Chateau Pichon Baron Vineyard
All chateaus visits this time, we used Waze App to find the right location. So far all were successful.
Sunday, June 7th
We visited Chateau Pichon Baron today. The winery was founded in the 17th century, the great century, in 1689 by Pierre Desmezures de Rauzan, who was a major wine merchant. The vines were part of his daughter’s dowry when she married Baron Jacques Pichon Longueville in 1694, and that is when the estate was born. It remained in the family for several generations.
Our tour guide was Leslie, who was fun and knowledgeable. She spoke English very well, which helped us. We were lucky because although there was another group that spoke English, we did not have to go around with them because they do not combine different tours. It was especially nice because that group finished before us, so we could spend more time there. We ended up buying some wines from them of various vintages.
Chateau Pichon Baron is in the Pauillac appellation of Bordeaux; it is near the border with Saint-Julien-Beychevelle. It is classified as one of the fifteen Second Growths in the original Bordeaux Classification of 1855. Pierre de Rauzan once owned it, but the estate was divided in 1850. The French insurance company AXA bought this estate in 1987 and Jean-Michel Cazes of Chateau Lynch-Bages is the administrator. Christian Seely, an Englishman, manages the property.
The winery maintains the traditional style. The gardens are simple and elegant: the grass is uniform and framed by lush bushes and trees. First we walked outside the chateau to the vineyards. Like other vineyards that we have visited, the wines stretch on as far as the eye can see, and, like the gardens, they are dense and green. They have the oldest building on the property near the vines, which is a solitary white tower, reminiscent of old Spanish windmills. Leslie explained how they keep the male bees away. They blend their Cabernet Sauvignon and their Merlot. They have 73 hectares of land, and they plant 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, all of which are traditional elements in the Bordeaux blend. The vines are about 30 years old.
Sad lion and happy lion – there is a history about why one lion is sad and the other is happy.
The chateau itself is beautiful! It looks like a castle with found towards with pointed roofs flanking each side. Above the main door is a coat of arms with a sad and happy lion. Unfortunately we were not able to go inside the magnificent chateau. They have an amazing wine cellar and they still have an old vintage from 1872, or thereabouts! They hold onto those wines for future generations. We tasted the Chateau Pibran from 2012, les Tourelles de Longueville from 2012, and the Chateau Pichon Baron from 2012. We enjoyed the wine a lot and bought red wine from them. Their most famous vintages are from 1945, 1959, 1989, 1990, 2005, and 2009. The most recent famous vintages were banner years and we great for all of the wine regions.
Leslie is one of our favorite tour guide! She is fun and knowledgeable.
We decided to skip dinner today because we had a very heavy lunch. It was a La Boucherie. I had the steak, which was not very good because it was chewy and over cooked.