2015 Pichon Baron

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Average critic rating : 94.71 points



A wine of total seduction, the 2015 Pichon-Longueville Baron possesses exceptional richness, power and intensity, all in the suave, inviting style of the year. Silky, voluptuous and creamy, the 2015 is totally spherical on the palate. This is an undeniably charming Pichon-Baron that should drink beautifully for several decades. Hints of lavender, mint, violet and crème de cassis add the closing shades of nuance in this seamless, racy Pauillac. Apr 2016, www.Vinous.com



The 2015 Pichon Baron is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot picked between 18 September until 9 October. Apparently Christian Seely made use of four additional 80-hectolitre wooden vats that augmented his stainless steel vessels. It has a very pure bouquet with lifted blackcurrant, blueberry and graphite aromas, beautifully delineated, the oak seamlessly embroidered with the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin. This is disarmingly and utterly harmonious with a startling mineral core. Possibly the most sensual Pichon Baron that I have tasted at this nascent juncture, it gently unfolds in the mouth and leaves with an enormously persistent finish that leaves the senses tingling. If you want to know whether this 2015 is up there with the 2009 or 2010, the answer is unquestionably yes. Apr 2016, www.eRobertParker.com, Drink: 2022-2050



Very solid and muscular Pichon Baron with ripe and velvety tannins. Full and very rich with balance of ripe fruit that deliver blackberry, walnut and spice. Warm and ripe yet finishes cool and sassy. Mar 2016, www.JamesSuckling.com



This has some exotic ripeness, with açaí berry and loganberry fruit pumping through, carried by substantial brambly tannins and backed by a long, spice- and black tea–infused finish. Shows power and range. Mar 2016, James Molesworth, www.WineSpectator.com



77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot. Dark crimson. Much less immediately attractive on the nose than Pichon Lalande. But with real tension and follow through on the palate. Very Pauillac indeed! Muscular. Apr 2016, www.JancisRobinson.com, Drink: 2025-2045



Rich, full and very ripe with the Baron vigour and fine tannins bringing lift and depth. A bit massive at the moment it but will firm up and show complexity with age. Apr 2016, Steven Spurrier, www.Decanter.com, Drink: 2021-2035



One of the best young Pichon-Barons I’ve ever tasted, this is a superb wine that will be worth cellaring as one of the Left Bank reds of the vintage. Serious, compact and concentrated, with sinewy tannins, dense, focused damson, blackcurrant and blueberry fruit, a whiff of tobacco leaf and liquorice and tangy acidity. Apr 2016, www.timatkin.com, Drink: 2025-2035

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 22/02/2017) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Pichon Baron 2015
+£95.00     (+9.6%) Latest price:  £1,085.00
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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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