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Chateau Pichon Longueville-Baron

pichon-baron.jpgSitting imposingly opposite Pichon Comtesse de Lalande, Pichon-Baron (as it is universally referred to, despite the recent name change) is nothing if not a stunning Château.  And thankfully, it’s a lot more than just that!  Once part of a single ‘Pichon’ estate (prior to the 1855 Classification), it’s really only the last 20 years or so that Pichon-Longueville has hit its straps and realised the near-unlimited potential of its superb location and produced wines befitting of its geographical neighbours (Pichon-Comtesse de Lalande and Latour in Pauillac, and Leovilles Las-Cases and Barton over the St.-Julien border.

I find Pichon-Longueville a somewhat dark, exotic, rich and often brooding wine, but one of exquisite balance and savour, and it makes for a wonderful counterpart to the more restrained, classical style of its local contemporaries.


Some 70 hectares, planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, with an average vine age of 30-35 years.  The 40 distinct plots, all on the Pauillac/St.-Julien boundary, are now harvest and vinified separately, thanks to the impressive new cellar facilities.

The concept of lute raisonée is practiced here, essentially a policy of minimal intervention, allowing nature to take its course, and they have achieved certification to ISO 1401.  No sprays are utilised in the vineyard whatsoever, not even the ubiquitous (and permitted) Copper Sulphate.  The initial triage or sorting is completed in the vineyard by the pickers.


Primary fermentation and maceration is completed in large stainless steel vats, sorted by the various plots, before the parcels are separately according to quality and the inherent structure or style of the wines, and complete malolactic fermentation in either barrel or stainless steel tank.

Around 15-18 months in new oak is given to the wine destined to become grand vin, which is entirely Alliers from six to eight different coopers.

A standout feature of Pichon Longueville is the impeccable state 

of cleanliness of the cellars, and the attention to detail that has been given to the creation of a winery with great practical workflows.  The wines are egg-white fined prior to blending in a 1,500 hl tank, and then bottled.

Whilst it is quite a modern style of wine produced at Pichon Longueville, it is entirely true to its terroirand status of one of Pauillac’s leading wines.