Bordeaux, Bottle Notes

2003 Chateau Pichon Baron – Bottle Notes

The 2003 Pichon Baron was the winning bottle in the February Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

Chateau Pichon Baron is a Second Growth in the Pauillac region of Bordeaux. Pichon Baron was once part of a larger estate, owned by Pierre de Rauzan, along with Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. In 1850 the estate was divided into the two current Pichon estates. In 1987 the estate was purchased by French insurance company AXA, who immediately appointed Jean-Michel Cazes of Château Lynch-Bages as administrator. The property is currently managed by Englishman Christian Seely.

We all know the background on the historically hot 2003 vintage. The wines are incredibly polarizing. From my experience, the top wines of the vintage are fruit forward and aging well. I do think the wines are more drinkable at this point than more classic vintages like 2000 and 2005. I’ve also seen reports of a roasted quality in some wines from this vintage although it is not something I have run across in the Bordeaux I frequently drink.

I bought this particular bottle on futures and it has been properly cellared since. The wine was decanted for an hour and served with a grilled flank steak.

Crimson in color with a touch of bricking at the edge of the glass. 13.5% ABV. Stunning nose of red fruits, leather, mint and cigar box. Medium body with moderate acidity. Fresh, plush and approachable. Soft and supple on the palate. Flavors of currants, cassis, plums and tobacco. Medium length on the finish. Gorgeous Bordeaux but so clearly a product of the ’03 vintage. Best over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 95 points.

Pichon Baron is one of my favorite Chateau in all of Bordeaux. The wines are classically made, age gloriously and relatively affordable. Current vintages are highly recommended provided you have the patience and youth to cellar them for upwards of 15 years.

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