The 2017 Pichon-Lalande was picked from 7 September to 2 October and underwent a 23 day cuvaison period. It is intense on the nose, the new oak coming through a little strongly since the sample came from a new barrel, the final blend consisting of 60% new wood. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, the Cabernet Sauvignon driving this alone with layers of black fruit laced with cedar and graphite. It is a very “Pauillac” Pichon Lalande, less opulent and giving than recent vintages and more in the style of say, the 1996 or 2010. There is very good persistence on the saline finish but it is clearly a wine that is going to require more cellaring than its peers. Tasted four times in total, each time this gained more substance and density. Drink 2022-2045.
|Score: 93/95||Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018|
This barrel sample is 100% new oak, whereas the final blend will be only 60% new oak. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the 2017 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is very deep garnet-purple in color with an incredibly fragrant nose of roses, lavender and baking spices over a core of crushed blackcurrants, wild blueberries and fresh plums plus touches of iron ore and underbrush. Medium-bodied and elegant with firm, grainy tannins, it's quite taut and muscular, with lots of perfumed and mineral layers and a long finish with lingering cinnamon and anise notes.
|Score: 94/96||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018|
This is a really fascinating young Pichon Lalande with a dense center palate of currants, crushed stones, salt and seashells. Really long and intense. Wonderful energy. Showing character of some of the top years of the 1980s.
|Score: 95/96||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018|
The 2017 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is gorgeous, but it is also going to need time to come together. The sensuality and allure typical of so many Pauillacs is not at all evident here. A rush of dark cherry, plum, smoke, charcoal and exotic spice make a strong opening statement in a powerful Pichon Comtesse that is not ready to show all of its cards. The 2017 was incredibly reticent in several tastings, which is probably a very good thing for its long-term potential. Today, though, the 2017 is dense, powerful and closed in on itself, without the layers that define the 2014, 2015 and 2016.
|Score: 92/95||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2018|
Dark crimson with soft pink rim. Lightly leafy dark fruit. Super-smooth texture and some fruit sweetness on the mid palate. Firm, dark and elegant on the finish. Sinewy and quite supple and long even without huge intensity, showing the charm of Comtesse and still clearly revealing its Pauillac origins. A smart, elegant wine reflecting the vintage. Tannins are tender – if more serious than on the Réserve de la Comtesse – and fruit just right.
|Score: 17||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018|
The only loss to frost was 2km inland which may affect the production of Reserve de la Comtesse. The grand vin continues to use more Cabernet and less Merlot and Petit Verdot than in the past. Whilst retaining the Chateau's hallmark charm, the wines are becoming more classically Pauillac. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Cropped at 36 hl/ha. Nicolas Glumineau continues his impressive run of form here. With a deep purple colour and an overt and expressive nose of cassis, camphor, cedar and roasted coffee, this shows great promise from the aromatics. The palate, if anything, overdelivers on this promise. Fleshy, pure cassis and velvet-like tannins give a wonderful texture and explosive core of ripe fruits. The structure of the wine is seamless and allows the fruit to shine. As this expands through to the finish, the sappy and smoky notes from the oak give a cocoa-like complexity on the finish. This is an outstanding effort and clearly one of the wines of the vintage. Bravo!
|Score: 17.5||Farr Vintners, April 2018|
Woodland violets the nose has fragrance freshness the palate depth of flavour ripe black fruits black cherry all backed by dark chocolate. There is an underlying fresh streak the finish has stylish length. Drink 2027-2041.
|Score: 90/93||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, May 2018|
If you just taste the big name Pauillacs, you would be hard-pressed to understand that 2017 has been a challenging year. This is one of my wines of the vintage, no question. It's from 21ha, biodynamically farmed, with Vincent Masson as consultant. Just a few plots further away from the river were affected by frost. The slight austerity of 2017 is evident, with a savoury quality to the fruit, but this is exceptionally good, with plenty of stunning fruit and well defined tannins. The aromatics are very refined, and the intense cassis fruit doesn't sacrifice any intensity or power. It demonstrates the energy that Comtesse has displayed so consistently in recent vintages, with gorgeous finesse and structure to the tannins. The new cellar has raised the level of Cabernet from 65% to 70+%, with 12% press wine. This is going to age extremely well.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
|Score: 94||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018|
Very clean and firm, there is a singular theme here. The Cabernet Sauvignon is so pure and dominant that while the other varieties clearly add detail, they are lined up behind the silhouette of the Cabernet and for the time being, they have to wait to add their voices to the experience. Very satisfying and very clean, this is a wonderful expression of this property and also the vintage.
|Score: 18+||Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018|