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Reserve de la Comtesse Lalande 2004, Pauillac

Dense, deep ruby/purple color. Tight rim. Looks young. Classic Pauilliac: blackcurranty, graphite, mintiness. Palate texture is lush, chunky and solid. A bit coarse, but overall shows the right balance of power. A pleasing medium bodied wine, with a short palate though. For just 13%, it is ripe, and juicy, curvy, but not so juicy as to be 'modern' or lacking classic Claret characters. Design to show complexities maximizing grapes varieties of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and aged in oak (25% new) for 18 months, this 2004 Reserve de la Comtesse is fatter, easy to drink and feel bodied for the high merlot content. Ready.

Notable comments are as follows:

91 points Neal Martin

A very fresh, briney nose with lots of cedar and pencil lead. Very Pauillac. Very structured on the palate with firm tannins. Linear, perhaps a little coarse but very harmonious. Does not have a silky texture, there is a slight rustic edge which I like. Good persistency on the finish. A very good second wine. Tasted April 2005.

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

There has been a noticeable increase in the quality of Pichon Lalande’s second wine. A blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc, the accessible, impressively-endowed 2004 Reserve de la Comtesse possesses a deep ruby/purple color as well as notes of creme de cassis, charcoal, and spice box. It should drink well upon release, and evolve for a decade. (RP) (6/2006)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Good bright ruby-red. Pungent herbs, licorice, graphite and minerals on the nose. Then supple, rich and generous, without losing its Pauillac reserve. Juicy acids extend the fruit. Finishes with rather suave tannins that build with aeration. (6/2005)

Wine Spectator

Fresh and balanced, with silky tannins and a medium finish. A bit lean, but very good quality. (6/2005)

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