Looks stunning, doesn't it?
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 it's 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 become the technical director of Pichon Baron since then. In 1988, the renovation of the chateau and the creation of 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 big 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 at that time, big property across the road, inherited by women and becoming Pichon Comtesse, is much more feminine wine, with more elegance and finesse.
Wine menu for a day in April 2019 at Pichon Baron, left and right!
Corine Ilic and Nicolas Santier from Pichon Baron's communication department
2021 Pichon Baron (barrel sample) 94-95p
Tasted twice - last time in September 2022. Consistent notes. 88% C.Sauvignon + 12% Merlot. The highest amount ever of C. Sauvignon in the blend, and the last vintage made by Jean-Rene Matignon, technical director of the estate, who retired in 2022. 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 yet during AXA's ownership!
2017 Pichon Baron 96p
Tasted three times - last time in September 2022. 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 of 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 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 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 that has improved and turned into a true superstar.
2005 Pichon Baron 95+p
Tasted in April 2018. Powerful, tight, dense, strong backbone, great depth, and incredible complexity. Still in its prime youth - we must wait at least ten years 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 waiting 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, much style and incredibly tasty. This wine continues to be a sheer beauty and joy. Barely opened when tasted in October 2020, 11 years since I last tasted it. It was closed and needed 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.