The 1996 Pichon-Longueville Baron has a deep garnet core with some bricking on the rim. The nose is fragrant and generous with more red fruit than black, cedar and tobacco, fine definition, perhaps a little rustic in keeping with the winemaking at the time, but certainly giving lots of pleasure. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin -- a cohesive Pauillac with plenty of depth and fine balance. The acidity lends this plenty of freshness and it does not shortchange you with plenty of tarry, cedary fruit. You come away with the impression that this Pichon Baron is going to continue to improve although I would not burn anyone at the stake for opening it now. If you cannot afford the First Growth then this (and Pichon Lalande) would be where I would come. Drink 2016-2035.
Complete, very sophisticated. Dry finish with lots of tannins well smothered by evolved fruit. Not heavy, very delicate. This is a vibrato wine that dances on the palate. Much more lift than most. Drink 2005-18
Clearly more depth in colour than the preceding three years, and this is classic Pauillac, as with the 1995, but a little more structured. Cedar and cassis notes, still sombre and stubborn tannins, opens to show woodsmoke, cold ash, and touches of eucalyptus. 59IPT, 80% new oak.
Showing none of the austerity which characterise some 1996s, this is a truly classy Pichon Baron. There's plenty of generous black fruit already displaying complex layers of classic Pauillac character, supported by long tannins and a clean delineating acidity, leading to a well-rounded and spicy finish. Delicious, absolutely charming and undoubtedly great value!
Tasted at Roberson's Pichon Lalande/Pichon Baron vertical. It is a number of years since I have tasted this outstanding expression of a great Left Bank vintage. It has a sublime nose, slightly melted in character with pencil lead, blackberry, pencil box and some tertiary notes, moving more towards secondary aromas quicker than the Pichon Lalande '96 tasted alongside. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch more piquancy than the Pichon Lalande, perhaps not quite the harmony or complexity, but fresh and lively with notes of tar, cedar and brambly black fruits. I like the citric acidity threaded through this wine, lending so much vivacity and freshness. Very good ageing potential. Not in the same class as Pichon Lalande, but a thoroughly enjoyable Pauillac. Tasted September 2010.
Pichon Longueville Baron's 1996 has turned out to be even better than I thought from cask. The high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend (about 80%) resulted in a wine that has put on weight in the bottle. An opaque purple color is accompanied by beautiful aromas of tobacco, new saddle leather, roasted coffee, and cassis. It is dense, medium to full-bodied, and backward, with moderately high tannin, but plenty of sweet fruit, glycerin, and extract to balance out the wine's structure
I felt that this was over-extracted in its youth and was consequently parsimonious with my score. However, it shone at Farr's 1996 blind horizontal. A fresh, lifted, cedary nose with excellent definition. Reserved, understated but classy. The full-bodied palate is quite toasty but fresh with good delineation. Blackberry, tar, cedar and just a faint touch of white pepper. Harmonious and focused. Very persistent finish. Excellent. Tasted September 2006.