2010 Pichon Baron



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£1,372.00
£685.00

Average critic rating : 95.45 points

97

97

Administrator Christian Seeley thinks the 2010 is the greatest Pichon Longueville Baron he has ever made, equaling some of the estate’s colossal wines from vintages such as 1989 and 1990. It was certainly showing well when I stopped by the chateau in January. Opaque purple, with loads of charcoal, licorice, incense and some exotic Asian spices along with abundant cassis liqueur, blackberry and hints of roasted coffee and spring flowers, it is full-bodied and opulent, with relatively high tannins, but they have sweetened up considerably and seem less aggressive than they did from barrel. The oak is clearly pushed to the background by the wine’s wealth of fruit, glycerin and full-bodied texture. This sensational Pichon Longueville Baron needs 5-6 years of cellaring, and should keep 30+ years. Wine Advocate.February, 2013

94-96

94-96

A blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot, 13.7% alcohol with a pH of 3.7 and total acidity of 3.3gms/L that will be raised in 80% new oak (the remainder one year old). This has a refined, much more understated nose than the 2009 that grabbed you by the lapels. It opens beautifully with aeration, blackberry, a touch of cassis, cedar and graphite, but a little gentler than other Pauillac 2010s at this early juncture. The palate is full-bodied with very fine tannins, good acidity, like the 2009, a Pauillac imbued with great symmetry and focus, very elegant and refined towards the finish that for once reminds me of the Pichon over the road. Very persistent and very “classic” towards the finish. Excellent. Drink 2015-2040+ Tasted March 2011. Neal Martin erobertparker.com

95-96

95-96

This has wonderful purity of fruit with currants, blackberries and licorice on the nose and palate. Full body, with velvety yet poished tannins and a long, long finish. Roses and flowers at the end. Tar too! Reminds me of the 1990 PB. jamessuckling.com

95-98

95-98

This is mouthfilling, with terrifically dense yet graceful layers of roasted coffee, warm fig sauce, currant preserves and Kenya AA coffee. The powerful finish blends iron-clad tannins and a hint of loam. Cuts a broad swath, but remains pure. Destined for a long life. James Molesworth, winespectator.com

18

18

79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot which had late malos. Vibrant purple colour. Very sumptuous nose with rather more interesting nose than most at this early stage. Very rich and sumptuous and gorgeous on the palate. Much more difference between the grand vin and second wine here than at Pichon Lalande across the road. Lovely complete expression of the ripeness of both fruit and tannin in 2010. Dry and cool on the finish. Very complete. Tea-leaf aromas and lovely texture. Unctuous and much less dry on the end than many 2010s. This should be a lovely wine that could be broached relatively early but will last. jancisrobinson.com

18.5

18.5

Wonderfully smoky fruit, quite compacted still with great natural depth of Cabernet Sauvignon and a great future. Drink 2022-45. Steven Spurrier, decanter.com

17-18

17-18

Ch. Pichon Longueville Baron(romantically facing Château Pichon Longueville, Contesse de Lalande) is now owned by the big insurance company Axa. The 2010 has a very deep purple noblesse de robe to a thin cinnamon garnet margin, and emanates a scent of smoky black fruits and myrrh.The high acidity is light and soft, relating well to luxuriant reminders of morello cherry, sloe, apricot and fig-like nuances. The 2010 is well-crafted and long-lasting, ready to rise in grandeur over the next 30 years or more. However, its margravine neighbour across the road has the charm and greater endurance to outlive.

