Château Pichon Baron
Château Pichon Baron is a Grand Vin that offers an amazing sensory experience with its black fruit flavours and spicy hints.
Intense ruby-red colour with purple glints. The nose reveals aromas of fresh red and dark fruit, followed by an aromatic range that leads into mild spices and notes of tobacco, leather, cedar and cocoa. Powerful and explosive on the palate, the tannins are intense yet refined and delicate. Lots of volume with fleshy flavour. Shows great elegance, intensity and exceptional length on the palate. Masculine and with massive concentration, this still remains a thing of beauty.
79% Cabernet-sauvignon and 21% Merlot. This Grand Vin uses grapes from some of the very oldest vines grown on the estate’s historic plots. The terroir’s best land – the “Butte de Pichon Baron” – is devoted entirely to the production of the Grand Vin, making up the majority of the blend.
The grapes are brought into the vat-house plot by plot, manually harvesting the young vines first and the older vines later. Highly meticulous optical sorting in the vat-house, keeping only the very best grapes. The must from each plot is vinified individually. Maceration lasts 18–25 days, depending on tasting results. Malolactic fermentation occurs in large vats with regular transfers of the wine into barrels, along the fine lees, to contribute to the roundness of the wine. Ageing 80% in new barrels, 20% from barrels of one vintage for 20 months.
A wine that will improve year after year, with an excellent ageing potential of over 40 years in the cellar.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Brace yourself, this is a long one…
– 98 POINTS
Deep dark ruby garnet, opaque core, violet reflections, somewhat restrained, black berry fruit with a delicate smoky background, delicate of blueberries, fine tobacco nuances. Juicy, ripe cherry fruit, some sour cherries, firm tannins, freshly structured, pleasant extract sweetness, overall still a bit edgy, mineral aftertaste, red berry aftertaste, it still takes some time. Tasted March 2013.
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.
A truly great vintage in Bordeaux, with wines replete with tannin, acidity, and an almost extreme ripeness. 2010 is often seen as level-pegging with the fleshier 2009s, but at this estate 2010 is ahead by more than a whisker. The nose is reserved, with blackcurrant and chocolate aromas, brooding but intensely ripe. The palate is very rich, opulent and full-bodied, with massive but ripe tannins. Pwerful, taut and muscular, it’s crackling with tension – the fruit is not yet fully expressive, but t’s just beneath the dense but velvety surface. Exceptional length. Drinking window 2022–2050. Tasted November 2017.
This is quintessential Pauillac, a great wine with its Cabernet proudly at the fore. It ranks with the 2009 and, with its tannins, is sure to age longer than that vintage. Solidly structured, powerful and dense, with fruit promised for the future, it succeeds with its weight and great concentration. Tasted February 2013.
– 96 POINTS
The 2010 Pichon-Baron is simply one of the greatest wines produced under Christian Seely’s tenure. It has a stunning bouquet with penetrating black fruit, wilted violet and a touch of sea spray, a distinctive marine note verging on shucked oyster shells. The palate is very well balanced with fine grain tannins, layers pf graphite infused black fruit and a very detailed, captivating finish. Brilliant. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 10-Year On Bordeaux horizontal. Drink: 2023-2055
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.
Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider – 96–97 POINTS
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.
Solidly built, with a roasted edge to the steeped fig, blackberry and black currant flavours, quickly followed by brambly tannins and notes of bay leaf and espresso. Stays dark and tarry through the finish, with superb drive and verve. Best from 2017 through 2030.
Neal Martin – 94–96 POINTS
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.
Jeannie Cho Lee MW – 93–96 POINTS
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.
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.