In the Bordeaux region the classified crus have mixed soils, but large enough tracts of land to make very rigorous selections. It is only the quest for excellence during the XVIIIth century that led the owners to elaborate several wines of different quality. Severe selecting is the guarantee of quality of a great wine, but also of a second wine.
Today, the second wines represent between 20% and 50% of the total production of the Château. 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.
The archives kept at Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande mention the existence of a second wine as early as the XIXth century:
27 April 1890, shipping of four bottles of the vintage 1874 second wine 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 second wine of Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, The Réserve de la Comtesse, was created and sold for the first time in 1973.
Notes and Reviews
Wine Enthusiast (94)
There are plenty of tannins here along with fresh black currant fruits. This wine is structured and firm in the style of a Pauillac. But it also has a softer side, with elegance and light. This wine will develop relatively quickly over the next 10 years.
James Suckling (93)
This is an impressive second wine. It shows a lot of vibrant red berries, blackberries and darker plum fruits. The palate is impressive for the vibrant and lively acidity cast amid sturdy but supple tannins. Second wine from Pichon-Lalande.
|Grape Varieties||Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot|
|Age of Vines||30 years old|
|Vinification||24 days' fermentation in stainless-steel tanks|
|Elevage||18 months in oak barrels (50% new oak)|
|Soil Type||Siliceous Garonne gravel and limestone underlay|