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2016 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1299418 100 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Coming from the genius winemaking talent of Nicolas Glumineau, the 2016 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande matches the 1982 and is a perfect, legendary wine in the making. A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new oak, it's not the most powerful Left Bank but offers perfect balance and thrilling intensity as well as heavenly aromatics of crème de cassis, leafy herbs, jammy blackberries, tobacco leaf, and freshly sharpened lead pencils as well as more violets and minerality with time in the glass. Possessing a deep, full-bodied, singular character, the purity of fruit that's the hallmark of the vintage, building tannins, and a sense of class and elegance that's hard to describe, it's a 50-year-wine. While this cuvée has included a fair chunk of Merlot in the past that gave it more upfront appeal, it's important for readers to know it's much more Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated today, and while it is slightly more approachable than some of its neighbors, it shuts down rather quickly with time in the glass. (I followed this wine for multiple days.) I suspect a solid decade of cellaring is warranted.  (2/2019)

100 points Vinous

 The 2016 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is every bit as regal as it has always been. Towering and spectacularly rich in the glass, the 2016 captures every ounce of potential is showed from barrel. The 2016 is a vivid, dramatically sweeping wine that will leave readers week at the knees. Beams of tannin give the 2016 soaring intensity that is matched by a host of aromas and flavors that open up in the glass. Blackberry jam, graphite, spice, menthol, licorice, pencil shavings and spice are all finely sketched in a bold, savory Pauillac that hits all the right notes. The 2016 Pichon Comtesse has been riveting on each of the four occasions I have tasted it from barrel thus far, making it easily one of the wines of the vintage. Nicolas Glumineu and his team turned out an epic Pichon Comtesse in 2016. Don't miss it! (AG)  (10/2018)

98 points 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. (JA)  (4/2017)

98 points James Suckling

 Glorious aromas of blackcurrants, blackberries and flowers, from violets to roses. Iron and rust undertones. Full-bodied, dense and very layered with loads of richness. It goes on for minutes. Reminds me of the 1986. Best in decades? Take a first look at it in 2025.  (2/2019)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is blended of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc aged for 18 months in 60% new oak. Deep purple-black in color, it is a little mute, slowly unfurling to reveal a core of crushed blackcurrants, blueberry compote and black raspberries with nuances of cinnamon stick, violets, star anise, menthol and pencil shavings plus a waft of fallen leaves. Medium-bodied and super intense in the mouth, the palate bursts with black fruits and savory layers, complemented by red fruit sparks and framed by fantastically ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing very long with a lingering suggestion of minerality. (LPB) 98+  (11/2018)

97 points Wine Spectator

 Saturated with dark currant, fig and blackberry compote flavors, this has a fleshy, nearly glycerin feel at first before stretching out to reveal singed cedar, tobacco leaf, dark earth and cassis bush flavors. A terrific tug of cast iron emerges at the very end. Deliciously juicy dark fruit keeps rolling throughout. Best from 2025 through 2040. (JM)  (3/2019)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 This wine is full of freshness and life as well as serious tannins and structure. The two sides complement each other to give a wine that has power as well as delicious black fruits and acidity. With the tannins it will age well. Drink this balanced wine from 2025. (RV)  (5/2019)

K&L Notes

97 points Neal Martin for Vinous: "The 2016 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande has an enthralling bouquet of tobacco-infused black fruit, shaved truffle and pencil shavings; crushed stone emerges with continued aeration. The Cabernet Sauvignon is clearly in the driving seat here, just like the 1996. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin, more saline and marine-influenced than Pichon Baron, and a tad spicier toward the finish, which is one of the most impressively persistent I have ever encountered in a Pichon-Lalande, fanning out with gusto and leaving the mouth still tingling 60 seconds after it has departed. This is a benchmark for the estate, the best Nicolas Glumineau has overseen in his tenure... thus far." (01/2019)


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Price: $439.99

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Additional Information:

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 M├ędoc 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.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

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.