Pichon Lalande ’09 Pauillac Advances to 15-Month High of $1,920

A case of 2009 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, a second-growth Pauillac wine estate, sold for a 15-month high of 1,195 pounds ($1,920) on Liv-ex amid demand for growers beyond Bordeaux’s top five.

The wine, from the Medoc peninsula northwest of the city, sold for 14 percent more than the 1,050 pounds at which it traded at the end of 2012. That price was a record low reached after a yearlong price slide, according to data on Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch website.

While the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, tracking leading Bordeaux vintages, has gained 3 percent since the start of this year, that reflects an 8 percent advance in the first 11 weeks of the year followed by a retreat in the six months since then. Price declines have been led by first-growths, with other wine estates in the Medoc and Saint-Emilion showing more resilience and the critically-acclaimed 2009 vintage particularly buoyant.

Bordeaux wines from that year have been “in favor” in the past couple of months, even as investor attention has switched to alternative regions including Rhone, Italy and Champagne, according to Liv-ex’s Cellar Watch market report. “The 2009s saw the most Bordeaux trade” in August, accounting for 22 percent of deals on the exchange by value, it said.

Pichon Lalande 2009 has sold at higher prices at auction this year, with one case fetching $1,968 at an Acker Merrall & Condit sale in New York this month and another selling for $2,031.50 at Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. in Chicago in June, according to results on their websites.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Pichon Lalande’s 2009 wine is its fourth-most expensive of the past 15 years, according to merchant prices tracked by Liv-ex.

The 2009 Pichon Lalande was awarded 95 points out of 100 by U.S. wine critic Robert Parker in an online tasting note in February 2012, putting it among the estate’s top four of the past decade, according to the eRobertParker website.

The wine comprises 75 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 percent Merlot and 5 percent Petit Verdot, the blend’s highest proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon since the start of this century. Parker described it as “a deep purple-hued, charming, surprisingly open-knit Pauillac with wonderful freshness” and “one of the great Pichon Lalandes of the last 20 years.”

17th Century

The estate traces its history back to the late 17th century, when Bordeaux merchant Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan acquired parcels of vineyard in the area.

His descendants, including Virginie Comtesse de Lalande, who inherited part of the land in 1850, owned the vineyard until 1925, when it was bought by the wine broker Edouard Miailhe and his family. Miailhe’s daughter May Eliane de Lencquesaing took it over in 1978, built the business back up over two decades and in 2007 sold it to Champagne Louis Roederer SA.

The interests of Roederer extend beyond Champagne and Pichon Lalande to independently managed wineries such as Roederer Estate and Scharffenberger in California, Maison Delas in the Rhone valley, Ramos Pinto in Portugal’s Douro and Bordeaux estates Chateau de Pez and Chateau Haut Beausejour.

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