2012 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)
Barrel sample. Intense black currant fruitiness makes this wine unabashedly forward. The palate bears weighty tannins behind that fruit, resulting in a wine that is already quite balanced and structured.
Focused and very pretty with ultra-fine tannins and dark chocolate, dark fruit. Fine texture. A beautiful center palate and finesse here. Creamy tannins. 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Coming in at a lofty 13.2% natural alcohol, it offers up scents of black currants, white chocolate, berries, cedar and forest floor. Sweet tannin, a round opulence and medium body result in a classic, supple-textured Pauillac that should drink well young and keep for 12-15 years. It is very much in keeping with what most readers would consider the 'house style' of Pichon Lalande, despite the fact that they are moving toward more Cabernet Sauvignon and less Petit Verdot in the final blend. Fifty percent of the crop made it into the final blend of 2012 Pichon Lalande, which includes more and more Cabernet Sauvignon under the new ownership of the Roederer Champagne firm. The 2012 is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.
Juicy and forward in feel, with a core of red currant and cherry paste, backed by notes of savory, plum skin and roasted vanilla bean that steadily emerge through the finish. Gains weight with aeration, displaying a more rounded feel than most of this vintage's Pauillacs.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good dark red. Dark plum, raspberry, graphite and violet on the nose. Smooth, fine-grained and sweet, with a floral quality to the plummy fruit. Has the middle to support its tannins and acids, and finishes with good length. Despite the difficult vintage, this struck me as a slightly more concentrated Pichon than the 2011. Talented Nicolas Glumineau was called over from Montrose to be the new technical director in the wake of Sylvie Cazes's departure.