Château Pichon Lalande Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 2000

$219

The 2000 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is spectacular, and certainly a noteworthy rival to the 1996, 1995, and even the extraordinary 1982. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, this effort has a dense saturated purple color, a singular/distinctive yet possibly controversial aromatic smorgasbord existing of creme de cassis, vanilla, and violets, but also tapenade and tree bark. No doubt the Petit Verdot has imparted a certain almost olive-like component to the wine's aromatic profile. In the mouth, it is a wine of extraordinary density, opulence, great presence, and richness. As the 2000 sits in the glass, notes of lavender and melted licorice emerge along with the distinctive tapenade aromas interwoven with creme de cassis, espresso roast, and cedar. The wine is full-bodied, with extraordinary purity and a tremendous texture. I suspect this wine will be relatively approachable young but evolve effortlessly. This is a dramatic, almost flamboyant style that is not classic Pauillac in one sense, but a classic wine. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025. Robert Parker

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WARNING: DRINKING DISTILLED SPIRITS, BEER, COOLERS, WINE AND OTHER ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES MAY INCREASE CANCER RISK, AND, DURING PREGNANCY, CAN CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS.