2011 Pichon Baron



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£782.00
£389.00
£68.00
£132.00

Average critic rating : 92.67 points

91

91

Its bigger, more famous sibling, the 2011 Pichon Longueville Baron exhibits a dense ruby/purple color, an opulent mouthfeel for a 2011, silky tannins and no hard edges. Medium-bodied and well-endowed, it is a major success in this vintage. It should hit its stride in 3-4 years and last for 15+. Wine Advocate.April, 2014

93-95

93-95

A blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Merlot picked from 12th September until 28th or something (according to a vague Mr. Seely.) It sports a ripe, more extrovert nose than some of its neighbours, with lush blackberry, boysenberry, a touch of cherry liqueur and underneath, typical Pauillac traits of graphite and tobacco. Leaving the glass for five minutes it unwinds nicely and shows great purity. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins on the entry, good grip and weight, a 2011 with real substance and chutzpah. The more I leave this in my glass, the more I like it. Very harmonious with layers of ripe blackberry and a touch of white pepper, the finish forgetting it is 2011 and not 2009. This is an outstanding Pichon Baron for the vintage. Tasted three times with consistent notes. Tasted April 2012. Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com

92-93

92-93

Very pretty aromas of currants and blueberries with hints of flowers. Full body with silky tannins and a fruity finish. Refined. Very polished tannins. James Suckling, jamessuckling.com

92-95

92-95

This has muscle, but is fleshy and almost creamy along the edges, with a very dense core of plum, blackberry and cassis waiting in reserve. A sleek iron edge cruises in on the finish and adds some serious length. James Molesworth, WineSpectator.com

17

17

60% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 50% new oak. Rich plummy fruit but there's fresh cassis too. Coffee as it opens up. Tightly wound but with flesh enfolding the frame. Firm, rounded tannins, none of the dusty dryness of some in this vintage. With a fresh juicy and long finish. Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com

17.5

17.5

Ripe Cabernet cassis fruit, very good structure and length, firm Pauillac elegance. Drink 2017-2030. Decanter.com

92

92

Utilizing a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Merlot. The wine reached 13.2% alcohol. The wine will be aged in 80% new oak. The assemblage features one of the highest concentrations of Cabernet Sauvignon found in modern times. Ruby in color, smoke, truffle, earth, cassis, vanilla and tobacco scents are found in the perfume. Medium bodied, ripe and soft, there is a fresh, vibrant feeling in the wine, ending with crisp cassis flavors. Jeff Leve, theWineCellarInsider.com

91-93

91-93

Full, opulent and generous wine made from the older vines of Cabernet and yields of only 30hl/ha. Plush and very seductive with bright cherry and cassis fruit with a hint of cedar. Tannin levels were astonishingly high and Pichon Baron managed it well with less extractive techniques. This vintage is not as concentrated as the previous two but it is well made and balanced with potential for long-term ageing. Jeannie Cho Lee MW, AsianPalate.com

18

18

From a blend of 82% Cab Sauv and 18% Merlot and a respectable 13.5% alcohol raised in 80% new oak for 18 months. The 2011 Pichon Baron has a lifted, leafy nose blackcurrant nose. It is a huge mouthfull and has formidable tannin levels. Very Cabernet and on the austere side at the moment. This has the potential to age magnificently, but it will need time to reach maturity but with time will become a very classic (and classy) Pauillac. Top class.



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 22/11/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Pichon Baron 2011
+£15.00     (+1.92%) Latest price:  £796.00
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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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