The Estate was founded in the late 17th Century. This period was known as the Grand Siecle, or “great century”, in reference to Louis XIV’s 1661 accession to the French throne. In 1689 Pierre Desmezures de Rauzan, an influential wine merchant and steward of the prestigious Latour and and Margaux estates, bought plots of vines close to the Latour estate to create Enclos Rauzan. These vines were part of his daughter Therese’s dowry when she married Baron Jacques Pichon de Longueville in 1694, the year in which the Pichon Baron estate was founded. An illustrious estate, with an enduring reputation, was born. It remained in the same family for generations.
In 1850 the property was divided in two. Baron Raoul Pichon de Longueville’s section became the Pichon Baron estate. The second section, belonging to his three sisters, became Pichon Comtesse. Baron Raoul was proud of his prestigious property, and in 1851 he commissioned the imposing chateau inspired by Renaissance architecture that we know today. This uniquely charming and romantic chateau, with its two emblematic turrets, has stood proudly at the vineyard’s heart ever since. During the Universal Exhibition of 1855, the wine was classed as a Second Grand Cru Classe according to the ranking system requested by Emperor Napoleon III, who wished to showcase Bordeaux’s great wines. In 1933, the Pichon de Longueville family sold the property to the Bouteiller family, who managed the chateau for over 50 years.
In 1987 the estate was bought by AXA Millesimes, whose aim is to enable great wines from the vineyards with a glorious past to achieve their full potential. An architectural competition was launched in collaboration with the Paris Pompidou Centre to provide the estate with new operational buildings. The comprehensive reconstruction of the fermenting room and cellar, and renovation of the chateau, began in 1988.
Since then, the 19th century chateau’s image has been reflected in an ornamental pool stretching majestically before it.. And since 2008, its silvery expanse conceals an underground cellar, reminiscent of Jules Verne’s Nautilus, with view of both the water and sky. The barrel cellar complements a production process in which excellence is paramount, in the finest tradition of great Pauillac wines.
WINE ADVOCATE-PARKER :
The 2014 Pichon-Longueville Baron was broody at first, as if a big No Entry sign had been placed in front of the aromatics. But peeking underneath are some wonderful blackberry, cedar and graphite aromas that just sing of Pauillac and exude typicity. The palate is medium-bodied with very impressive depth and concentration on the entry, a superb line of acidity and outstanding precision on the finish. This is clearly fulfilling its potential that it showed from barrel. The only drawback is that it might be unfairly overshadowed by the 2015 Pichon Baron! This will be one of those over-performing Pauillacs, perhaps like the 1990 Pichon Baron, that will delight for years to come.