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(59% Cabernet Sauvignon/28% Merlot/8% Cabernet Franc/5% Petit Verdot)
Quite deep blackcurrant and spice notes. Vibrant, tense palate which is quite closed but brooding with deep black fruit and anise. Softly structured, it wears it well. Good expression of the sultry, restrained style of Pichon Lalande but also of this elegant vintage.
The grande dame, the 2012 Pichon Lalande represents only 50% of their harvest production. It has soft, round tannins, endearing elegance, and up-front fruit. It is not a blockbuster, but its lush, richly fruity style is charming and seductive, with raspberry, blueberry, mocha and blackcurrant fruit and a deep ruby/purple color. This medium-bodied, supple-textured wine is surprisingly precocious and forward, and therefore best drunk over the next 15 years. The final blend was 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. 90 points – Robert Parker (Wine Advocate #218, April 2015)
I tasted the Pichon-Lalande three times over two weeks and it pains me to say that in 2012, the Grand Vin is not the success it ought to have been considering the percentage of Merlot in the vineyard. That is not to say that great effort was expended. There were two green harvests during the growing season which means that the yields were just 32hl/ha. The Grand Vin is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot harvested from 1 October until 18th October. They used three sorting: by hand, optical sorting and through the Ocillys de-stemmer The bouquet is a little disjointed and clearly does not possess the fruit intensity of its peers (through numerous comparisons). It just feels a little green and muted, startled by the growing season. The palate is medium-bodied with a pointed, slightly harsh tannic opening, then the wine dips where the fruit ought to be and those tannins just dominate and slightly dry out the texture on the finish. It is less Cabernet-driven than the 2011, which was 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, but I feel that had they gone further and reduced the Cabernet Sauvignon further to allow the superior Merlot to shine, it would have made a better Grand Vin. I hope to re-taste this after bottling – sometimes the Comtesse can show awkwardly en primeur and it improves in barrel, so I will bear that in mind. Tasted April 2013. – eRobertParker.com, May 2013
[59CS/28M/8CF/5PV] Dense to smell, matter and fruit; a classically fleshy Pichon Lalande; medium full, supple and finely tannic; a deliciously flattering ripeness of fruit, sweet, fresh and long with a sort of hidden power, and yet without being particulary complex, and with good, sweet length. Likely to be almost gulpably good, give a great deal of pleasure young, but keep too. A return here to a more ‘classic’ Pichon Lalande proportions, with nearly 1/3 Merlot, after 2011’s (very fine!) flirtation with 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and only 8% Merlot. A wonderfully comfortable and silky wine in prospect. 2020-30+ [M.Schuster, Bordeaux Mar/Apr 2013]
A gutsy, terroir-driven style, with briar-edged grip carrying notes of macerated black currant fruit, fig and plum sauce. This shows lots of dark anise through the finish, along with notes of roasted apple wood and a hint of cassis bush. Delivers excellent range, purity and energy. Best from 2018 through 2027. 10,000 cases made. – James Molesworth (WineSpectator.com, March 2015)
Wonderful nose of wet earth, mushrooms and berries. Full to medium body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Sleek and polished. Needs two to three years of bottle age to soften. 59% cabernet sauvignon, 28% merlot, 8% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot. – jamessuckling.com, Feb 2015
Tasted blind. Good energy and lift. Racy and polished. Lift and tea leaves. Slightly jagged tannins. But very long and energetic. Drink: 2023-2038 – jancisrobinson.com, Jan 2016
As it always is, the 2012 Pichon Lalande is a wine of pure and total seduction. The 2012 is neither the biggest nor most complex Pichon Lalande, but it is among the most pleasurable wine in this tasting, especially for near and medium-term drinking. Silky and medium in body, with lovely brightness, the 2012 has so much to offer.
Quality 834 | Brand 992 | Economics 894 |
Quality: Predicted life of 15 years, one of the longest drinking windows in its peer group for the 2012 vintage, which averages 10 years Brand: Strong restaurant presence, featuring on 36 of the world's top wine lists, including Amber - Mandarin Oriental Economics: Above its peer group average price of £60 for the 2012 vintage Production: Lower production than its peer group average of 151,058 bottles
- www.wine-lister.com June 2017