The 2018 Les Griffons de Pichon Baron is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 48% Merlot, to be aged 12 months in barriques, 30% new and 70% one year old. Production represents 20% of the harvest this year. Very deep purple-black in color, it comes bounding out of the glass with frisky cassis, chocolate-covered cherries and boysenberries scents followed up by notions of dried Provence herbs, moss-covered bark, charcuterie and tapenade. Full, rich and opulent in the mouth, it has bold black fruit and savory expressions, with firm, grainy tannins and a long, meaty finish. Wine Advocate
Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, generally referred to as Pichon Baron, is an estate in the Pauillac appellation rated as a second growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification. As with other top Pauillac wines, the grand vin is prized for its combination of powerful dark fruits, finesse and elegance, and ability to age for many decades.
The vineyard is situated at the southern end of Pauillac, bordering Saint-Julien and across the road from Château Latour. Its 73 hectares (180 acres) are planted with around 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 35 percent Merlot, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
After fermentation in vats the best batches of young wine are earmarked for Pichon Baron and aged in new wood for around three months. Then a second assessment is made and the final blend is decided. Barrel aging for the grand vin lasts from 18 to 20 months. Les Tourelles de Longueville is the second wine of the estate, sourced principally from the Sainte Anne plot, which is planted mainly to Merlot. Les Griffons de Pichon is a new addition to the portfolio. It is sourced from the same vineyard plots as Pichon Baron, and is aged for the same length of time, but blended to achieve a softer structure and earlier drinkability.
A larger Pichon-Longueville estate existed until 1850, when it was split in two. Baron Raoul Pichon de Longueville inherited one part, with the remainder being passed down to his three sisters as Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (aka Pichon Comtesse). The imposing, much-photographed château was begun by the Baron in 1851. Pichon Baron has been owned by AXA, the French insurance company, since 1987.