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One of the most serious English Sparkling producers. This historic estate has been in the Goring family since 1743. The tiny 16-acre vineyard is close-planted on a steep south-facing chalk escarpment described as 'similar to the Côte des Blancs' in Champagne. The fruit is picked very selectively with quality being the absolute focus. The grapes are pressed gently using a traditional Coquard press. After three years on the lees this wine, composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay & 22% Pinot Meunier, is hand disgorged and balanced with a minimal dosage of just 4g/L. It has a fine counterbalance between toasty richness and power from the wines élevage in Burgundian French Oak barrels, with racy acidity, tension and a focused chalky minerality.

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Entries in Pichon-Lalande (1)

Monday
Nov162009

Charity Dinner at Lark Creek Steak Featuring Pichon-Lalande

Editor's Note: Back in June, K&L San Francisco held a charity wine tasting to benefit the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. One of the items in the silent auction was a private wine dinner featuring old and rare vintages of Pichon-Lalande with K&L’s own Clyde Beffa at Lark Creek Steak in the city’s Westfield Centre. The dinner was held over the weekend, and Clyde brought a number of wines from his cellar, as well as 1975, 1978, 1985, 1986 and 1991 Pichon-Lalande.

 

Reception

Franck Bonville Brut Selection Blanc de Blanc

A fabulous hit to start the evening. Focused, clean, lemony, balanced and totally palate-pleasing.

 

  First Course

Hand-cut Fettucini with Dungeness Crab and Braised Leeks

1997 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac  

Heavenly aromas of cedar and cassis; elegant and perfect right now/

1999 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac   

The nose was more closed at first, but it opened up nicely.  It had more mineral and higher tannin content, but with a gutsy and fruity impression.

Second Course

Liberty Farms Duck Confit, Marbled Potatoes, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Pomegranate, Duck Jus

1985 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac  

Elegance personified. Perfect right now. More black fruit flavors.  At peak. The cork was not great.

1986 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac  

More tannic but a classic Cabernet, with tons of cedar oak. Still a bit closed, but many diners loved its richness.

1991 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac   (Just in from Lalande’s cellar)

UNBELIEVABLE WINE! We drank two bottles. This wine just arrived Wednesday from France. Pure silk and satin on the palate.  Still has richness for the cellar.  Up there with 1991 Palmer, and maybe better tonight.

 

Third Course

Filet Mignon, Braised Spinach, Seared Foie Gras, Veal Demi-Glace

1983 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac   

As good as Pichon gets.  Elegance and finesse personified.  Super sweet on the palate, but still some stuffing for a few more years.

1995 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac  

Huge wine, blackberry flavors and tons of tannin.  Much too young—wait 10 years.

 

Fourth Course

Comte Cheese Plate

1975 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac  

A crumbled cork had me worried, but the wine was so good—maybe the hit of the night—with tons of spicy aromas and flavors. High acid and some tannin but quite well-balanced.

2004 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac  

New oak dominates the nose; this is a very sweet wine, a classic, but way too young to enjoy now.

1978 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac  

The only disappointing wine of the bunch.  This bottle was tired and funky.  Well, 9 out of 10 isn’t bad.

 

Fifth Course

Crème Caramel

1991 Château  d’Yquem, Sauternes  

 Tasty. Not great, but quite nice. Not much botrytis.