Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 1997
The 75 hectares (185 acres) of this vineyard border the property of Château Latour and stretch south of Pauillac towards the Commune of St Julien, from whence it gets its extraordinary charm. The exceptional character of the wines produced here, are distinguished by their elegance and finesse.
55 % Cabernet Sauvignon
30 % Merlot
5 % Cabernet franc
10 % Petit Verdot
Winter / Spring
The early months of the year were warm and dry, which brought about an early bud-break in the vines (beginning of March, 3 weeks earlier than normal). The flowering was also ahead of schedule but was disrupted and spread out as a result of heavy rains in late May and June, as well as a drop in temperature.
July and August were very hot and dry, although the end of August saw the arrival of torrential rains. The coloring of the berries (veraison) was very drawn out, which brought about different rates of ripening between different plots, vines, and even bunches.
September was exceptionally hot and dry. The harvest was very early, starting on the 11th September, and lasting for three weeks. The ripeness of the Merlot determined the start of the harvest, but it was necessary to wait until the end of the month before bringing in the Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Petit Verdot produced an exceptional cuvée. A fine, elegant wine of great class.
Soil – Garonnaise gravel on clay, plus a presence of a ferruginous layer
Density of vines – 9,000 vines per hectare
Avaerage age of vines – 35 year
Vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for between 18 to 24 days. Before being aged in the traditional method, for about 18 months, in 25% new oak barrels.
Beautiful garnet-red color with good intensity. On first impression the nose is all red fruits and cherries, with fine oaky aromas and hints of cinnamon and cedar. After aerating the wine, the nose opens up to give leather, cocoa, and orange peel aromas of considerable elegance. On the palate, the attack has fresh cherry fruit with vanilla and gingerbread overtones. The wine develops extremely well in the mouth, revealing its excellent length of flavor and charm. This hedonistic wine nevertheless demands close attention during tasting. To appreciate all of its attributes it is advisable to decant the wine two hours before drinking (at a temperature of 16-17°c). Ready to drink from 2002 onwards.