EXCELLENT PAUILLAC CLOSE TO 1.GROWTH QUALITY
Pichon Comtesse is situated on the right side of "Route de Vin", opposite to Pichon Baron on the left side of the road, just barely one kilometer after you leave the town of St. Julien in the direction of Pauillac.
In Bordeaux, among wine-people, you don't use name Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in daily talk, you just say Pichon Comtesse.
After 29 years long ownership of Pichon Comtesse (1978-2007) by Lencquisaing family, it was sold to the owners of famous champagne-producer, Roederer in the beginning of 2007. In 2012 major renovation of wine-facilities took place. In November 2012, Nicolas Glumineau arrived at the property and was appointed as general manager of the property. His previous job was at Chateau Montrose. After difficult start with 2013 vintage, he masterminded 2014, 2015 and 2016 vintage, the latter challenging for being the best vintage since 1961.
Here you find a good portion of the style of St.Julien in Pauillac. Very refined, rich and sophisticated wine. But also a lot of Pauillac style with cedar and tobacco leaves from Cabernet Sauvignon. This property has a long history and is well-known and very appreciated among Bordeaux lovers for a classic and well-crafted wine.
2018 Pichon Comtesse (barrel sample) 98-99p
Tasted in April 2019. 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. An epitomi of sophisticated touch, elegance, finesse and richness. Velvety texture, silky fruit and tannin, lot of sensuality and attraction. Mind-boggling wine which imho excells 2016 by a little margin, but just. It may even get perfect score from me after bottling. It'll be fun in 4-6 years time to compare 2016 and 2018. Has to be the best wine of this property in last 50 years and of course Nicolas Glumineau's best vintage he's made!
2017 Pichon Comtesse (barrel sample) 97+p
Tasted twice - last time in April 2019. Consistent notes. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Classy nose of tobacco leaf, creamy, very elegant and sophisticated with stunning complexity and elegance. Nicolas Glumineau, P. Comtesse's manager and winemaker, told me that in 2017 vintage it have succeeded for him to reach 100% precision. Uterrly expressive and impressive wine, knocking hard on the door of 2015 and 2016 vintage.
2016 Pichon Comtesse 98+p
Tasted five times - last time in April 2019. Consistent notes. IPT (Index Polyphenol Total) was very high in 2016, reached 81 compared with 74 for 2015. This wine was a showcase, an incredibly styled wine and a hit. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Impressive nose of blueberry essence, very precise and focused, velvety texture, extremely sophisticated and rich, awesome depth and length. Masterpiece of Nicolas Glumineau!
2015 Pichon Comtesse 98p
Tasted four times - last time in April 2019. Consistent notes. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Final blend was alredy made in February 2016. This wine was already a stand-out barrel sample presented during two days of UGCB tastings in Bordeaux in April 2016. While tasted again 6 days later at the property, it showed the same. Packed with perfectly ripe fruit and tannin, excellent complexity and length. More concentration, richness, depth and length than usual, sophisticated and with mega aftertaste. I don't remember Pichon Comtesse being that complex, rich, classy and stylish in the last 25 vintages. It seems that in 2015, this stunning beauty got an extra dimension to it, thanks to perfectly ripe inside and outside Cabernet Sauvignon. Same impression and even more complexit, while retasted in April 2017, October 2017, October 2018 and April 2019.
2014 Pichon Comtesse 94+p
Tasted five times - last time in February 2018. Consistent notes. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon + 22% Merlot + 7% Cabernet Franc + 6% Petit Verdot. Even more evident acidity here, great complexity and length, powerful with strong backbone, remarkable depth and finish. Excellent for the vintage.
2013 Pichon Comtesse 89p
Tasted twice - last time in October 2017. Consistent notes. 2013 was Nicolas Glumineau's first vintage and an extremely difficult one. New cellar wasn't quite ready, some deliveries of equipment were late, so there was some stress among staff. Anyway, Nicolas Glumineau and his staff managed to deliver a very good wine. Extremely rigorous selection resulted in "miniscule" yield of only 20 hl/ha. The wine's 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.. Roasted/grilled bacon on the nose, tobacco leaves, round, fruity and spicy. Already drinkable with nice fruity finish. This wine is sold out from the property - I guess many restaurants have bought it.
