An excellent 2nd Cru wine from Pauillac!

Pichon Baron

2019 21

Looks stunning.

Chateau Pichon Baron has a long history, and I'll mention the most important facts here.

In 1850, Pichon Longueville Baron, according to the will of Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville after his death the same year, was split among his five children. Two sons inherited the part known as Pichon Longueville Baron, and three daughters were granted property on the other side of the road, which later became Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande.

From the 1930s until the mid-1980s, Pichon Baron was owned by the Bouteiller family. Under their ownership, the quality of the wine wasn't worth its status with thin and bland wines.

In 1987 French insurance company AXA Millesimes purchased this property, and Jean-Michel Cazes from Lynch Bages was appointed as manager. After a short time, he was replaced by Jean-Rene Matignon, who's been the technical director of Pichon Baron since then. In 1988, renovation of the chateau and the creation a new cellar for vinification and ageing began. Under the new ownership, the quality of Pichon Baron started to improve, especially in 2005, 2009, and 2010, plus the last five vintages (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) are excellent.

Pichon Baron covers 73 ha of vines whose average age is 35 years. Planted grape varieties are 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

In addition to Grand Vin, two-second wines are produced, Les Tourelles de Longueville and Les Griffons de Pichon Baron. Les Tourelles has more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, while Les Griffons has more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot.

Pichon Baron is an authentic Pauillac wine with power, a strong backbone and great concentration. It's a modern touch to it. While it's masculine, which corresponds very well with the fact that men inherited it in 1850, the other part of that time, big property across the road, inherited by women and becoming Pichon Comtesse, is a much more feminine wine, with more elegance and finesse.

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Wine menu for a day in April 2019 at Pichon Baron, left and right!

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Corine Ilic and Nicolas Santier from Pichon Baron's communication department

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2021 Pichon Baron (barrel sample) 94-95p

Tasted in April 2022.  88% C.Sauvignon + 12% Merlot. Highest amount ever of C. Sauvignon in the blend and the last vintage made by Jean-Rene Matignon, technical director of the estate. Minty, tobacco leaf, redcurrants and blackcurrants, fleshy, vibrant, well-integrated tannin, fine midpalate and long-lasting finish. Excellent effort. 

2020 Pichon Baron (barrel sample) 98+p

Tasted in May 2021. 76% Cabernet Sauvignon + 24% Merlot. Very intense nose of tobacco and grilled bacon, tight, dense, fat and luscious on the palate with a strong backbone. Tannin seemed to be a bit firmer than compared to vintages 2018 and 2019. Nevertheless, it's a complete wine with great complexity, rich, and excellent length. Stupendous wine. 

2019 Pichon Baron 98+p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes. 87% Cabernet Sauvignon + 13% Merlot. 87% C. Sauvignon + 13% Merlot. Sheer power and concentration, rows and rows of creamy blackberries and sweet tannin, remarkable complexity and depth, luscious and with many layers. Big meaty finish. Riveting effort.

2018 Pichon Baron 98-99p

Tasted three times - last time in December 2020. Consistent notes. Tight, dense, powerful with a strong backbone, fabulously complex, chewy, rich and stunning length. Emphatic and stupendous wine! 78% Cabernet Sauvignon + 22% Merlot. In my opinion, the best vintage was made during AXA's ownership! 

2017 Pichon Baron 96p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes.  79% C. Sauvignon + 21% Merlot. Freshness. Tobacco leaves and graphite on the nose. The palate had power and elegance, fine acidity and lovely complexity, and fine structure and balance. More accessible than the highly heralded vintages in 2019 and 2020. 

2016 Pichon Baron 97+p

Tasted in April 2019. Very aromatic and intense on the nose, powerful yet elegant at the same time, rich, noble and with a meaty finish. Exceptional effort.

2015 Pichon Baron 97p

Tasted in April 2019. More spicy fruit and more "muscles" than in 2016, but this wine still had the same power and length. Fabulous stuff.

