1970 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac

SKU #950196 94 points Wine Spectator

 One of the wines of the tasting. Fresh and complex, generous in character, with lovely dried cherry and spice aromas that follow through on the palate. Full-bodied, with concentrated fruit and firm tannins, this has a long life ahead. (JS)  (11/1997)

92 points John Gilman

 This particular half bottle was a bit idiosyncratic, offering up a decidedly meaty and roasted nose for the first half hour that it was open, before assuming a posture of a bit more elegance. The bouquet initially offered up scents of roasted cassis, grilled meats, tobacco ash, a bit of leather, herb tones and cedary wood. With some air a bit more sweetness came up in the fruit component, and a bit of the meatiness backed off. On the palate the wine is bigger and more powerful than the 1978, and is still a bit younger (even out of half bottle), with excellent mid-palate depth, fine structure, and just a bit of tannin on the long and powerful finish. The 1970’s combination of better depth, some solid acidity and just a bit of remaining tannin combine to produce a much more authoritative mouthful than the 1978 vintage of this wine. Clearly the 1970 Pichon is the best vintage from this château between the 1961 and the 1982. It is one of the top handful of Medocs in the vintage. (half bottle) (Drink between 2004-2025)  (8/2006)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Tasted at the Fine Wine Experience’s Pichon-Lalande vertical in London. This has a dark mahogany core with a tawny rim. The nose is masculine, delineated and meaty, with scents of hot bricks, gravel, tar and earth. Very good vigour and lift with just the right amount of leafiness. The palate is medium-bodied, very well balanced and one of the few 1970 Left Banks to have a degree of elegance and refinement (though not femininity.) It falls apart a little on the disjointed, mushroomy and slightly volatile, brown sugar-tinged finish and given previous bottles, perhaps a wine that has passed its peak but I suspect there are better bottles out there. (NM)  (9/2009)


 The 1970 Pichon Lalande is bold, powerful and rustic in style. Iron, smoke, tobacco, game, licorice and dried stone fruit character are pushed forward. The aromatics are more focused and pleasing than the palate, where the 1970 is marred by traces of brett. All things considered, the 1970 has held up well, but any remaining bottles need to be finished. (AG)  (10/2017)

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Price: $179.99
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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.


- 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.


Specific Appellation:


- 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.