Following the release of Pichon Baron yesterday, Pichon Lalande has released. Akin to its neighbour it was awarded 96-98 points, which gives it the potential to match the legendary 1982, which with a score of 98 points, trades over £7,000 a case. We have been verbose about stunning weather conditions in Pauillac in 2016, resulting in some of the purest Cabernet Sauvignon in decades. Said conditions have created a special Pichon Lalande and a blend with a much higher preponderance of Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2016 Lalande has 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc: the Cabernet Sauvignon is often much closer to 65%. Today’s release price of £1,420 is a 25% euro increase on 2015, a step up, but the so is the wine, Martin says ‘This is probably just a notch up on the outstanding 2015 Pichon-Lalande, a Rolls Royce with a purring engine.’ Pichon Lalande 2016 has a median score of 97, which makes it the finest in decades, while today’s price puts it within the price band of the 2009 and 2010, which have 95 and 95+ points respectively and trade at £1,350 and £1,320. However, we can expect this to achieve 98 points, is truly in spellbinding.
This morning’s release of Pichon Lalande has been well scored by The Wine Advocate, achieving a banded score of 96-98 points, the Chateau has subsequently priced enthusiastically. Comparing the current market price of previous vintages with their respective scores, a release of 97 points would indicate a price of around £1,290. Unfortunately, this is not echoed by today’s price of £1,420. However, this possible 98-point wine is separated from recent vintages by up to 2 points so appreciation above the trend could still be seen. The variables graphed below indicate a strong positive correlation with a score of 0.803156 subsequently strengthening the findings.
Pichon Lalande’s superstar status is secure. It is considered a Super Second with an elegance that sits at odds with the austere richness of its neighbour Latour; it exhibits characteristics more akin to those found in the wines of Lafite. It could be the high percentage of Merlot, that supplies these silky textures to the wine, or that the property’s holdings are located on the border of St Julien with 11 hectares actually inside the appellation.
Chateau Pichon Lalande 2016, 12×75 – £1,420 EP
96-98 Points, Neal Martin, The 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.
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?
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