Pichon Lalande 2005


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See all wines by Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

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Tasting Notes

The Château Pichon-Lalande 2005 that was so divisive at birth but as I expected right from the beginning, this is maturing into a lovely Pauillac. It offers compelling tobacco and graphite scents on the nose, belying the Merlot content of this blend, reserved at first but opening gloriously in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin and well-judged acidity. There is an effortlessness quality about this Pichon-Lalande. 'tis not the most powerful or decadent Pauillac but its is very sophisticated and refined. Drink 2018 - 2045

Score: 95Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2015

The 2005 Pichon Lalande, with its aromatics of cassis, forest floor and earth are followed by a medium-bodied wine that doesn’t have quite the length and richness the aromatics suggest. Nevertheless, it is medium-bodied, elegant, and pure, and a classic example for this château. Drink it now as well as over the next 15 or so years. It is showing better than my earlier notes suggest. Drink: 2015 - 2030

Score: 89Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (219), June 2015

This estate has been sold to the Louis Roederer/Deutz champagne firm, but it appears the winemaking team will largely remain intact. Only 50% of the production made it into the 2005, a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. While not in the same league as Pichon Lalande’s greatest efforts (2003, 2000, 1996, 1995, 1986, 1983, and 1982), it is a lighter-styled, more linear, slightly herbaceous yet impeccably elegant wine offering notes of cedar, black currants, and plums. Medium-bodied and fresh, with moderately high tannin, it seems to be an improved version of the estate’s 1990. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025.

Score: 88/90Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (170), April 2007

Only 50% of the production made it into this blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. The Merlot harvest began on September 20, and the Cabernet Sauvignon was brought in in early October. Deep ruby-hued with purple highlights, the lighter-styled 2005 Pichon-Lalande (reminiscent of Pinot Noir) is a racy, elegant, finesse-filled Pauillac without the power, flesh, and substance of previous vintages. Its delicacy and vibrancy have resulted in a singularly styled effort for this impeccably run estate. I would not be surprised to see the 2005 put on more weight after 4-5 years of bottle age; it should keep for two decades.

Score: 89/91+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006

Tasted at the château as part of a private vertical. The 2005 Pichon-Lalande was always a tricky wine to pin down but it is rapidly turning into a very impressive wine. The colour is still youthful, whilst the nose is very well defined with blackberry, raspberry, cassis and iodine fruit that expands in the glass, but remains a little tight-lipped like many 2005s at this stage. The palate is very well balanced with fine tannins, a superb bead of acidity, precise black fruit interlaced with fig and dates. There is a gentle grip on the finish but it still seems a little closed. Cellar this for another 4 or 5 years. Tasted March 2014.

Score: 94Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, September 2014

Tasted blind in a peer-group tasting, the Pichon-Lalande showed a ripe plumy nose with blackberry and raspberry, not quite as defined as the sample poured at the chateau. With time in glass there are scents of cedar wood, a touch of Xmas cake and cassis, all the time gaining vivacity in the glass. The palate is very ripe, beautifully defined with excellent balance. Finesse here, a well-bred Pauillac with a bright, cedar-infused finish that will hopefully just put on a little more weight. Excellent. Drink 2010-2035. Tasted January 2009.

Score: 95Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, July 2009

Beautiful currant, berry and licorice aromas follow through to a full body, with tar and berry character, fine tannins and a long finish. I was expecting a little more from this, but it's still outstanding. Best after 2013.

Score: 93James Suckling, Wine Spectator, March 2008

Score: 93James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, February 2008

Love the aromas here of currants, licorice, exotic fruit, and berries. Complex. Full and silky, with gorgeous tannins. This is really long and reserved. Very close to 95-100. I will see in bottle.

Score: 92/94James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2006

The 2005 Pichon Lalande is not an inspiring wine, particularly within the context of the year and also the vintages that follow in this tasting. Despite its pretty, expressive bouquet, the 2005 is dark, powerful and excessively heavy, with drying tannin that suggests either overextraction or the effects of a growing season marked by severe drought. Time in the glass does seem to help the release of some freshness in the cherry, floral and mint flavors, but the coarse tannins are ultimately impossible to get past. I imagine the 2005 will last for several decades given its concentration, but I don’t expect it to ever be a wine of finesse or nuance. During this era, Pichon Lalande was a wine made by committee. Perhaps for that reason, it does not seem to have an especially well-defined personality. Hubert de Boüard, Eric Boissenot and Denis Dubourdieu all had a hand in the 2005. I am reminded of the classic expression “too many cooks in the kitchen….” 2017 - 2027

Score: 89Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, October 2017

Tasted blind. Dark crimson. Fleshier than the average Pauillac 2005 and therefore fun! Though relatively precocious.
Drink 2015-2030

Score: 17Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, March 2017

Dark crimson - this wine really glows with health. Sweet, chocolatey and rich but with enough life and freshness to make a great whole. Only just broachable. Very promising.

Score: 18Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, August 2015

Mid crimson. Scented and flattering. Some real sweetness on the nose and then acidity insists. Not heavy nor especially dense. Positively tangy! 13%
Drink 2018-2040

Score: 17-Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2015

Not the most intense crimson. A little austere on the nose. Then quite opulent and red fruit candy flavours on the palate. Not the noblest 2005 Pauillac. Rather raw and simple. Hint of green. Drink 2012-2018. Date tasted 18th Feb 09.

Score: 16.5Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, July 2009

Very dark crimson. Broad and opulent on the nose - scented. Fresh and relatively simple. A little green note? Neat and compact but not as dense as some. Certainly a ripe vintage with dry tannins and representative of 2005, but correct rather than a wow wine. Very competent and well balanced. Finishes quite suddenly. (I tasted the 2004 alongside and was most impressed by its vivacity and depth. It could be even better than the 2005!) More obvious sweetness than the 2004. Drink 2012-25

Score: 17.5Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2006

A bright ruby colour in the glass, this has a nose of pure blackcurrant and black cherry, with a hint of sweet vanilla and cedar. The palate is vibrant, again dominated by a core of ripe black fruits. There is lift from refreshing acidity and weight from new oak and wood spice. Though this is 2005, the fine-grained tannins have yielded enough into the body of the wine to make this a delicious wine to drink now. The finish is long, fine and well balanced, with hints of floral notes and wood smoke.

Score: 17Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, December 2015

Deep colour, full and fleshy, really seductive, some leafiness, but full of florality and exotic spices, a superbly smooth wine with more power than is evident now. Drink 2012-35.

Score: 18.5Steven Spurrier, Decanter Magazine, April 2006

Quite austere, firm Cabernet Sauvignon nose. Fresh with bright fruit.Not very plump but medium weight and balanced. Drink from 2012. Awarded 3 stars

Score: 15.5+Decanter Magazine, Decanter Magazine, July 2008

"Very deep, velvety, very good legs, distinctive fruit. Very delicious. I loved it!"

 Michael Broadbent, April 2006

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.