2016 chateau pichon longueville comtesse de lalande 2eme cru classe, pauillac
Why We're Buying
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande has a long name and an even longer list of accolades. As one of the 15 deuxièmes crus, its red blend serves as a model for structure and style. The cabernet sauvignon-forward blend also ranks among the priciest wines in Pauillac.
As powerful and potent as one could possibly wish, yet a wine of extraordinary poise and composition, the 2016 Lalande delivers an absolute wealth of concise and beautifully focused, ripe currant fruit with layer upon layer of savory pencil-lead spice, creamy oak, minerals and tobacco-leaf extras. It is a profound and authoritative Pauillac by any and all measures, and it has tremendously long life ahead. That it will age effortlessly for at least another ten to twenty years is without question, and it, in truth, has the look of a benchmark claret that, with proper cellaring, will continue to beguile well into its third decade and beyond.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They practice biodynamic methods across 6ha of the total 76ha in production here.Cabernet dominant, it's very Pauillac in style and totally lives up to its en primeur promise. The tannins deepen and tighten and here we are, smack-bang in the northern Médoc. This is youthful, rich, powerful and intense; very good quality. It gets better and better as you return to it, and I'm really impressed with the texture and depth of the silky-smooth palate: pure cassis notes alongside hawthorn, hedgerow and liquorice. Matured in 60% new oak.
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.