Last Thursday was prime time. Our newest member walked in with Pichon Lalande in his afternoon’s agenda. AJ happily obliged with a line-up of 1985, 1996 and 2002.
The 1985 Pichon Lalande was in a great spot showing maturity with a complex bouquet of smoke, cedar, tobacco, sweet spice and ripe red cherries. Beautiful palate marked by mellow, smooth texture and elegance. Smoke and tobacco on the long finish.
The 1996 Pichon Lalande showed a firmer, fuller structure with more pronounced tannins and a darker fruit profile reminiscent of blackcurrant, plums and black cherries. A hint of herbaceousness and scorched earth on the nose and palate added some complexity. Impressive flavor depth and complexity on the palate. Big tannins balanced by concentrated fruit. Although this wine is drinking now with a two-hour decant, I would like to see it with another decade of bottle age to resolve more of those formidable tannins.
The 2002 Pichon Lalande seemed tight and austere. Subdued notes of cedar, blackcurrant, blackberries, green tobacco and graphite hidden in a powerful, tannic structure. More pronounced herbaceouness on the finish. This is not in a great drinking spot right now. I would lay this down for another 10-15 years before attempting to pull the cork on another bottle.