We tasted Lynch Bages several times during our recent week in Bordeaux. It is a classicly constructed Lynch Bages. The deeply appealing blackcurrant fruit, ripeness of structure and sheer drinkability are all hallmarks of this perennial Pauillac favourite.With 75% concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon, it will last for many years.
A healthy, youthful dark plum/ruby/purple color is followed by a bouquet of smoke, barbecued meats, black currants and new saddle leather. With full body and sweet tannin, this 2003 is strutting its stuff. Although it is not as fine as the 1989, 1990, or 2000, it is a complex, classic Pauillac to enjoy over the next decade.
One of the most popular wines of Bordeaux seems to be going through a period where the style seems lighter, and there is less muscle and mass, but perhaps it's just a temporary transition. Certainlythere has been no truly profound Lynch Bages since the 2000, preceded by the 1996, 1990, and 1989. Showing better than it did from cask with some toasty oak, moderate quantities of creme de cassis fruit, lower acidity, and a hint of cedar in an evolved style, the medium to full-bodied 2003 Lynch Bages does not lack for tannin and structure but finishes surprisingly short for a top vintage in the northern Medoc. It is very good, but falls short of outstanding. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2020.
This offering is a surprisingly finesse-styled Lynch Bages with some similarities to the brilliant 1990, but without that vintage's power and depth. The 2003 possesses a deep ruby/purple-tingedcolor as well as notes of road tar intermixed with creme de cassis, meat, and leather. It is a nicely textured, medium-bodied wine with some attractive opulence, but not the pure depth and chewy richness one expects of Lynch Bages in top flight vintages. It should be drinkable early because of the elevated glycerin, alcohol, and low acidity. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2016.
Very rich and decadent style to this. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a delicious finish. Flashy wine. Long and seductive. May be even better in bottle. -- J.S.
Very deep ruby, really impressive smoky concentration of fruit, very ripe tannins, elegance and weight combined. Drink: 2010-2025.
If any château in all of the classified growths consistently outperforms its original status, it is Lynch Bages. Indeed, this château has long been prized by Pauillac lovers who seek good value, yet well made wine. The property is situated just outside the quiet village of Pauillac north of Latour and Pichon Lalande. It is owned and run by Jean-Michel Cazes, a highly admired and charismaticBordelais whose vision and joie de vivre have influenced many wine lovers the world over.
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac's renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac's wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.