Chateau Pichon Baron

Listed Wines Pichon Baron
Owner AXA Millesimes
President Christian Seely
Annual Production ​(Grand Vin) 12-13,000 cases
Classification Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths)
Appellation Pauillac
Second Wine Les Tourelles De Longueville
Interesting Fact One of the most state-of-the-art wine producers in the Médoc region with innovations including a handsome réservoir that provides natural temperature regulation for the cellars below it.
Chateau Pichon Baron

Brand

The estate’s aquisition by AXA Millesimes, a viticulture subsidiary of investment giant AXA that holds a fearsome portfolio including the châteaux Suduiraut, Petit Village and Pibran, has been a saving grace to the Pichon Baron name. The estate now has one of the most state-of-the-art wineries in Médoc, with innovations including an optical sorting machine which roots out bad grapes. Englishman Christian Seely’s unrelenting strive towards improvement has paid dividends and the brilliance of recent vintages has helped Pichon Baron gain significant momentum in the Far East, with the Chinese in particular holding the Grand Vin in a position of high regard. A fraternal relation to neighbouring Pichon Comtesse de Lalande, traditionally Pichon Baron has been priced cheaper, though in 2011 both vintages were released at the exact same price reflecting recent market sentiment towards its renaissance.

Critic Appraisal

The improvements made under the stewardship of Michel Cazes and Christian Seely had immediate effect, fully reversing the slump in quality seen through the 70s and 80s, and returning this wine to where it should be - at the top of its game. Oft described as a ‘classic Pauillac’ due to its style and terroir, the 1990 vintage was described by Robert Parker as a “blockbuster”, outranking Pichon-Lalande - a landmark achievement. The 1990 is still in great demand, with prices around £2,500 per case and as it has been forecast another two decades’ longevity there is certainly potential for long-term growth. More recent Pichon Baron vintages have been remarkably consistent in quality and have scored well with an average score of 94-points since 2000, and the 2009 and 2010 winning great critical appraisal. In short, this is a winery going from strength to strength.

History

Following its 1855 Classification as a second-growth estate, Pichon Baron (full name Château Longueville au Baron de Pichon-Longueville) was passed down the family line until 1933 when a lack of potential heirs forced a sale to the Boutellier family, who maintained its good reputation. The beginning of the 1960s marked the beginning of a decline in the estate’s fortunes however; following the death of Jean Boutellier leadership was criticised as weak and investment lacking. Careless environment control led to the quality of the Grand Vin falling far below expectations of a Second-Growth. This decline was halted following the sale of the estate AXA Millesimes and new leadership in the form of Michel Cazes. The entire chai was rebuilt to an award winning design that incorporated wine cellars being built underneath a new pool to the front of the château residence itself, allowing for a process of natural climate control. By the time Christian Seely was named new president in 2000, Pichon Baron’s fortunes were restored and the château has earned a fantastic 97-point average for its three most recent vintages from Robert Parker.

Chateau Pichon Baron Pricing

Wine Vintage Producer Market price Unit size
Pichon Baron 2017 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,025.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2016 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,223.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2015 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,150.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2014 Chateau Pichon Baron £850.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2013 Chateau Pichon Baron £850.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2012 Chateau Pichon Baron £847.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2011 Chateau Pichon Baron £800.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2010 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,340.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2009 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,350.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2008 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,050.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2007 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,017.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2006 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,052.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2005 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,400.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2004 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,100.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2003 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,300.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2002 Chateau Pichon Baron £995.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2001 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,347.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 2000 Chateau Pichon Baron £2,150.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 1999 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,080.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 1998 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,080.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 1997 Chateau Pichon Baron £828.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 1996 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,480.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 1995 Chateau Pichon Baron £1,274.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 1990 Chateau Pichon Baron £2,890.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 1989 Chateau Pichon Baron £2,350.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 1986 Chateau Pichon Baron £2,400.00 12x75cl
Pichon Baron 1982 Chateau Pichon Baron £2,100.00 12x75cl

Highest rated vintages for Chateau Pichon Baron

98

Revealing incredible quality and performing better than it did from barrel, the 2009 appears to be the greatest Pichon Longueville Baron since the 1990 and 1989. An amazing opaque blue/purple color is followed by scents of spring flowers, graphite, smoky charcoal, incense, blackberries, blueberries and hints of coffee and chocolate. Incredibly intense, pure and flawlessly constructed with extravagant layers of fruit and richness, this offering has developed beautifully under the management of Christian Seeley. It is a voluptuous, opulent Pichon Longueville Baron that may eclipse anything they have made in the past. This brilliant wine should be at its peak between 2018 and 2045.

