Pichon Lalande 2011
Tasting Notes Pichon Lalande 2011
A 2011 with blackberry, dark-chocolate and smoked-meat character. Full body, silky tannins and a long, intense finish. All about balance and polish. Very fine. Needs three to four years to soften. Try in 2017.
The headline is that this vintage of Pichon Lalande has the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon ever: 78% accompanied by 8% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. It is aged in 60% new oak and has an IPT of 75. It has a very strict bouquet, obviously dominated by the Cabernet with notes of blackcurrant, tobacco, graphite, a hint of Christmas cake and that tincture of blood orange evident in the second wine. The palate is medium-bodied with a linear, conservative entry that expands nicely in the mouth. It has fine acidity, good tension, fine weight but it is very tightly wound, more so than usual at this nascent stage. Leaving it aside, there is a hint of Lapsong Souchang and graphite towards the finish that shows a little hardness, but that should soften by the time of bottling. A very Pauillac-like Pichon, perhaps the little brother of the 1996? Tasted twice with consistent notes. Tasted April 2012.
The dark ruby/plum-colored 2011 Pichon Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande is an elegant, suave, medium-bodied effort with abundant black cherry and red and black currant fruit. Nearly St.-Julien-like in its texture and personality, this is a well-made, finesse-styled Pauillac to drink over the next 10-15 years.