Pichon-Longueville Baron makes muscular and powerful Bordeaux. The Grand Vin comes of 40 ha. Most of the blend is Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance is Merlot. Pichon has a further 33 ha which includes Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. However these two grapes are only found in their second wine. The vineyards are in the “golden mile” adjacent to Pichon Lalande and Chateau Latour. The Southern vines run into Leoville Las Cases and Leoville Poyferre in St Julien. in short, they have great terroir.
The powerhouse of the Left Bank. It contains three of the five first growth wines. And a wealth of other great Chateaux beyond that. It combines the cool charm of St-Julien to the South and the rugged richness of St-Estephe to the North and makes the wines that are often thought of as classic Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon reigns here and expect wines that are built to last 40 years in a great vintage.
The noble variety of Bordeaux’s left bank. Firm tannins, a streak of acidity and punctuated by flavours of cassis, violets, spice and leather. The best examples can age for the long-term. Although Cabernet does often require blending with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Shiraz to fix the hole it has in its middle palate.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus they are almost not needed.
If you like elegant, lighter and less oaky Bordeaux (and who doesn’t?), then this will be a year to carefully buy. At their best, a few of the wines are as good as the 15 & 16 vintages. Stick to great red Bordeaux producers. Whites and Stickies were quite good.