96-97

96-97

Pichon Longueville Baron utilized only 45% of the harvest to make a great 2010. The wine reached 13.75% alcohol, the same level as in 2009. From an assemblage of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot, this deep, dark, purple colored wine opens with cassis liqueur, oak, truffle, tobacco and walnuts Powerful, concentrated and stuffed with ripe cassis and licorice flavors, this dense, classic style of Pauillac ends with a long generous, round, tannic finish. The best wine from this estate since 2005, it will be aged in 80% new oak. winecellarinsider.com

93-96

93-96

The deep ruby 2010 Pichon Baron offers up notes of spices, anise, plum and blackcurrant, opening onto a wonderful fresh mid palate and finish. This a full bodied, very densely packed Pichon Baron, with good length but chunkier and thicker in texture than the 2009. The 2009 was poured next to the 2010 and both are clearly excellent vintages for Pichon Baron. asianpalate.com

18-19

18-19

79CS 21M The nose is beautifully ripe and enticing. Ripe and broad-shouldered. Beautifully balanced from mid-palate to finish. Masculine and with massive concentration, this still remains a thing of beauty.



Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 29/11/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Pichon Baron 2010
-£155.00     (-10.15%) Latest price:  £1,372.00
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Pichon Baron: The Importance

Pauillac’s Château Pichon Baron, formerly known as Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, is ranked as one of the fifteen Second Growths from the Classification of 1855 and is considered one of the "Super Seconds", defined by Jancis Robinson as “best-performing wines that are not actually First Growths”. Located in the heart of the Médoc, it is the next door neighbour of Château Latour and its appearance is one of the most iconic and fairy tale-esque in all of Bordeaux.


Pichon Baron has been described by Robert Parker as “one of the finest values in top-class Bordeaux”, a sentiment that Neal Martin appeared to concur with in his assessment of their 2015: “I don't mind saying it, but this wine is as good as a First Growth. Though prices might not suggest it, wines such as these blur the qualitative lines between ranks of the 1855 classification.”


Top quality leadership over the last few decades has caused, in Robert Parker’s words, a “dramatic turnaround in quality” and now this “historically great Pauillac is achieving ever-greater heights”.



Pichon Baron: The Insight

According to Neal Martin: “Château Pichon-Baron is a powerful, tannic wine…” that ranks “with some of the best in Pauillac”. Some of the wines of the 60s and 70s have been accused of lacking lustre, but as Neal Martin says: “This is undoubtedly a château that has really found its own identity since the late-80's and under the aegis of Christian Seely, is asserting itself as a Pauillac wine to be reckoned with. It has not become a speculative commodity and prices rarely enter the realms of more prestigious estates, which is all the better for those who do not chase labels and adore fine claret.” Later picking, stricter selection, more new oak and the introduction of a second wine in the late 80s resulted in excellent vintages for the Grand Vin in 1989, 1990, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 and many more since.

 

A second wine, Les Tourelles de Longueville, was introduced in 1986 with grapes coming from the Saint Anne plot. Not only is this an excellent and approachable wine in its own right, but it also offers a reasonably priced window into this château. With more Merlot in the blend, as Neal Martin puts it, this wine “has one eye on commercial appeal”.

 

In 2012 Pichon Baron introduced another second wine: Les Griffons de Pichon Baron. Quite unusually for Bordeaux, this high-end second wine uses some grapes from the estate’s oldest vines grown on gravel soils, which are also used for the Grand Vin.



Pichon Baron: The Background

Pichon Baron and Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, its neighbour across the road, started life as the same Pauillac estate. Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville split the property evenly amongst his five children. The two boys received what became Pichon Baron, while the daughters received what is now Pichon Lalande. Interestingly many critics describe Pichon Baron as being masculine and Pichon Lalande as more feminine.

 

Pichon Baron fell from the family in 1933 and a lack of investment in the 60s and 70s resulted in a challenging period in its history. However, that came to an end when the property was bought by the AXA Millésimes Group – owners of Cantenac-Brown, Petit-Village, Pibran, Suduirat, Quinta do Noval and Domaine de l’Arlot. They instated Jean-Michel Cazes who revamped the estate massively and in a short time it was once again “producing wines of world class quality” according to Jeff Leve of The Wine Cellar Insider. Following Cazes’ retirement, Englishman Christian Seely took over and in Robert Parker’s words: “the high quality has continued unabated.”

 

Pichon Baron’s 73 hectares are planted on gravel soils with predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, roughly one-third Merlot and a little Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. 40 hectares of the oldest and best vines are used for the Grand Vin.



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