July 18th, 2013

Fortunate to have enjoyed a February 2013 vertical of the best vintages back to 1982 of Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron second growth Pauillac.

Property with a long history realizing substantial improvements since the eighties under AXA first under the guidance of the indomitable Jean-Michel Cazes and now Christian Seely. Wonderful terroir expressed in the wines from those great gravelly vineyards next to Chateau Latour and the stricter selection for their Grand Vin.

Even torridly hot 2003 is successful in a riper more forwardly softer style because of their older vines with deep roots in that gravel having the same beneficial effect as the more moisture retaining clay soils of St. Estephe.

1996 Highest cabernet sauvignon at 80% but much lighter colour with prominent acidity. Needs time?

1995 Darker than 96 with much richer fuller fruit. A surprising delight!

1988 Herbal greener stemmy notes but a more elegant balanced character.

1986 Shows the opposite styling to 1982 with those more backward and tougher hard old style tannins.

1982 In that same sweet attractive 2003 style but more rustic as the selection then not as rigorous as now.

Clearly my top three:

2000 Less severe modern style still showing some oak. Admire the intensity and structure here. Still needs cellar time.

1990 Wonderful cedar-cigar developing bouquet with a palate of  almost overripe concentrated fruit. Very impressive!

1989 My winner! Love the balance, elegance and the deliciousness! Deserves that Wine Spectator 1992 Wine of the Year selection. Hope you have some of the 1989 tucked away for a special treat to see what this chateau does spectacularly!

What is the best vintage of Pichon Baron for you?

July 18th, 2013

5 Responses

  1. Ian Westcott says:

    Hi Syd
    Thanks for notes.
    Interesting that your favourite was the 1989 as this has always been my favourite vintage of Pichon Baron ( not a Chateau that greatly excites me) tasted but it must be said that I don’t remember tasting any since the 2000 on release, which showed very good potential.
    Ian Westcott.

  2. John Danza says:

    Pichon Baron has always been one of my favorites. The 1990 is probably my top pick, which is still very young and years away from maturity with decades of life left.

    However, the 1959 will always be special as it performed beautifully at my 50th birthday dinner a couple of years ago. Fully mature but still very lively, it was the epitome of old school Bordeaux.

  3. Peter Joyce says:

    Syd, 1989 is very good and typical Pichon Baron in style, structure and weight. 1990 is possibly a better wine for current drinking to my palate (love the acids-tannins structures); but 1961 is the best since I have tasted this wine from release. A 1928 was great in the late 1960,s, but I have no idea what it was like in its youth: possibly undrinkable and swamped with fine-grained tannins! It must have been a great tasting Syd, as Baron is always a little fuller, thicker, sweeter and more velvet than many of its peers. It is as good as any Bordeaux to marry with full and rich curries; which, incidently, I love.
    Peter C Joyce

  4. James Garard says:

    I would agree with the ’89 and back this up with the ’90. I have had several tastings of both wines served blind and the ’89 always wins. Better yet, my son was born in ’89 and my daughter in ’90. Both have plenty of bottles to share with their dad along with a couple of magnums for when I am really old.
    Jamie Garard

  5. Jan Sjogren says:

    Thanks, Syd, for well-written and concentrade comments. Well done. Thanks also for Vancouver. I love the ´90. Jan

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