Reserve de La Comtesse
Second Wine of Château Pichon Lalande
Reserve de La Comtesse is the Second Wine of Château Pichon Lalande (which is the shortened version of the full name of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande). The archives kept at Pichon Lalande mention the existence of a Second Wine as early as the 19th century: records show in 1890 that 4 bottles of the vintage 1874 Second Wine were shipped to the Moscow Exhibition. In addition, the accounts book for the year 1874, that details the production of the year confirms that the Second Wine was rigorously selected. The Reserve de la Comtesse, was produced and sold for the first time in 1973.
Today, the Second Wines represent between 20 and 50 % of the total production of the Chateau. From the same soil, the Second Wine benefits from the same technology as the great wine, and also its reputation. They are generally excellent wines, though less robust and long lasting than their elders.
Chateau Pichon Lalande was once part of a larger estate along with Château Pichon Baron. In 1850 the estate was divided into the 2 current Pichon estates: Château Pichon Baron and Château Pichon Lalande. The château takes its name from Virginie Comtesse de Lalande whose strong personality and passion for her vines have left her mark on the estate to this day. The Château itself is stunningly beautiful – as is its sibling Pichon Baron – and its wines are famously sought after.
The château was bought by Edouard and Louis Miailhe, descendants of an old Bordeaux family of vineyard owners in 1925 and Edouard's daughter, May Elaine de Lencquesaing, became the owner and administrator of the Château Pichon Lalande. She quite naturally revived the tradition of the Comtesse de Lalande, personally overseeing the management of the family domain with her passion for wine and strict management. In 2006, de Lencquesaing sold a majority interest in the Château to the Rouzaud family, which also owns the Champagne House Louis Roederer. The estate is managed by May Eliane's nephew Gildas d'Ollone. Over 3 centuries only 2 families have worked with vigour for the renown of the Château and its wines.
Château Pichon Lalande has the unique benefit of its 150 acres of vineyard stretching over into Saint Julien, approaching the Léoville plateau - which account for the wine's elegant and supple character among the other Grand Crus of Pauillac. The vineyards stretch around the château, close to the river and neighbour Château Latour. Château Pichon Lalande is ideally situated between the Gironde estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. These two masses of water favour the movement of air, which clears the sky of clouds and reduces rainfall. The region of Pauillac benefits from a micro climate that is relatively dry which helps the concentration of the grapes.
The grapes grown are 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. Pichon Lalande has an unusually high proportion of Merlot for a Pauillac property, which tends to make the wine slightly softer and more "feminine" than wines from many other classified Pauillac châteaux.
The wines of Reserve de la Comtesse, like the Grand Vin, are known for their soft, feminine charm and due to the amount of Merlot in the blend they are supple, velvety and opulent. They have aromas of black cherries, spice, smoke, blackberries, plums and sandalwood.
Owner: The Lencquesaing, Family/ Louis Roederer (also owns Château Bernadotte)
Château Website: www.pichon-lalande.com
Oenologist: J Boissenot/ Ribéreau-Gayon/ Hubert de Boüard