1975 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a highly regarded wine estate in the Pauillac appellation of the Haut-Médoc region of northern Bordeaux. of the most significant second growths in Pauillac, Bordeaux. Often shortened in common parlance to "Pichon-Lalande" or "Pichon Comtesse" (partly to differentiate it from a neighbor, Château Pichon-Longueville Baron), the estate produces a regularly lauded, Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant grand vin.
Pichon-Lalande also neighbors first-growth powerhouse, Château Latour at the southern end of the Pauillac appellation. All three estates share something of a similar terroir and climate, which partly helps to explain the quality of the wine at Comtesse de Lalande – which is sometimes referred to as "nearly first growth".
The Pichon-Lalande estate covers 85 hectares (210 acres) in both Pauillac and Saint-Julien. The Saint-Julien holding covers twelve hectares (30 acres) and although the estate has produced a simplified labeled Saint-Julien, this wine is now rarely encountered.
Five Bordeaux grapes are grown on the estate's vineyards, although the grand vin is historically dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot (with Cabernet Sauvignon making up 60 percent of the blend). Wines from Comtesse de Lalande are some of the more voluptuous to come from the Médoc due to the high proportion of Merlot in the wine.
The 1975 Pichon-Lalande has long been one of my favorite vintages from the decade, and this recent example attests that it is holding up. It has a beautiful bouquet of red berry fruit, roasted chestnut, leather and sage, utterly harmonious and showing commendable vitality after 43 years. The palate is medium-bodied with melted tannin. It is quite savory in style and the Merlot is fully in control, to the extent that it feels almost Right Bank in style. Maybe you could quibble about the slight metallic finish; nevertheless, if intent on buying a Left Bank from this vintage, I would probably come here. Tasted at a vertical tasting at the château.
93 Wine Spectator
Savory, pepper, tobacco and juniper notes lead the way. The tannins remain slightly rigid, but the core of dried currant, cherry and plum fruit has enough substance to match. Old-school Bordeaux, aged gracefully.
92 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Served at the chateau. It has a truly wonderful bouquet, very natural with discernable wild mint notes center stage. Very fine definition, certainly quite mature, but very fresh, gaining intensity in the glass with subtle hints of leather, autumn leaves, roasted chestnut, lemon rind and burnt toast. The palate is medium-bodied and has good weight, certainly here suggesting that it has entered the latter part of its drinking plateau. Vibrant acidity, a nice savory finish that is showing a little more dryness than the ’78 just has the edge on this. Spicy aftertaste though.
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A wine list from Flask published in the early 1970s
Driving down Ventura Blvd in Studio City in the 1960’s has something in common with today, Flask Fine Wine & Whisky- Flask first opened its doors to the public in 1962. Decades later and it still remains a respected fixture in the Los Angeles community.
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