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Château Lynch-Bages

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Address: 33250 Pauillac

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 73 24 00

E-mail: infochato@lynchbages.com

Website: www.lynchbages.com

Château Lynch-Bages, classified as a fifth growth in 1855, is an extremely popular and enjoyable Pauillac owned and run by the Cazes family, who also own Ormes de Pez in St Estephe. The Château derives its name from the Lynch family who had Irish origins and the Pauillac Bages plateau where the estate’s vines are located. Jean Charles Cazes purchased the property in 1934 but the modern day renaissance of the Château owes a lot to the energy of his grandson Jean-Michel Cazes such that today Lynch Bages is a firmly priced super second which rarely disappoints. It is usually hedonistic in style [for the Medoc] with rich blackcurrant fruit with plenty of nicely handled oak in a precocious format that makes for a wonderfully enjoyable wine that can easily be consumed young but the wines do have the ability to age extremely well. The 2009 Lynch Bages was amongst the top wines in the appellation when tasted together in spring 2010. The second wine here is Echo de Lynch-Bages.

Vineyards/Terroir: 90 hectares on Garonne gravel planted with 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot.

Winemaking/Elévage: Traditional followed by fifteen months ageing in oak.

Tastings notes:

  • 2015 Deep and saturated look; colour tight to the edge; opaque centre; sweet ripe blackcurrant fruit; nicely layered and attractive; very nicely composed aromatics; cool blackcurrant fruit on the palate; plenty of flesh here; layered and intense; excellent balance. This is pretty cool stuff. Very impressive. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.5% alc, 75% new oak]. Drink 2024-2035. Tasted 5/4/16 UGCB. 95-97
  • 2014 Deep and dark; black and opaque at centre; saturated; lovely ripe cassis and fruit; very deep; open glossy blackcurrant aromatics; full blackcurrant tones on the palate; lots of extract here and matter but remains focused with a very central core of fruit; lots of chew and extract; tannins here but ripe by and large. Fairly long term but usually settles nicely. Deep and chewy. Potentially outstanding Lynch Bages. Real potential here. 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. 75% new oak. Drink 2022-2035. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 93-95+
  • 2013 Mid depth; purple at edge; menthol, cream and blackcurrant tones on the nose; fruit on entry, blackcurrants but feels a little forced; chew and lots of tannins on the end. Also lots of sap too. Bit of a jumble. Needs taming. [72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% petit Verdot 75% new oak]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. 87-89? [second note] Deep and saturated look; legs; menthol and spice on the nose otherwise a bit closed; bold and chewy palate; feels bit disjointed but there is evidently lots of extract and grip here. Chewy and extracted on the finish. Elévage should settle this brute. Tasted 3/4/14. Drink 2020-2030. 87-89?
  • 2012 Mid depth; nice fresh blackcurrant aromatics; purity; sings from the glass; good and vigorous palate with blackcurrant fruit; lacks the power of the best recent vintages [2009 and 2010] obviously but wisely they’ve kept their feet of the gas in the cellar and the wine feels nicely balanced and harmonious for it. Drink 2017-2030. 90+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and dense looking; dusty nose; quite dumb; blackcurrants and some wet rocks; cool and fresh palate with stalky Cab notes; pretty tannic and dry on the end. Feels austere. Too much oak here I wonder? 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 75% new oak. Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. 87-89+ [Earlier note] Deep and concentrated look; dense; ripe blackcurrants; some lift on the nose; depth; deep palate; lots of cassis and blackcurrant; feels pretty good effort. Tannins feel ripe and extract is there. Needs to fill in a bit. Elegance. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 90-92
  • 2011 Deep looking; healthy gloss in the glass; resin, ink and blackcurrant; feels deep though is a little dumb aromatically; pretty dense palate – sturdy – with blackcurrant tones; chewy finish and overall backward and a little joyless for what is usually a fairly exuberant Pauillac. Needs time to knit. Drink 2018-2030. 89+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; cassis, slightly higher tones relative to Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron. Cool cassis and blackcurrant with cherry notes; cooler end of the fruit spectrum; pure palate with cool blackcurrants again; more dryness to the tannin than with other super seconds. Chewy finish. Tasted 3/4/12 and 5/4/12 at UGCB. 90-91
