Solid, with a rounded, enticing core of plum and black currant preserve flavors supported by savory and tobacco notes. Has sleek tannins and fresh acidity for ample length and a nice graphite edge at the end.
If you just taste the big name Pauillacs, you would be hard-pressed to understand that 2017 has been a challenging year. This is one of my wines of the vintage, no question. It's from 21ha, biodynamically farmed, with Vincent Masson as consultant. Just a few plots further away from the river were affected by frost. The slight austerity of 2017 is evident, with a savoury quality to the fruit, but this is exceptionally good, with plenty of stunning fruit and well defined tannins. The aromatics are very refined, and the intense cassis fruit doesn't sacrifice any intensity or power. It demonstrates the energy that Comtesse has displayed so consistently in recent vintages, with gorgeous finesse and structure to the tannins. The new cellar has raised the level of Cabernet from 65% to 70+%, with 12% press wine. This is going to age extremely well.
This is a really fascinating young Pichon Lalande with a dense center palate of currants, crushed stones, salt and seashells. Really long and intense. Wonderful energy. Showing character of some of the top years of the 1980s.
This barrel sample is 100% new oak, whereas the final blend will be only 60% new oak. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the 2017 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is very deep garnet-purple in color with an incredibly fragrant nose of roses, lavender and baking spices over a core of crushed blackcurrants, wild blueberries and fresh plums plus touches of iron ore and underbrush. Medium-bodied and elegant with firm, grainy tannins, it's quite taut and muscular, with lots of perfumed and mineral layers and a long finish with lingering cinnamon and anise notes.
The 2017 Pichon-Lalande was picked from 7 September to 2 October and underwent a 23 day cuvaison period. It is intense on the nose, the new oak coming through a little strongly since the sample came from a new barrel, the final blend consisting of 60% new wood. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, the Cabernet Sauvignon driving this alone with layers of black fruit laced with cedar and graphite. It is a very Pauillac Pichon Lalande, less opulent and giving than recent vintages and more in the style of say, the 1996 or 2010. There is very good persistence on the saline finish but it is clearly a wine that is going to require more cellaring than its peers. Tasted four times in total, each time this gained more substance and density.