TN: 2016 Pichon Lalande - Réserve de la Comtesse (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

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Brian G r a f s t r o m
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TN: 2016 Pichon Lalande - Réserve de la Comtesse (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

#1 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » August 21st, 2019, 11:09 am

2016 Réserve de la Comtesse - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac (7/16/2019)
-- decanted immediately before initial taste --
-- tasted non-blind over three hours --

NOSE: blackberry jam; medium oak; nice little savory streak; smells like it will have good acidity on the palate; hint of spearmint after a couple hours open.

BODY: medium to medium-full bodied; dark garnet-violet color of great depth.

TASTE: medium+ acidity; clean (no brett); fruity --- dark fruits; medium+ concentration of fruit; some very fine tannins; hint of earthiness; no pronounced pencil shavings; medium-light oak --- not worried about this moving into the future; approachable already; well-proportioned --- not overblown; great right now, if you like young Bordeaux; I bet this ages nicely up to 20 yo; great QPR @$44; very good pairing with steak, caramelized onions, and mushrooms --- surprisingly good with the onions; improved with 2.5 hours of air, as it developed more of a "classic" presentation; pretty serious for a 2nd wine, and certainly better than many others' Grand Vin. Drink Now through 2036. Ashley gut impressions: happy to pay $50; score: 91. Brian gut impression score: 91 – 93.
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Re: TN: 2016 Pichon Lalande - Réserve de la Comtesse (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

#2 Post by Craig G » August 21st, 2019, 11:17 am

I just drank one of these and found it very enjoyable. I’m not sure if it’s $50 enjoyable as an early drinker, as there are a bunch of $15-30 Bdx that are quite good (especially a lot of no-name Pessacs). We had a 2016 Bellegrave (also Pauillac and around $30) along with this. Quality-wise it’s a toss-up. The Comtesse has more of the herbal PLL thing and the Bellegrave is a bit more classic Pauillac with lead pencil and walnuts.

Anyone have experience aging Reseve de la Comtesse?
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Brian G r a f s t r o m
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Re: TN: 2016 Pichon Lalande - Réserve de la Comtesse (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

#3 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » August 21st, 2019, 11:36 am

hmmmmm ... I'll have to try the Bellegrave. For my preferences, the only Bdx. that is cheaper (current release) that I think is better is Cantemerle, and that's really a toss-up. Obviously, my opinion is only re: the wines I've had. FWIW, wines with "an herbal thing" tend to appeal to me, so there's one of my biases.
“All these characters spend their time explaining themselves, and happily recognizing that they hold the same opinions … how important they consider it to think the same things all together.” --- A.R.

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Re: TN: 2016 Pichon Lalande - Réserve de la Comtesse (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

#4 Post by Craig G » August 21st, 2019, 3:06 pm

I’m not sure those cheaper wines are better, in fact most are surely not. It’s more about what I would spend for near term drinking. I suspect the Reserve ages well, though. PLL is one of my favorite Bdx so I have no issue with the flavor profile.

Cantemerle is a sure winner, and proven ager.
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Re: TN: 2016 Pichon Lalande - Réserve de la Comtesse (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

#5 Post by Chris Atkins » August 21st, 2019, 11:36 pm

I am buying the 2016 Grand Vin. This Reserve might make it into my cellar as well.

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Re: TN: 2016 Pichon Lalande - Réserve de la Comtesse (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

#6 Post by Arv R » August 24th, 2019, 2:59 pm

Craig G wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 11:17 am

Anyone have experience aging Reseve de la Comtesse?
I went through a case of the 1996 RdC from release to about age ten, when it started to lose a bit of its joyous fruit. I always thought that was an amazing effort, both for the grand and the 2nd. I used to compare it the 96 Sociando Mallet and 96 Potensacs which were also purchased in case lots at the same time. S-M started coming into its drinkability as the RdC faded and continues to run strongly. The Potensac took even longer to come around, staying cool and lean, until maybe age 15.

My feel on the 2000 RdC was that it was kind of disappointing, and after trying a few bottles, I got rid of it. Other years were 'ok' but nothing really sang like the 96.

As much as people rave about the 82 Pichon Lalande, don't miss the 86 and 96, which are also incredible examples. I just wish the wines weren't so popular/pricey now!
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Re: TN: 2016 Pichon Lalande - Réserve de la Comtesse (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

#7 Post by Mark Golodetz » August 24th, 2019, 3:07 pm

I can’t help feeling that the name is deliberately confusing, and meant to imply it is a reserve bottling. In fact, that is what it actually says.
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