Chateau Pichon Baron Pauillac 2018
|Region||France, Bordeaux, Pauillac|
|Brand||Chateau Pichon Baron|
This great estate in southern Pauillac, facing the Latour vineyard, is at the top of its game. In this release, the tannins are as impressive and dense as the black fruits. Together they form a harmonious ensemble, richly structured, concentrated from the many old vines in the blend, and very ageworthy. Drink from 2027.
A very polished and pure expression of Pauillac, but don't go to sleep on it. As charming and vibrant as the cassis, cherry preserve and blackberry paste flavors are, they have a latent saturated feel. And then there's a serious network of iron girders supporting it all, along with sweet tobacco, floral and worn cedar accents. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2030 through 2050. 13,300 cases made.
A beautiful, majestic Pauillac that reminds me a little of the 2000, the 2018 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron checks in as 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot that was brought up in 80% new French oak. It shows the estate's more pure Cabernet, focused, elegant style yet offers full-bodied richness and serious depth of fruit as well as awesome notes of crème de cassis, graphite, lead pencil shavings, tobacco, and wet stone-like minerality. With building tannins, a fresh, focused texture, and a great finish, it's not for those looking for instant gratification, and I suspect it will need a solid decade or more of cellaring, but it will evolve for 50 years or more. It's a profound 2018.
The 2018 Pichon-Baron is matured for 18 months in 80% new oak. It has retained its quite extroverted, almost audacious bouquet featuring copious scents of blackberry, blueberry and mint, though I might contend that it still needs to show more Pichon Baron DNA. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannins and firm grip, quite assertive and perhaps more austere than I expected in the mouth. Plenty of graphite here, much more than in barrel, and a foursquare finish. This 2018 Pichon-Baron will require 5-8 years in bottle because it is one of the more tannic Pauillacs of the vintage, but could also be one of the most rewarding for those with patience and a cool, damp cellar.