Pichon Baron Les Griffons De Pichon Baron Pauillac 2018  £60.02

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Pichon Baron Les Griffons De Pichon Baron Pauillac

Les Griffons de Pichon Baron is one of the second wines of the property. Created since the 2012 vintage, it has a pure and direct character. The grapes which make up this wine's blend come primarily from gravelly plots of land near the Gironde estuary, a good environment for Cabernet-sauvignon. Les Griffons offers a vigorous and fresh tasting experience, full-bodied and clean, overflowing with energy. It can be laid down in the cellar for over 20 years or enjoyed right away.

2018 was characterised by moderate winter temperatures with no extremes. There was regular rainfall from early December to the end of March. The total rainfall was significant, exceeding 500 mm, that is to say approximately 180 mm above average. Spring was mild, followed by a very hot, dry summer. Bud break, which started in early April, was consistent. However, more heavy rainfall and optimum temperatures favoured the development of cryptogamic diseases, leading to very significant crop losses in places. Flowering started at the end of May and continued smoothly. Great care was taken to protect the health of the vines up until the end of July. Then a phase of water stress, unfavourable to grape growth, gradually increased leading up to the harvest. Average and maximum temperatures were very high between bunch closure and the end of veraison, lower than in 2003 but slightly higher than in 2005. Veraison began in the early sectors in the last week of July and mid-veraison in early August.

Moderate temperatures resulted in very good ripening conditions. 2018 was comparable to 2005, with earlier development than in 2015. This early tendency for sunny weather continued until the end of the harvest. High temperatures and water stress were optimum for the anthocyanic richness of the skins and early ripening of the tannins. At the same time, the potential alcohol content increased rapidly, total acidity and malic acid levels were low and pH high.

The Merlot were harvested from 24th September to 1st October, and the Cabernet-Sauvignon from 3rd to 8th October.

52% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 48% Merlot aged in 60% new barrels and 40% from barrels of one vintage for 18 months

Les Griffons de Pichon Baron 2018 reveals a deep, almost black colour.  The nose is delicate, with notes of black fruits and a hint of subtle, well-integrated wood.  The palate is generous and full, with powerful and luscious tannins. The balance is rich and harmonious with tension. The finish is racy and refreshingly long. A wine for laying down, which reflects the terroir and expresses the year's full potential. Jean-René Matignon - Technical Director - July 2020

91 Points RobertParker.com

The 2018 Les Griffons de Pichon Baron is composed of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 48% Merlot, aged for 12 months in barriques, 30% new and 70% one year old. Production of this label represents 20% of the harvest this year. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose opens with wonderfully pure cassis and ripe black plums notes, leading to hints of clove oil, chocolate-covered cherries and tobacco leaf, with a waft of bay leaves. The palate delivers a firm, rugged texture and soft acidity, framing the mouth-coating black fruits nicely, finishing on a savory note.

Lisa Perotti-Brown

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