Of all the 'Super Seconds' in Bordeaux, Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande -- Pichon Lalande for short -- may be closest to that coveted promotion to First Growth status. We can count on the wines from Pichon Lalande, the sister of neighboring Château Pichon-Baron, to be silky, stylish, spicy and sweet, with a sizable dollop of Merlot -- 35% to be exact -- frequently contributing an almost chocolatey richness. The Château's wines are perhaps second only to Lafite in Pauillac for the finesse of their tannins and possess exceptional structure. They are built to age, yet they are more accessible early on than most top Pauillacs.
Winemaking tradition here dates back over three centuries to 1689 when Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan purchased several vineyards in Pauillac to the east of the Latour estate. His daughter Therese received the vines as a dowry for her marriage to Francois de Pichon Longueville, and so it was that the estate earned the first half of its name. The second half would come later, when owner Joseph de Pichon Longueville divided his property and left three-fifths to his daughter, the Countess of Lalande. The property would remain in the family until 1925 when it was sold to the Miailhes family. There it stayed, and thrived, for over seventy-five years until it was sold, this time to the Rouzaud family of Louis Roederer, in 2007.
Over the years, the size of the property has fluctuated depending on the political and economic climates, war and natural disaster. Today the vineyards cover 78 hectares and are planted to 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot.