Dating back to the 17th century, the wines hailing from Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, or Pichon-Lalande, are still among of Pauillac’s most sought-after. With a reputation that rivals the commune’s three most famous first growths – Latour, Lafite-Rothschild and Mouton-Rothschild – Pichon-Lalande carries a depth and elegance that that allows it to be enjoyed young, but perhaps even more savored decades after harvest. This may be attributed to the wine’s high percentage of its beloved Merlot. Supple and fruity, it presents a unique balance of softness and richness that has secured its place among Pauillac’s best.
Founded by successful Bordeaux trader Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan, Pichon-Lalande has long been considered an estate blessed by strong women. Initially influenced by its founder’s daughters - Therese de Rauzan, Germaine de Lajus and Marie Branda de Terrefort – it was inherited by Therese’s son, Baron Joseph de Pichon Longueville, who, before his death in 1850, bequeathed the land among his five children equally, with two fifths going to his two sons, and the other three fifths to his three daughters. This decision broke up the estate and ushered in the ascendance of his daughter, Virginie de Lalande, who eagerly managed the women’s portion with passion and pride, and chose to give it her name. The remaining two fifths eventually became the equally well-known Pichon Longueville-Baron.
In 1925, Pichon-Lalande was purchased by brothers Louis and Eduoard Miailhe, who were responsible for the estate’s increase in Merlot. Before long, the château came under the direction of yet another formidable female, Eduoard’s daughter May-Eliane de Lencquesaing. A true champion of Bordeaux, May-Eliane traveled the world to promote her château and oversaw its expansion by nearly 50%. Perhaps more than any other Château in Bordeaux, Pichon-Lalande has benefited from what can only be called a distinctively feminine touch.