2014 Pichon Baron 95p

Tasted three times - last time in September 2019. Consistent notes. Classic Bordeaux style with tightness, strong backbone and massive approach. This wine has everything and needs some time to develop. 

2010 Pichon Baron 98p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2019. Not consistent notes. Big balls wine with power and concentration at the highest gear, dense and tight, and with unlimited longevity. Like many other wines in vintage 2010, I remember that this wine wasn't that stunning and expressive from the barrel in April 2011. After bottling, it's become a different animal, has improved a lot and turned into a true superstar.

2005 Pichon Baron 95+p

Tasted in April 2018. Powerful, tight, dense, with a strong backbone, great depth, and excellent complexity. Still in their prime youth, and we have to wait at least ten years more to get a complete insight into this wine's further development. 

2004 Pichon Baron 95p

Tasted in April 2018. Similar to 2005, the fruit here isn't as ripe as in 2005, and tannin is not ripe and finely grained. Many years to go with wait for tannin to soften a great deal.

2002 Pichon Baron (barrel sample) 91p

Tasted in September 2003. Well-made wine with lovely complexity, superb structure and delicious fruit.

2001 Pichon Baron 95p

Tasted five times - last time in October 2020. Consistent notes. Perfectly ripe and beautifully aromatic. Chocolate flavours in large quantities. Stylish and incredibly tasty wine. This wine continues to be simply beauty and sheer joy. It barely opened when tasted in October 2020, 11 years after the last time I tasted it. Closed and needing 10-20 years to be accessible.

1996 Pichon Baron 95p

Tasted in April 2007. Aromatic and powerful on the nose, deep on the palate with strong structure. Very concentrated and long on the aftertaste. Superb wine.

1989 Pichon Baron 96-97p

Tasted in September 2022. The level was less than 1 cm from the end of the cork! An incredibly youthfully tasting wine, 33-year-old, dark colour, lots of freshness, an extraordinary nose of Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of red meat, tobacco and cigar box. Great complexity, excellently ripe berries and tannin, exquisite balance, midpalate and length. Awesome stuff from this property!! It can easily keep for 50 more years.

1926  Pichon Baron 92p

Tasted in April 2018. Fishy (oyster) nose but tasted well alive. Better on the palate, clean, pleasing, delicate palate and nice fruity finish.

Latest news

 NEW! Two more chateau profiles added - Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse and L'Eglise Clinet. Check both out in "Chateau Profiles" under Saint-Emilion respectively Pomerol.

1. I spent two weeks in Bordeaux in April 2022 to taste 2021 vintage from the barrel. A review of 300+ tasted barrel samples - "2021 BORDEAUX FROM BARREL" in "VINTAGES".

2. Impressions from my trip to Bordeaux in November 2021 are here - chapter "2021 Bordeaux visits" in "VINTAGES". Additional TNs from barrel samples of 2020 vintage tasted in Bordeaux - chapter "2020 FROM BARREL", in "VINTAGES".

3. 2019 vintage's TNs on 85 wines tasted in Bordeaux in November 2021 plus additional TNs on 120+ wines tasted in Copenhagen during January-March 2022 are published. Check out chapter "2019 BARREL/BOTTLE" in "VINTAGES".

4. Tasting notes concerning the 2018 vintage on wines tasted from the bottle in Bordeaux in November 2021- chapter "2018 IN BOTTLE" in "VINTAGES".

5. The Burgundy blog in the News chapter is a new feature, including impressions from Burgundy tastings/tasting dinners attended since November 2018. It'll also have impressions on tasted wines from Beaujolais' best winegrowers. I explored this wine area in April 2022 while tasting Morgon Cote du Puy from five producers in 2018 and 2019. A tasting of top cuveés from the same producers took place in mid-June 2022. The report will be published in September 2022.

6. In addition to my website, I also post tasting notes to an excellent website run by Pekka Nuikki from Finland, www.tastingbook.com, where I have 11.400+ followers and published 2.950+ TNs by primo September 2022. Tastingbook.com users have voted me as nr. 24 in the 2022 competition of "The best wine critic in the world".