In addition to château-direct consignments from Montrose and Cheval Blanc, our upcoming auction, A Celebration of Bordeaux, features a consignment direct from the cellars of Château Pichon Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande (lots 1103-1133). We’re delighted to offer the wines of this historic Pauillac estate, and we encourage you to explore the careful balance of tradition and innovation that have led to its enduring, stellar reputation.
Château Pichon Lalande produces some of the most famous and consistently profound wines in Pauillac, often rivaling its First Growth neighbors. First planted in the 17th century, Lalande was originally part of the large Pichon-Longueville Estate, which was divided among a male heir and three daughters in the early 1800s. Eventually, the parcels given to the daughters were consolidated under one sister, the Comtesse de Lalande, and were separated entirely from what became Pichon-Baron in 1860. The estate was then purchased in 1925 and run by the Miailhes family until 2007, when Louis Roederer took ownership. Roederer has already begun efforts to build upon Pichon-Lalande’s already stellar reputation—perhaps most importantly by bringing on Nicolas Glumineau as General Manager and Winemaker in 2012.
While wine has played a major role in Glumineau’s family’s history, he does not come from a wine legacy. Instead, he has earned his considerable accomplishments (at such a young age) through a blend of dedicated study and talent. In his education he carefully combines both theoretical and applied approaches, studying genetics at the University of Oenology in Bordeaux, and, later, viti- and vinicultural engineering at the National Agronomic School of Montpellier. Before joining the team at Pichon-Lalande, he spent stints working at both Haut-Brion and Margaux, and, at the age of 32, became manager at Château Montrose in 2007 (working in collaboration with Jean Bernard Delmas). During this time he learned about the wine industry firsthand from the very best in Bordeaux. Most importantly, he gained utmost respect for the vineyard, and learned how to highlight the nature of terroir in wine without exaggerating it in vinification.
Glumineau’s goal at Pichon-Lalande is to make wines of precision—that perfect balance between climate and vinification. Since 2012, he has added greatly to the improvements at Pichon Lalande that Roederer previously put in place. Glumineau oversees a new, state-of-the-art vat room created in 2013 that features a wide range of tank sizes, allowing wine from plots to be vinified individually. These new facilities indicate that the already lovely wines of Pichon Lalande will continue to improve even in tough vintages. Moreover, Glumineau aims to use them as tools to hone his team’s skills, believing that “winemaking is a school of humility” and that constant improvement is essential. He has also been adamant about connecting with the new generation of wine drinkers while respecting the loyal markets that have contributed to Bordeaux’s history. He aims to get more engaged with consumers, to show them that Bordeaux is not just a historic name or icon but something they can actively engage in.
Historically, the wines of Pichon-Lalande have been known for their elegance, femininity, and quiet strength. They are wines of finesse, whose deceptively subtle structure gives them beautiful balance as well as the ability to age gracefully. According to Glumineau, Pichon-Lalande’s most successful wines are very Pauillac in style, and it is this balance between femininity and the expressiveness of the terroir that he aims to highlight in the future.