Réserve de la Comtesse is the second wine of Château Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse-de-Lalande. The estate has roots in the late 17th century, when Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan bought property near Pauillac, in Medoc. When his daughter married Jacques de Pichon Longueville, the estate of Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse-de-Lalande was established. The estate remained with the family until 1925, when it was purchased by the Miailhe family. In 2007 it was sold to the Rouzaud family, who are owners of the Louis Roederer Champagne house. Collectors prize Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse-de-Lalande as one of the Pauillac’s most consistently excellent wines. The wine traditionally has a high proportion of Merlot, usually about 35%, which gives it a characteristic velvety and supple aspect. The estate includes 183 acres planted to 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. The average age of the vines is 40 years, and 180,000 bottles of Château Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse-de-Lalande are produced annually.
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most famous appellation, thanks to the fact that it is home to three of the region’s fabled first-growth châteaux, Lafite-Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild and Latour. Perched on the left bank of the Gironde River north of the city of Bordeaux, Pauillac is centered around the commune of Pauillac and includes about 3,000 acres of vineyards. The Bordeaux classification of 1855 named 18 classified growths, including the three above mentioned First Growths. Cabernet Sauvignon is the principal grape grown, followed by Merlot. The soil is mostly sandy gravel mixed with marl and iron. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that “the textbook Pauillac would tend to have a rich, full-bodied texture, a distinctive bouquet of black currants, licorice and cedary scents, and excellent aging potential.”