This top 2nd growth, whose wines recently have not been quite as consistent as they were in the 80s, has produced a great 2001. Concentrated, powerful and seductive this is one of the best wines of the vintage and was tasting better than the 2000 at the same stage.
A distinctive bouquet of violets, soy, pepper, blackberries, cassis, and tree bark gives this 2001 a singular style. This dense ruby/purple-colored blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and a whopping 14% Petit Verdot exhibits plenty of structure, wonderful sweetness, a closed style, but a rich, textured, persistent character. The unusually large percentage of Petit Verdot gives the wine more structure and less initial charm. This beauty needs some time in the cellar. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2018.
Excellent colour. Admirable ripeness for the vintage. Gently toasty aromas. Thick and chewy. Sleek, and very insistent. Satin texture. More tannin than acid. Inky finish. Drink 2008-2015
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
This estate was once merged with neighbouring Pichon Baron to form a much larger domaine. Due to inheritance problems, it was split in 1850 between only two children – one being Virginie de Lalande née de Pichon Longueville. The Lalande family sold the property in 1925 to Edouard and Louis de Miailhe. It remained in their family until Edouard’s daughter, May Eliane de Lencquesaing,sold it earlier this year to Louis Roederer.
Pauillac, Red Bordeaux
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac’s renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac’s wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.