  • 2010 Very good depth; solid aromatics; bit closed; some boiled sweets and blackcurrant cassis; cassis tones open up on aeration; very pent up and closed; blackcurrant cassis tones on the palate; very concentrated; lots of chew and matter; long in the mouth; five years minimum? Long term wine, clearly of great scale and density but currently a dormant volcano. Drink 2020-2040. 95+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated at core; very ripe blackcurrant aromas, full; some olive tones; real depth on the nose; pretty precise; oak here; inky palate; quite dry tannins and lots of structure and very chewy with lots of material also; real density here and extract and tannin. Very long term indeed. 94+ UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; very ripe, cassis; attractive; deep and meaty; nicely done here; blackcurrants on the palate; lots of extract, real mid palate density. Good density here. Blimey – lots of tannin and extract here. Need to settle. Good length. Could be brilliant, but lots of tannins and grip. [79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc 1% Petit Verdot, alc 13.6] 92-94?/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 [Second tasting UGC] Very deep and very dark; thick and concentrated on the nose; lots of blackcurrants; quite sublime; creamy note; depth here; strong wine with depth and concentration on the nose; big mouthful, lots of extract and tannin here; little disjointed on the palate; big chewy and dense and tannins. Stronger and more concentrated even than 2009 but with less finesse, seduction and flamboyance. I preferred ’09 at the same stage. This is longer term obviously. 92-94/100 Tasted 7 April UGC
  • 2009 Deep and saturated; very dark; this has tightened up considerably since bottling; brooding blackcurrant aromas, weighty; ripe blackcurrant and menthol notes; spices too; lots and lots of material and tannin [ripe] makes it a little chewy at present but this is a wine with an enormous amount of weight, extract and potential. Needs a decade I reckon. 2020-2040. 97+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dark; very ripe, big blackcurrant nose with cassis and oak; menthol too; almost New World; loads of black fruits on the palate; quite amazing Lynch Bages; not jammy in the slightest; fabulous concentration and really attractive; lots of grip and density on the finish. Great and remarkable stuff. 97+/100 UGCB Oct ’11 [Earlier note] 2009 Very seductive and ripe nose; blackcurrants with some lovely oak; very flattering on the nose; wonderful cassis and intensity; terrific; some mocha and chocolate at the back of the nose; very concentrated and a little more extracted than the two Pichons but still very well done and it works; clean; great roundness and ripeness to the wine; little chunkier on the finish here but this is very, very good and should settle down more. Certainly flashy and attention grabbing on the nose and entry, a fraction less polished on the finish than the Pichons. Still terrific though and the best Lynch-Bages I’ve had since the 1982. 94-96/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April 2010.
  • 2008 Mid depth; pretty saturated look; strong, ripe nose; spice, blackcurrant and menthol; pretty layered effort; cassis and blackcurrant on the palate; still pretty fresh but also pretty saturated in flavour with layers of fruit. Chewy finish with grip. Very good effort. Maximizes the vintage whilst remaining true to it. 93+ MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Deep and saturated looking; deep nose; blackcurrant cassis and real polish; sweet attack reveals surprisingly ripe blackcurrants on the palate; tannin here too but plenty of material and fruit; quite grippy on the finish but has nice length. Excellent effort. 91/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier note] Mid-red; some purple; dense on the nose with some tar; well hung meat; quite pure palate; quite extracted and tannic but flesh is here on this one; Needs time – 10 years. Good for the vintage. 88+/100 Oct ’09 UGC tasting
  • 2006 Mid deep in the glass; more intense, ripe, blackcurrants, some oak and savour plus a whiff of tobacco; cassis and blackcurrants too, some resin and chocolate; palate quite dense, firm and structured with tannins. Big firm traditional-styled wine – all fruit, tannin and acid at present. Good in classic way. Not knockout or that joyful and needs time 88-90/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 2003 Black/red; legs; dense but attractive nose of rose petals and blackcurrants; intense blackcurrant and cassis palate; formidable extract and tannin but all very ripe. Didn’t knock me out but very good. 90/100 May 07
  • 1988 Deep black red; very flattering nose; wonderful tobacco and savoury notes; almost menthol later; quite intense, ballsy wine; good length; almost Rhone like qualities here – chewy wine with length; later more tobacco. Excellent. 92/100 Apr 08
  • 1986 Deep black/red; cassis, blackcurrants and tobacco; chewy palate with similar flavours. Strong and will last. 93/100 Aug ‘89
  • 1982 Deep black; red; rich blackcurrants woven with excellent oak; concentrated and intense yet quite open at a young age. Tremendous finish. Excellent wine 95/100 Dec ‘92

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