2012 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1128716 94-96 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (4/ 2013)

92-93 points James Suckling

 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.  (4/ 2013)

91-93 points 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.  (4/ 2013)

89-92 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (4/ 2013)

88-91 points 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.  (6/ 2013)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

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Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.