Robert Parker Jr
Wine Advocate #199 Feb 2012
97

A remarkable vintage for Pichon Longueville Baron, 1990 is one of this estate's two or three finest wines made in the last 40 years. Still inky/blue/purple-tinged to the rim, it reveals an extraordinary bouquet of charcoal, incense, creme de cassis, blue and black fruits, and a hint of licorice as well as an impressively long finish. While drinkable, its evolution is extremely slow, and I would not be surprised to see it last another two decades or more. Release price: ($390.00/case)

Robert Parker Jr
Wine Advocate #183 June 2009
97+

Administrator Christian Seeley thinks the 2010 is the greatest Pichon Longueville Baron he has ever made, equaling some of the estate's colossal wines from vintages such as 1989 and 1990. It was certainly showing well when I stopped by the chateau in January. Opaque purple, with loads of charcoal, licorice, incense and some exotic Asian spices along with abundant cassis liqueur, blackberry and hints of roasted coffee and spring flowers, it is full-bodied and opulent, with relatively high tannins, but they have sweetened up considerably and seem less aggressive than they did from barrel. The oak is clearly pushed to the background by the wine's wealth of fruit, glycerin and full-bodied texture. This sensational Pichon Longueville Baron needs 5-6 years of cellaring, and should keep 30+ years.

Robert Parker Jr
Wine Advocate #194 May 2011
97

This is one of the great wines of the vintage, and certainly a candidate for one of the finest wines made at this estate under the management of Christian Seeley and proprietor AXA. Showing incredibly well at two tastings of 2000s, the wine has a dense bluish/purple color and a beautiful nose of incense, melted asphalt, and creme de cassis as well as hints of new saddle leather and licorice. It is superbly concentrated and very pure, with excellent texture and opulence. The acidity seems low, the tannin high but well-integrated. This is a compelling 2000 that is just closing in on its window of maturity and should stay there for at least 20 or more years. Bravo!

Robert Parker Jr
Wine Advocate #189 June 2010
95

A sleeper of the vintage, the 2008 Pichon Longueville Baron is one of the densest, most concentrated wines of Pauillac in 2008. An inky/purple color is followed by aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, blackberries, charcoal, coffee and licorice. Exceptionally full-bodied with velvety tannins and undeniable appeal, this gorgeous, well-proportioned, larger than life 2008 should age effortlessly for two decades or more. With the realistic pricing that remains for many 2008s, this is a no-brainer.

Robert Parker Jr
Wine Advocate #194 May 2011
95

Both the 1989 and 1990 vintages exhibit opaque, dense purple colors that suggest massive wines of considerable extraction and richness. The dense, full-bodied 1989 is brilliantly made with huge, smoky, chocolatey, cassis aromas intermingled with scents of toasty oak. Well-layered, with a sweet inner-core of fruit, this awesomely endowed, backward, tannic, prodigious 1989 needs another 5-6 years of cellaring; it should last for three decades or more. It is unquestionably a great Pichon-Longueville-Baron.

Robert Parker Jr
Wine Advocate #109 Feb 1997
94

As usual, this superb Pauillac possesses an inky/blue/black color in addition to a big, sweet nose of graphite, charcoal, burning embers, black currant liqueur, and toasty vanillin from new oak casks. Full-bodied with high but sweet, well-integrated tannins, the 2005 Pichon Baron is more backward than the blockbuster 2003 or prodigious 2000. Nevertheless, it is a superb effort whose power, length, and tannic structure suggest it should be at its peak between 2015-2035.

Robert Parker Jr
Wine Advocate #176 April 2008
94+

This is a brilliantly run property year in and year out, and especially since the mid- to late 1980s has produced one of the top four or five wines made in Pauillac in virtually every vintage. With 13.4% alcohol, the 2003 is one of the most powerful efforts this chateau has ever made. Its dense purple color is accompanied by sweet, jammy creme de cassis notes intermixed with roasted herbs, smoked meats, and chocolate. Although ripe, dense, full-bodied, and moderately tannic, it is silky (because of its low acidity and high glycerin) as well as accessible. It should firm up in the bottle, and be at its peak between 2008-2025.

Robert Parker Jr
Wine Advocate #164 April 2006
93

An undeniable star of the vintage, Pichon-Baron's 2004 boasts an inky/ruby/purple color to the rim as well as a big, sweet nose of melted licorice, chocolate, black currant jam, truffles, and charcoal embers. Soft tannin, full body, and abundant opulence and flesh are atypical for the vintage character, but this wine is loaded. Pure, ripe, and evolved, it should be at its finest between 2009-2022.

Robert Parker Jr
Wine Advocate #171 June 2007
93

A very successful effort for this vintage in the Medoc, this deep ruby/purple-colored Pauillac exhibits class/nobility/breed along with black currant liqueur, licorice, and incense notes. Sweet, expansive, fleshy, and medium to full-bodied, with good structure, ripe tannin, and a long, 30-35 second finish, it can be drunk now, but will be even better in 2-3 years; it will last for 12-15 years. I had this wine three separate times out of bottle, and it is performing significantly better than it did from cask.

Robert Parker Jr
Wine Advocate #153 June 2004