Les Griffons de Pichon Baron is the estate's latest addition. This wine has a pure and direct character.
The grapes which make up this wine's blend come primarily from gravelly plots of land near to the Gironde estuary, a good environment for Cabernet-sauvignon.
Les Griffons offers a vigorous and fresh tasting experience, full-bodied and clean, overflowing with energy.
It can be laid down in the cellar for over 20 years or enjoyed right away.
The colour is dark; a deep red garnet. The nose is enhanced by fresh fruit, blackcurrant cream and blueberries with an elegant oaky note. The palate is soft and velvety with delicate, precise tannins. Carried by the great maturity that emanates from the quality of the fruit, the finish is delectable, elegant and distinguished. Overall it is opulent yet light.
Jean-René Matignon - Technical Director - August 2017
Winter rain helped to replenish the water table satisfactorily. Consistent bud break took place in the second half of April.
Flowering started at the end of May. Thanks to stable weather conditions with very constant temperatures, fruit set accelerated in mid-June. Summer started with warm and sometimes scorchingly hot dry weather. Summer pruning began with leaf and shoot thinning in June and July in order to make the most of this favourable microclimate. The first significant water stress then helped the skins to thicken and led to early ripening of the grapes. In these ideal conditions, targeted thinning was carried out early in order to encourage the assimilation of compounds essential to ensuring perfect ripening.
During the last days of July, still dry and hot, the first grapes started to change colour. Stormy periods in August and September boosted ripening. The skins grew finer and flavours became more expressive. On the whole, maturity was very consistent. Thanks to firm, strong skins, phenolic maturity progressed without risk of over-ripening. The harvest took place under optimum weather conditions.
The Merlot was harvested from 18 to 25 September and the Cabernet-Sauvignon from 1 to 9 October.
Perfect soundness combined with a careful selection policy ensured precise vatting of meticulously sorted grapes. The grapes were sugar rich but not excessively so; low and unaggressive acidity revealed juicy and generous fruit. The balance of polyphenolic components engendered smooth, polished and subtle tannins with indisputable appeal.
As an extension of the work accomplished throughout the year in the vineyard, all the vats were used to meet the requirements of plot-by-plot selection, complemented this year by 4 wooden 80 hectolitre vats. Vatting of the Merlot was controlled in order to increase gentle pre-fermentation extraction. The Cabernet was managed by choosing progressive extraction in the estate's signature style. Alcoholic fermentation soon started at a moderate rate, enabling progressive extraction during the fermenting phase to suit each different terroir.
Our programme was above all guided by the finesse of the tannins and the characteristic expression of the grape varieties according to soil types. Extraction was monitored by tasting on a daily basis, with maceration lasting between 18 to 30 days according to the results. Malolactic fermentation took place rapidly, allowing the wine to be transferred to barrels at a steady pace until the end of November.
60% Cabernet-sauvignon, 40% Merlot
60% in new barrels, 40% from barrels of one vintage for 18 months