Jean-Michel Cazes at Ch Lynch Bages has done what he does best, let the fruit and wine do the talking. Careful selection, whilst not the lowest yields, has produced a supremely balanced and rounded wine, with striking flamboyance . A very pleasurable style with huge appeal.
Some of Lynch Bages's tell-tale cedary, black currant, earth and spice characteristics are present in the 2012's moderately intense bouquet. This wine exhibits good purity, a healthy dark ruby/purple color and medium body. There is a slight deficiency in the mid-palate, but it recovers sufficiently and offers up a decent finish that tails off ever so slightly. This good to excellent wine could use more fat and charm in the mid-section. Cellar it for a couple of years and drink it over the following 12-14 years. Drink 2013 - 2027
Tasted en primeur at the château. The Lynch Bages 2012 is a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot picked between 12th and 18th October and is being raised in 75% new oak just before the rains. It has a very attractive bouquet with crisp blackberry, sous-bois and graphite aromas that are very controlled. No frills here, but it does not need them. The palate is medium-bodied with taut tannins and again, crisp acidity. I like the line here – nicely focused with a grainy finish. Very fine. Tasted April 2013.
Blackish purple. Lots of minerals on the nose. Tight and taut and almost painfully tart but there is energy here certainly! Drink 2025-2040
Pure and racy, delivering a core of violet, cassis and cherry, well-framed by a sleek, iron-coated structure. Features a long, taut, focused finish. Shows the austerity of the vintage, but this remains long and pure, with fine cut. —J.M.
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.