Last night, Château Director Nicolas Glumineau, guided Academy guests through the following, comparative vertical of eight wines:
PAIR 1: 2006 Réserve de la Comtesse vs. 2006 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
PAIR 2: 2005 Réserve de la Comtesse vs. 2005 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
PAIR 3: 1996 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande vs. 1995 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
PAIR 4: 1986 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande vs. 1985 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
Following a selection of exquisite canapés and Champagne, each of the above pairs was examined in detail as Nicolas provided expert guidance and insight.
He began with a history lesson on this prized 2nd Growth château, covering the origins of the two, different Pichon estates while noting that Lalande has always been considered to be quite a ‘feminine’ style of Pauillac. Speaking passionately about the wines, Nicolas commented that “the identity and elegance of Pichon Lalande is due to the percentage of Merlot in the blend,” and that the many, clay heavy vineyard plots are especially suited for the growing of Merlot, much more so than Cabernet Sauvignon. Additionally, Nicolas stressed how the “Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are the ‘salt and pepper’ of the blends,” adding spice and nuance.
The Founder: Virginie Comtesse de Lalande
Attendees enjoyed a lively discussion on the relative readiness of drinking, the fruit quality and the overall ageing development of these particular wines. Nicolas also revealed his personal preferences on when to drink Bordeaux, “My father-in-law is 85 years old and from the Left Bank. He says, ‘I love my wines when they are 30-40 years old.’ Ok, fine, but I want to drink my wines before my sons and grandsons…For me, I just want to see balance.” Nicolas then went on to explain that the comparatively higher than usual percentage of Merlot (for a Pauillac) made Pichon Lalande accessible at a much younger age.
After considerable examination and debate, the wines were put to the vote and, by majority, the 1996 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande came out on top as The Wine of The Night. With its combined elegance, power, and rich, dense body, yet with soft tannins, the wine easily took centre stage.
The evening concluded with a delicious array of bowl food prepared by our in-house chef and guests continued to sample the wines late into the night, while getting the chance to enjoy one-on-one discussions with Nicolas.
We hope you are able to attend some of the exceptional, upcoming events we currently have scheduled at AWC Wine Academy and we look forward to your joining us here at our Marylebone venue in the near future.