, leather, tobacco and menthol soar from the glass, enhancing a core of deep, plush, dark fruit. All the elements fuse together in a wine of nearly unparalleled beauty. Although not inexpensive, Pichon-Lalande is arguably the single finest relative value in ageworthy wine in Bordeaux right now. Readers should do whatever they can to pick up the 2016. It is without question one of the wines of the vintage and potentially a legendary wine in the making. Tasted three wines." 4/17 96-98 Points, Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc (compare that to the 2010 that had 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, for example--that should give you some pointers). The alcohol level is 13.32% and a pH of 3.76. I tasted from a new oak barrel and the final blend will include around 60% new wood and 40% one year old, which is something I took into account. It has a very succinct bouquet, one that is almost understated at first, gradually unfolding with blackberry, cedar and graphite scents, in the vein of say the 1986 or 1996 Pichon Lalande of the past. The palate is very well balanced and what I appreciate here is that it is still as much identifiable as Pichon Lalande as it is a Pauillac and a 2016. There is that touch of roundness imparted by the Merlot, even though the Cabernet dominates the blend, surely the terroir sculpting the wine. It gently builds in intensity, maintaining freshness, a gentle but insistent grip towards the finish and a very long aftertaste. This is probably just a notch up on the outstanding 2015 Pichon-Lalande, a Rolls Royce with a purring engine." 4/17 #230 98 Points, Jane Anson, Decanter: "Beautiful mix of power and restraint that you can almost reach out and touch. The extraction is so silky that the effect is a wine that seems endless, suspended above your palate, caressing it and teasing you to find the tannins that are very much hidden. There are some rich coffee seams that fill out on the mid-palate with cassis and ripe blackberry notes, whipped together with violets and peonies. The juicy, mouthwatering quality just keeps on coming. The blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc from yields around 40hl/ha and with an IPT of 82, 10% higher than in 2010 but you simply can't tell. This is clearly going to age and age. One of the wines of the vintage, and I am ready to be seduced." 4/17

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