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Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Ranked as a 2nd growth in the 1855 classification of the Left Bank, Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is located in Pauillac. The first mention of what is now the estate talks about the creation of the vineyard by Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan in the late 17th century. He was a wine merchant who is credited with establishing what are now considered some of the top estates in Bordeaux today. The estate was then known as L'Enclos Rauzan. His daughter Thérèse married Jacques Francois de Pichon-Longueville, and through the 18th century the estate was run by three women. Following Thérèse, her daughter-in-law Germaine de Lajus, and then in turn Germaine's daughter-in-law Marie Branda de Terrefort. So three Pichon-Longueville baronesses managed the estate right up to the eve of the French Revolution, which imbued the wines with a feminine touch. Marie Branda de Terrefort's son, Baron Joseph de Pichon-Longueville, inherited the estate when he was just 19 years old, but it was not until just before his death in 1850 that the estate received its current name. He decided to share the property equally between his five children; two sons and three daughters. His sons inherited what is now Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, and his daughters the portion that became Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. The decision was made that one of his daughters, Virginie, would manage her sisters inherited property independently. She was married to the Comte de Lalande, hence the addition of Comtesse de Lalande to the name. The two estates continued to be run as a single vineyard for another decade, which allowed them both to be awarded 2nd growth status in the 1855 classification. The estate remained in Virginie's family until 1925, when it was acquired by Edouard and Louis Miailhe. Edourd's daughter May-Eliane de Lencquesaing managed the estate from 1978 to 2007, when it was sold to the Rouzand family, the owners of Louis Roederer Champagne. 102 hectares are under vine in over 100 plots, planted on gravel soils with clay subsoil. The vineyards are in the process of being replanted, and will eventually have 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot under vine. The average age of the vines is 40 years old, but they have some older vines that were planted in the 1930's. Th wines are aged for 18 months in oak, 50% new. In 2021 the estate became 100% biodynamically farmed. The winery has been re-designed and 70 ultra-modern stainless steel vats of varying sizes allow for precise vinification of each individual plot. The Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande style is one of sensuous textures and concentrated layers of voluptuously scented deep, ripe fruit – these are majestic wines. Their second wine is called Réserve de la Comtesse, which is thought to easily rival some other estates Grand Vins.