2012 Pichon Comtesse 92p
Tasted four times - last time in November 2015. Consistent notes. 59% Cabernet Sauvignon + 28% Merlot + 8% Cabernet Franc + 5% Petit Verdot. Quite tight, well-knitted, long, complex and well-balanced. Fine smooth finish. Well-made and succesful for the vintage.
2011 Pichon Comtesse 91p
Tasted three times - last time in October 2015. Consistent notes. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon + 12% Merlot + 8% Cabernet Franc + 2% Petit Verdot. Lot of acidity here, tannic and rather dry. Unusually high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in this vintage, so patience is required for this wine to soften.
2010 Pichon Comtesse 96p
Tasted twice - last time in October 2016. Consistent notes. 66% Cabernet Sauvignon + 24% Merlot + 7% Cabernet Franc + 3% Petit Verdot. Strong and powerful, tight, fat fruit and tannin with excellent ripeness, chocolate, dark cherries, big aromatic nose, excellent length, remarkable depth, complexity and balance. Superbly long finish. Stunning effort for the vintage.
2009 Pichon Comtesse 95p
Tasted four times - last time in February 2018. Consistent notes. Excellent sweetnes, velvety texture, silky fruit, excellent balance. Sophisticated touch to everything in this wine. Very, very impressive. In April 2016 - figs, voluptolous, splendidly aromatic nose, ripe fruit, spicy, Cabernet Sauvignon shining through, splendid length, excellent complexity. A little touch of heat in the aftertaste. As impressive in February 2018 and no touch of heat/alcohol in the aftertaste this time!
2008 Pichon Comtesse 93p
Tasted four times - last time in February 2018. Not consistent notes. 63% C.Sauvignon + 29% Merlot + Cabernet Franc 3% + Petit Verdot 5%. Aromatic and rich on the nose. Elegant, silky fruit and velvety tannins, sappy and fleshy, splendid length and aftertaste. This was in October 2009. Eight years later, it's obvious that baby fat has gone and the wine suffers a little bit from overdone vinification and resembles old style of the property. I have to retaste it in few years time. In February 2008 this wine was back to its best like in October 2009.
2007 Pichon Comtesse 90p
Tasted in October 2009. 58% C.Sauvignon + 36% Merlot + Cabernet Franc 2% + Petit Verdot 4%. Aromatic, gentle and smooth wine with nice balance, round and with caressing aftertaste. On the light side but extremely charming. Will provide early drinking.
2006 Pichon Comtesse 93+p
Tasted in October 2009. 64% C.Sauvignon + 36% Merlot. Strong, tight and masculine wine which needs time to shed off its tannins. Will say hello again to this wine in 10-15 years time.
2005 Pichon Comtesse 94+p
Tasted four times - last time in April 2016. Consistent notes. 64% C.Sauvignon + 29% Merlot + Cabernet Franc 6% + Petit Verdot 1%. Controversial wine according to many wine critics/journalists, but for my part I've always liked it. It's soft tannins and isn't a blockbuster as many had expected. Sensual, corpulent and beautifully crafted wine which slowly puts on weight while in bottle. Exquisite balance and long caressing aftertaste. Will keep for 15 years at least.
2004 Pichon Comtesse 93p
Tasted twice - last time in September 2012. Consistent notes. Deep red. Ripe fruit of high quality, aromatic cherries and blackcurrants. Quite marked by oak and tannin but keeps its lines very well. Strong structure and strong finish. Needs time to soften - 10 years. High quality wine.
2003 Pichon Comtesse 92p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2018. Consistent notes. Sun dried raisins on the nose and palate. Not a trace of overripeness, marmelade or stewed fruit here. Sappy and well-proportioned wine with plenty of tannin, fine balance and firm aftertaste. Great success for the vintage.
2002 Pichon Comtesse 92p
Tasted four times - last time in September 2017. Consistent notes. Deep red. Pleasant and charming on the nose with ripe and aromatic fruit (blackcurrants and cherries). Splendid on the palate with well-composed ingredients, fine structure and long aftertaste. Refined and elegant. Tremendously fine wine for the vintage.
