This morning sees the release of Pichon Lalande 2020 which, as always, is one of the premier wines of the campaign and a potential perfect wine. Its scores are towering, Jeb Dunnuck ordaining it with 98-100 points and saying “it’s an incredible wine that’s going to flirt with perfection and is unquestionably one of the finest, if not the finest, Left Banks in the vintage. Bravo.” Neal Martin awards it 96-98 points, “This is a magnificent, cerebral Pichon-Lalande.” Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate and Martin’s stablemate at Vinous Antonio Galloni both award it 95-97 points. This makes it one of the most decorated Pichon Lalandes ever. It is released this morning for £1,614 per case of 12 or £807 per six, Pichon Lalande has been on a stratospheric rise in recent years, particularly since 2016 when they made one of the great wines of this legendary vintage and this is now the fifth consecutive year that they have produced something special. The market has taken note of this and prices have been quickly moving upwards. The 2016 has appreciated 36% since release to £1,900, while last year’s stunning 2019 has already risen by 32% to £1,760. The 2020 is offered today at £1,614 per 12×75 or £807 per 6×75 and we do expect prices to keep climbing due to phenomenal global demand. Furthermore, production is down 20% putting a further strain on supply.
Released alongside Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande this morning, is their second wine Reserve De Comtesse De Lalande released at £201 IB per case of six or £402 per 12. At just over £33 per bottle IB Reserve De Comtesse offers exceptional value across the entire spectrum of 2020 releases.
Nestled amongst Leoville Las-Cases and Ducru-Beaucaillou, The Pichon estate has a long served reputation for its ‘Super-Second’ growth wine, Pichon Longueville Comtesse. However in recent years, the second wine Reserve De Comtesse has propelled in quality and reputation, making it arguably the go-to bargain wine of Pauillac. In 2007 the Rouzard family, also owners of Champagne house Louis Roederer, purchased Pichon-Longueville Comtesse and embarked on an overhaul of the entire estate. This period of heavy investment also marked a huge increase in quality for Reserve De Comtesse, with the last few years seeing a huge increase in critic scores. James Suckling scores this “pretty second wine” a stellar 93-94 points, whilst Jeb Dunnuck proclaims “the 2020 Reserve De Comtesse De Lalande is a beautiful wine in the making that certainly tastes like a mini-version of the Grand Vin”, awarding it an impressive 92-94 Points. Antonio Galloni revels in how the “ripe dark cherry, plum, spice, menthol, licorice and tobacco all flesh out in a sumptuous, racy Pauillac that impresses with its alluring personality.” He awards an excellent 91-93 points.
It is no secret that Reserve de Comtesse offers excellent value at just over £33 per bottle IB. The increase in quality in recent years is obvious. The 2005 vintage which scored a lesser 88 points from The Wine Advocate now trades at a 103% increase to its release price, whilst the 2009, 2010, and 2015 trade at an average increase of 34% to their respective release prices (with a lesser score to the 2020 of just 90 points on average). Our advice is to buy this in droves whilst prices remain sensible!
In 2020 Lynch Bages is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot. It is noteworthy that its IPT is 93, which is a mark of the phenolic ripeness, a colossal rating which speaks volumes about the wines backbone, structure and ability to age. This comes as no surprise as Lynch Bages is famous for being one of the most powerful full-bodied wines, combining rich tannins with tobacco and cedar; it takes years in the bottle to exhibit its true splendour, with top vintages capable of ageing for 30-50 years. As a result, Lynch Bages sees huge global demand and acclaim.
In addition to Lynch Bages 2020, we are pleased to release their second wine Echo de Lynch Bages, known to inherit Lynch Bages for the rich tannin, fruit purity and power. This has been released today for £340 per case of 12 or £170 per six. In 2020 it has been awrded 92-94 points from Jeb Dunnuck, 90-92 from Martin and a colossal 95-96 points from James Suckling. Echo is a household favourite and brilliant value at £28 a bottle IB.
Lynch Bages is situated in the small sub-village of Bages, a wonderfully picturesque setting which contains their hotel and museum, as well as a delightful square; this is certainly one to visit. High on the west hill of the Pauillac region, the 90 hectares of vines are planted on deep gravel beds covered with limestone. Lynch Bages, originally classified as a Fifth Growth, is now arguably the most dominant member of the Super Seconds.