A wine that seriously punches above its fifth growth classification. Deep opaque in colour. Beautifully perfumed aromas of violets and summer fruits. In the palate there is a sweetness and intensity of fruits, supported by a densely concentrated tannic structure. No one component dominates another. This is class, and there can be few better examples of Pauillac drive than this gem. DR
The 2016 Lynch Bages is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot with 13.7% alcohol and an IPT of 95, the highest ever for this property and probably one of the highest on the Left Bank this vintage. It was picked between from 27-30 September for the young vines, then the picking team stopped, restarting on 3 October with the Merlot and the Cabernets finished on 12 October. This vintage is matured in 75% new oak. It has a very concentrated, almost opaque bouquet that required some coaxing from the glass, developing floral and crushed limestone scents with time: disarmingly fresh and with stunning vivacity. The palate is concentrated and tannic, although they are not obtrusive and appear neatly embroidered into the multi-layered black fruit. This is a classic Lynch Bages with ambition and recalls vintages like 1990, a Lynch Bages built for long-term ageing. That arching backbone is counterbalanced by the keen line of acidity and a freshness that knows no bounds. There is ethereal delineation and tension on the finish, but I would give this at least ten years in bottle to enjoy this audacious Lynch Bages at its peak. Maybe the biggest surprise of the vintage, this has all the makings of a sensational wine. Drink Date 2026 - 2060
Very annoyingly, my tasting note on Lynch Bages has evaporated into thin air. I remember the wine as being delightfully plump yet structured and very recognisably Lynch with its trademark spiciness - so there don't seem to be any ill effects to its being made in a completely different place from usual (see pictures above) but more than that I cannot say for the moment. (I am trying to track down another sample.) I think I have remembered the score correctly but am much less certain about the drinking dates I have suggested here. All to be taken with a pinch of salt, I'm afraid. Drink 2025-2042
This is really back-ended thanks to a powerful and almost endless finish. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with incredible concentration and length. Round and polished tannins. Layered. This unravels bit by bit. Energetic acidity gives it such superb freshness. This is at the 2010/2009 level.
The 2016 Lynch-Bages is deep, racy and sensual, with soft contours, silky tannins and striking juiciness in its fruit. All of the elements seem to fall into place effortlessly. Today, Lynch-Bages is unusually well put together for such a young wine. Expressive floral aromatics give the flavors lift, energy and brightness, while beams of present but well-integrated tannins extend the finish.
As we have increasingly seen in recent years, Lynch-Bages has shifted up a gear to go fuller, bigger and darker. The IPTs are around 95 here, which is unusual even in the northern Médoc, although they are unquestionably yielding, pliable and expertly worked tannins. The result is a hugely impressive wine with a creamy texture through the mid-palate and lashings of dark fruits, graphite and the essential addition of mint leaf freshness on the finish. From a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, with a yield around 42hl/ha, a touch lower than some because the deep gravel produced small berries, all coming in at 3.66pH and accounting for 65% of the overall production. This is a great Lynch without doubt, one for Pauillac purists who are looking for powerful impact.
75% new oak | 13.3% alc. | 95 IPT With an unprecedented level of tannin and polyphenols you might expect this to be a shockingly memorable wine. If you then consider the slender alcohol level you might think that there is a typo in these notes, but no. These statistics might seem at odds with each other, but I am delighted to say that the flavour is utterly mesmerising. Dark, looming, with black olive sourness and espresso power this is a heroic Lynch-Bages with gymnastic power to weight ratio. The fruit is thrilling, too. It will live for forty years as if it were a day. This is one of the most arresting wines of the vintage.
Like Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Lynch has made a Fifth Growth wine of First Growth quality in 2016. This is a stunningly pure Pauillac, with incredible focus, balance and harmony. Mocha oak leads into a fresh, leafy, grassy palate of understated concentration. 2029-40
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.