2001 Pichon Comtesse 91p
Tasted three times - last time in June 2014. Not consistent notes. Deep red. Very aromatic, black cherries, great sweetness of fruit here. Very sophisticated and elegant, superbly structured and long on the palate. Simply a formidable wine. Below par in June 2014.
2000 Pichon Comtesse 96+p
Tasted in November 2011. Stunningly elegant wine full of finesse and sophisticated movements. Very stylish with enchanting black berry fruit. Great, great balance, great length and caressing aftertaste. May it live forever! Magnificent bottle.
1996 Pichon Comtesse 96p
Tasted twice - last time in February 2018. Consistent notes. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon here. Potent, strong backbone, deep and long on the palate, powerful and tight. 9 years later this wine gained more concentration, depth and richness. So true stylish Pauillac here.
1995 Pichon Comtesse 94p
Tasted twice - last time in February 2018. Consistent notes. Greatly impressive stuff. Fruity style, remarkable freshness, great complexity and structure. Long finish. Impressive for the vintage.
1991 Pichon Comtesse 93p
Tasted at the chateau in April 2018. This property's close neighborship to Gironde river assured no frost damage in its vineyard. The wine itself had an astonishingly perfumed nose of blackcurrants, fine complexity, depth, structure and length. Tasted extremely well.
1990 Pichon Comtesse 90p
Tasted twice - last time in October 2009. Consistent notes. Much Cabernet taste in this wine, elegant and with great finesse. Splendid balance and smooth aftertaste. Lacks maybe more concentration but the other ingredients here are just fine. At its peak now.
1989 Pichon Comtesse 94p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2018. Consistent notes. Same style as 1990 but more finesse and sophisticated touch here. More depth and longer aftertaste. Delicious wine. This was in 1996. Tasted better 22 years later, tight, complex, sophisticated and with great structure. Fully great wine.
1988 Pichon Comtesse 95p
Tasted three times - last time in February 2018. Consistent notes. 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot. Well-composed, deep and complex wine. Classy and refined. Great style here. Tasted again exactly 22 years later. Still going strong with fabulous nose of truffles and tobacco leaf, elegant and rich on the palate with great distinction of Pauillac terroir. Great wine and a clear proof that Bordeaux wines age really beautiful and graceful!
1985 Pichon Comtesse 93p
Tasted four times - last time in November 2015. Consistent notes. Fine intensity of spicy blackcurrants and redcurrants, feminin style with finesse and seductive taste. Delicious wine. A bottle tasted in November 2015 was significantly better than the one from 1996 (last tasted), so this wine gets upgrade and a big one. Seductive, truffles, lot of sweetness, great balance and depth, silky fruit and tannin. Long aftertaste.
1982 Pichon Comtesse 98p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2018. Consistent notes. Strong, fat and concentrated, rich with enormous depth, complexity and incredibly long and persistent finish. This wine has potential to keep all strings together for more than 50 years. One of the best examples of the vintage and also one of the very best wines ever for the property. This was in 1996. 22 years later this wine seems to have got some "wrinkles on the face" and it's not that profound anymore. However though, it's still an exceptional wine.
1978 Pichon Comtesse 92p
Tasted twice - last time in September 2017. Consistent notes. In Februar 1996 - dark color, Much depth on the nose with finesse and race. Strong and concentrated, very complex and long. Impeccably made wine which can stay on top for at least 20 years! Almost 20 years later it's fully drinkable, quite mature and tasty.
1975 Pichon Comtesse 91p
Tasted in September 2017. Light in colour, quite mature on the nose and palate, nice complexity and structure.
1945 Pichon Comtesse 90p
Tasted in September 2017. Old stuff but this wine is still alive and drinkable.
1928 Pichon Comtesse 93p
Tasted in November 2002. Lots of cheries, superb elegance, medium bodied, finesse, taste of raspberry drops. Formidable wine.
Nicolas Glumineau, manager of Pichon Comtesse since November 2012, pictured in April 2016.