Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande [Pre-arrival] 2020
JD98-100: An estate that has been on fire of late, the 2020 Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse De Lalande is another brilliant wine in a succession of brilliant wines. Revealing a dense purple hue as well as full-bodied aromas and flavors of blac currants, scorched earth, tobacco leaf, and violets, it hits the palate with an expansive, rich, yet pure, precise texture that carries fabulous tannins, perfect balance, and a stacked mid-palate. Based on 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc, it's an incredible wine that's going to flirt with perfection and is unquestionably one of the finest, if not the finest, Left Banks in the vintage. Bravo. Tasted twice.
JS97-98: This is extremely structured, but with a level of polish and refinement that highlights the excellence of the terroir. Very long and expansive on the palate, showing class and beauty. Powerful.
VM96-98: The 2020 Pichon-Lalande has a backward nose similar to that of its neighbor Pichon-Baron, and so I decanted the bottle for 45 minutes. It then revealed gorgeous scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow, seaweed (Japanese nori) and wild mint. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and gentle but insistent grip. Very intense but not ripe; there is a coolness about this Pauillac that I like, while the finish is very classically styled and leaves behind a persistent, slightly briny aftertaste. This is a magnificent, cerebral Pichon-Lalande that will deserve serious aging and the patience of anyone still waiting for The Cure's new album. Tasted three times, including directly from the château. - Neal Martin