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May 13, 2013

Pichon Baron 2012 En Primeur

chateau-pichon-longueville-baron-160302

Pichon Baron and Pichon Lalande were once the same estate; they were divided by Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville on his deathbed giving what is known as Pichon Baron to his sons and what became Pichon Lalande to his daughters. Interestingly Pichon Baron is known as being more masculine in style and Pichon Lalande as more feminine. Pichon Baron’s wines are full bodied and concentrated with wonderful elegance and finesse.

Pichon Baron is one of the most famous Super Seconds; it is situated in Pauillac at the southern end next to St Julian. The bottle is easily recognised by its beautifully illustrated label. The estate is made up of 70 hectares of vines with its oldest dating back pre WW2.

Before the 1980s, Baron’s wines were under-performing, however quality improved after Jean-Michel Cazes of Lynch Bages was introduced to help run the estate. In the last ten years the Chateau has gone from strength to strength and is realising its incredible potential.

Though prices have increased so has quality: 2012 offers a price reduction on 2011 but not the 2006. Please find Liv-ex’s table reporting average trading prices across a basket of vintages:

Parker scores
2012 90-93pts £710
2011 90-92pts £775
2007 90-92pts £800
2006 92pts £750
2004 93pts £850

A strong effort from this Pauillac chateau, most of the old vine Cabernet Sauvignon from their parcels near Latour made it into the 2012 Pichon Longueville Baron’s final blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. A dense purple color is accompanied by an attractive bouquet of incense, cassis, cedar and toasty oak. It is medium to full-bodied as well as bigger, richer and brawnier than most Medoc 2012s. Noticeable tannin in the finish suggests 3-4 years of cellaring is warranted. Drink it over the following two decades. 90-93 Parker Points