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Pichon Baron 2018

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

This great 73 hectare vineyard has been producing top class Pauillac since the late 1980's when Jean-Michel Cazes of Lynch Bages took control and re-vitalised the property. In recent years, under the ownership of AXA insurance, Englishman Christian Seely has been in charge and quality continues to rise. The vineyard is planted with 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The grand vin is now made only from fruit produced in the original vineyard that is opposite Latour and next to Lascases. Latour-like in style, Pichon Baron has been a star performer in our recent blind vintage tastings. Two second labels are now produced - Les Griffons (from the younger vines) and Les Tourelles de Longueville (from a specific parcel of mostly Merlot vines). A regular winner of our blind tastings and a classic of the appellation. The 2018 Pichon Baron represents 50% of the estate's total production and is made from a classic Pauillac blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon with 22% Merlot. Elevage in 80% new oak.

View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château Pichon-Longueville Baron


Tasting Notes

Tasted blind at Southwold 2018. Deep purple colour. The nose here is quite exotic and open for such a young wine, with boisterous cassis and blackberry fruit. Underneath is a savoury spice to rein things in. The palate matches the ripeness of dark fruit on the nose, but here there are chewy and mouthcoating tannins to tame the more hedonistic tones. Bold and full bodied, this is quintessential warm vintage Pauillac, harnessing power and ripeness through to a very long finish. Still incredibly youthful, it should age gracefully for decades and will need some patience in the cellar.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, February 2022

Aromas of blackcurrants, blueberries, ash and cedar with hints of conifer. Full-bodied, yet so tight and refined with polished, toned tannins that are creamy and compact with a silky texture. Energetic and driven. Try after 2026.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2021

The 2018 Pichon-Longueville Baron is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot, aged for 18 months in barriques, 80% new and 20% one year old. Production of the grand vin represents 50% of the harvest this year. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose bursts from the glass with flamboyant scents of stewed black plums, crème de cassis and Black Forest cake, plus suggestions of Indian spices, unsmoked cigars, pencil shavings and espresso. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers impactful black fruit preserves and exotic spice layers, framed by plush tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long and spicy. Drink: 2025 - 2050

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, March 2021

An exceptionally successful vintage at Pichon Baron, juicy, concentrated and finessed, with powerful yet well balanced bilberry and blackberry fruits. The sense of complexity and nuance builds from beginning to end, coming in waves of baked earth, crayon and liquorice bud, with a slate texture to the tannins that slows the progress down through the palate and promises great things ahead. 80% new oak. They had to fight against mildew as everyone did, but came out a little better than some, at around 32hl/h yield. Jean-René Matignon technical director.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, December 2021

Tasted blind. Not much nose but the suggestion of a lot lurking underneath. Thick and the polar opposite of Pichon Lalande with its massive tannins and not much flavour. Not so much my style but it will probably come right eventually! There’s mintiness and concentration. 14.5%
Drink 2032 – 2050

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2022

78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 18 months in oak, 80% new. Barrel sample.
Colour of elderberry juice. Intensely pure Cabernet nose, so intense it is quite introvert, especially compared with the Tourelles, but there is just a hint of fresh and creamy blackcurrant. A dry beauty on the palate. Not a great deal of acidity but finishes clean and fresh with these slub-silk tannins. There's texture and depth but it's still silky. Freshness of fruit compensating for moderate acidity. (JH)
Drink 2028-2040

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019

Deep purple in colour, with a powerful nose of black fruit, and heady spices. This is dense and brooding. The palate is big and layered, with spicy blackberries and black cherries, liquorice and creamy vanilla. This exuberance is restrained by the bold and chewy tannins that are ripe but mouthcoating, providing ample structure and a savoury depth. This brings great focus and precision to the finish, with is very intense and long but has great delineation of both fruit and spice. A Vin de Garde that will greatly reward laying down for at least a decade after bottling.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019

Representing just 50% of the production and a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot aging in 80% new French oak, the 2018 Pichon-Longueville Baron reveals a deep, saturated purple color as well as a decadent bouquet of crème de cassis, high class tobacco, crushed violets, and freshly sharpened cedar pencils, which is about as Pauillac as you can get. Full-bodied, incredibly opulent, with moderate acidity and silky tannins on the palate, it still shows beautiful purity, freshness, and elegance, with the tannins giving focus and length on the finish. It's a brilliant, brilliant wine that's in the same class as the 1990, 2000, 2005, 2009, and 2010.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019

Warm, dense and fleshy in feel, featuring cassis, plum and cherry compote flavors infused with tobacco and worn cedar details. Seriously long, with a well-buried iron note, though the purity of the fruit is the dominating feature overall. This cuts a pretty broad swath as it moves along. A big wine.

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019

(78 Cabernet Sauvignon, 22 Merlot) | 80% new oak and 20% one-year-old for 18 months | 14.1% alc | 3.89 pH | This wine represents 50% of the production of the estate | 86 IPT Very smart and much more exuberant than I had expected, Directeur Général Christian Seely prefers this wine to both his 2010 and 2016 and I happen to agree. The balance is already evident and while it will undoubtedly start to drink early in its life it has the legs to run and run. This is a blackberry and blackcurrant-soaked wine with perfect weight and intensity. Something magical happened here in 2018 and they have managed not to lose any flavours from the vine to the barrel. The length and freshness of the tannins and acidity on the finish is nothing short of tremendous and everything is held together by succulent, perfectly seasoned oak. This is one of my favourite Pichon Baron’s of all time. Its seamless flavour appears to borrow elements from every great style of Cabernet in the world, combine them, and then make them its own.

Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019
Read more tasting notes...

Deep and dark young wine that takes you down, deep down to its center palate of blackberries and blueberries, firm and very silky tannins and a vivid finish. Wonderful palate and depth in this with such class and finesse. So many layers of polished, fine tannins. Great wine.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019

The 2018 Pichon-Longueville Baron is made up of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot. The Merlot was harvested September 24-25, and the Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested October 3-10. The wine is to be aged 18 months in barriques, 80% new and 20% one year old, and production represents 50% of the harvest this year. Very deep purple-black colored, it begins a little coy, rolling slowly and languidly out of the glass with notions of baked raspberries, blueberry coulis, crème de cassis and incense plus nuances of lilacs, truffles, damp soil and garrigue with wafts of lavender and wild sage. Full-bodied, voluptuous and oh-so-seductive, the palate reveals layer upon layer of savory, earthy and black fruit preserves, framed by wonderfully ripe, velvety tannins and lovely freshness, finishing very long and perfumed. Beautiful.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

Straight from the nose you feel the wave of power with the wine uncurling through the palate, starting with tight notes of cassis then gently softening into sweeter brambled hedgerow fruits alongside a ton of ink and pencil lead.

The tannins are present but seductive, and as is often the case this year, they're concentrated without being remote. It’s less monolithic than the 2010 with some of the seduction of 2009 at this property but with higher levels of extraction.

The harvest took place between 24 September and 11 October. Again, we see here a Pauillac with the highest alcohol ever but it carries it extremely well. There was one week less of maceration than normal, so 21 days instead of 28, which will have helped control extractions. 86IPT.

Drinking Window 2026 - 2040

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019
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.