Reserve de la Comtesse (2nd wine of Pichon Lalande) 2014

Pauillac, Second wine

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Tasting Notes

The 2014 Réserve de la Comtesse has a slightly meaty/dried blood scented bouquet that lacks the delineation and charm of Tourelles de Longueville. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, austere but there is a decent line of acidity and sufficient fruit on the finish to maintain balance. It just lacks excitement and a sense of energy. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting.

Score: 90

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2020-2032 01 March 2018

The 2014 Reserve de Comtesse de Lalande has a very fresh and vibrant bouquet with lovely cedar-infused black fruit that sings of Pauillac-ness (apologies for the made-up word!). The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp and elegant with a keen line of acidity. This feels quite linear at the moment and perhaps the finish could have dealt more complexity commensurate with the aromatics. Yet there is bundles of freshness infused into this Deuxième Vin and there is a palpable salinity on the aftertaste.

Score: 91

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2018-2030 31 March 2017

The Réserve de la Comtesse 2014 is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot that comes from a selection made in the winery through blind tastings, including 6% vin de presse. It has a tightly-wound, graphite-scented bouquet that would actually suggest a higher proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon then there actually is. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy, chalky tannin on the entry with plenty of dark berry fruit. There is an insistent grip on the finish that does not offer enormous persistence, but you have the sense of coiled-up energy and so it may gain more depth and breadth throughout its élevage. The black pepper note on the aftertaste is an added bonus.

Score: 90 - 92

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2019-2035 01 April 2015

Rose-petal, cassis-bush and berry aromas. Medium to full body, tangy acidity and a soft and velvety mouthfeel. Round and friendly. Second wine of Pichon Lalande. Drink in 2019.

Score: 92

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 13 February 2017

There’s a creamy texture to this second wine with tar, blackberry and currant character. Full and integrated with juicy fruits and a long finish. An excellent second wine.

Score: 91 - 92

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 31 March 2015

The 2014 Reserve de La Comtesse is a delicious second wine. Soft, open-knit and caressing, the 2014 offers striking textural depth to balance its dark red/purplish fruit. Spice, tobacco, menthol and licorice wrap around the juicy, super-expressive finish. A burst of aromatic freshness gives the wine its sense of proportion. The Reserve de La Comtesse is one of Bordeaux's most polished second wines, which, among other things, makes it an ideal red to drink over the next decade or so. The blend is 59 % Cabernet Sauvignon and 41 % Merlot.

Score: 92

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2017-2026 01 February 2017

The 2014 Reserve de La Comtesse is quite soft and lush in this vintage, in part because of the large presence of Merlot. Dark red cherry, plum, new leather, spices and cloves are super-expressive. Dried flowers, smoke, pencil shavings and dark spices reappear on the open-knit, resonant finish. With time in the glass, the Reserve finds more gracious dimensions of expression, with redder tonalities of fruit intermingled with spice that come forward. I imagine the 2014 will drink well pretty much upon release, as it is already quite open. The blend is 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot.

Score: 90 - 92

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com 01 April 2015

Deeply coloured. Nose of black stone fruit, cassis and hedgerow. Midweight and reasonable concentration, this is even and very stylish with a pure fruit finish.

Score: 90 - 92

Albany Vintners, - 24 April 2015

Very deep purple. Great focus and juiciness. Lots of sinew but very glamorous. Pretty damn good for a second wine! Just the dryness and slight shortness on the finish lets it down but the beginning of the tasting experience is wonderful. 13.24% (16.5+ Points)

Score: 16 - 17

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2019-2030 15 April 2015

The cassis bush and tobacco leaf notes spike a medium-weight core of red and black currant fruit. A hint of iron keeps this grounded in terroir, but this remains generally accessible in feel.

Score: 88 - 91

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 15 April 2015