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Château Lynch Bages, a 5ème Cru Classé, is one of the best-known Médoc estates and has always had a particularly strong following on this side of the English Channel. Since 1973 it has been owned by the enigmatic Jean-Michel Cazes and is now run by his son, Jean-Charles.
Lynch Bages's vineyards are superbly sited on a plateau west of Pauillac town, in the small village of Bages. The 90 hectares of vineyards (Red: Cabernet Sauvignon 75%, Merlot 15%, Cabernet Franc 10%) lie on deep gravel beds over limestone. For the reds, fermentation is temperature-controlled with extensive 'remontage' to ensure concentration and depth of colour. A special system of pipes transfers the wine from the cuves to the oak barriques (60% new) where it matures for 15 months.
Lynch Bages can be surprisingly soft and approachable when young. However, when fully mature, it develops a succulent richness and a heavenly bouquet of minty blackcurrants and cigar boxes. As Oz Clarke says "Lynch Bages is impressive at five years, beautiful at ten years and irresistible at twenty."
Made for us by Jean-Charles Cazes (of Ch. Lynch-Bages fame), this is an overlooked vintage in Pauillac, and one that provides delicious, approachable wines. Relatively deep in colour, with an intense nose of damsons and blackcurrants, there is a rich, silky texture on the palate and a great wealth of savoury cassis fruit which coats the mouth. This is all balanced with fine Cabernet structure, and shows great freshness on the finish. With a focus on provenance, these superlative bottles are classified by commune and highlight the fruitful collaborations between the producers and buyers, creating wines with superb finesse.. Whether from Pomerol or Meusault, Barolo or Gevrey-Chambertin, the design of each label references its region of origin, prominently displaying both the name of the estate and the signature of the buyer.
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Bottle 12 x 75cl
They have been fine tuning this little beauty for a number of years now and making perfect use of a cooler growing period, have come up with a brilliant 2011 that, for me, is the finest yet at Lynch Bages. Exotic but restrained, tropical fruit broods beneath the surface. Balanced out with bright, shiny, refreshing minerality. (Simon Staples, Berrys’ Fine Wine Director)
One of our all-time favourite properties, Ch. Lynch-Bages has not only has been playing out of its skin since 2006, but when you are lucky enough to actually drink a fully mature vintage, it makes you purr like a kitten. The 2012, is certainly not a kitten though, more of a brooding lioness showing real volume, weight and substance that few can match. The nose has dark fruits, cassis and licorice whilst the palate exudes rich, silky and sublime density, sweetness and glycerol. The expression and volume build in the mouth with freshness, focus and texture followed by a bright and lifting finish. Unquestionably one of the weightier wines of the week, it is continually expressive onto the finish where an explosion of flavours takes over as if roaring to all in the Savannah! Simon Staples, Asia Director
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Bottle 6 x 75cl
A traditional styled claret. On the nose it is slightly reserved, but the palate has fine berry fruit, savoury complexity and meaty notes of mature claret.
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Since the inspired 2006 Lynch-Bages broke the mould there has been no looking back for this great estate. Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful before, and if you have been lucky enough to have tried awesome vintages such as 1982, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1996 and 2000 you will know what I mean, but since the unveiling of the 2006 there are extra elements and dimensions lurking at the bottom of a glass of Lynch-Bages. 2011 is absolutely no exception. Fabulous intensity and concentration. Glorious grip. Super fine tannins dance around the palate and rest elegantly upon the layers of multi-coloured red and black fruit. This is a very serious wine, not as in it’s stern and broody, and too thoughtful and ponderous for its own good, far from it. I mean this would be a great 2009 or 2010 in virtually every châteaux in Bordeaux. Powerful, complex, decadent and compelling. It’s rock 'n roll wine making and Lynch-Bages is playing like Led Zeppelin in 1971. If they ever re-classified Bordeaux again, Lynch-Bages would fly up the charts quicker than any other château. Outstanding! Simon Staples, Asia Fine Wine Director
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Ch. Lynch Bages 2006 is the best young Lynch I have ever tasted and I'm certain this will go down in this great châteaux's history as one of their finest ever. It's a true marvel. Simon Staples, Berrys' Sales & Marketing Director This is a remarkable 2006: voluptuous and sexy, its massive tannins are cloaked by the hugely concentrated ripe, cedary, brambly fruit, while the sweet, rich, toasty aromas add an extra je ne sais quoi. The purity of fruit on the finish is sensational too. Certainly we cannot recall Lynch having been so far up the Bordeaux quality ladder in any previous year. This is an essential purchase for any Claret lover.
Following on from successes in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Ch. Lynch Bages has yet again proved itself to be equivalent to Second Growth quality in 2008. Aromas of lovely, warm red and black bramble fruits immediately greet the nose and are followed by a creamy textured, rich yet beautifully balanced palate. This is a serious wine but the tannins are incredibly elegant and the gorgeous, crunchy fruit finish goes on and on. Certainly the addition work in the vineyard and low yields have paid off for Jean-Charles Cazes in 2008. This is a stunner.
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This exceptional château continues to make a mockery of its 5th Growth status, and in 2003 has re-emphasised just how good the Left Bank wines are. Huge wafts of muscular, minty, cassis-laden Cabernet Sauvignon on the nose introduce a powerful structured palate with savoury hints of liquorice. This is unquestionably Lynch-Bages, and a great one at that. Displaying even more elegance than other recent vintages, this Cabernet-dominated wine (83%) will gain even more weight in barrel and looks likely to prove absolutely stunning with a bit of patience. Drink 2012-2030.
When I dive into a glass of wine and try to analyse it, I really try to judge it as almost an oenological graphic equaliser, replacing treble, bass and tone with tannins, acidity, fruit and alcohol. For the mighty stadium-rocking 2010 Lynch Bages you need to turn your amp up to 11 to fully appreciate this staggering wine. It’s an all singing, all dancing, high octane but perfectly balanced beauty - a race car driving just on the edge! Masculine and for the reasonably long haul, it’s a powerhouse of sweet, ripe cool Cabernet fruit with an intoxicating minerality and literally a five minute finish. Perfection in liquidity. Brilliant. (79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot) Simon Staples, Fine Wine Director
A sublime masculine heavyweight Lynch. It is Pauillac personified with an impenetrable but incredibly ripe nose bursting with pure, minerally cassis. Mouthfilling creamy black cherry and blackcurrant fruit is phenomenally smooth and boasts great structure with hints of tobacco, coffee, leather and mint. The tannins are rich and silky with a rare freshness. The wine is aged in 80% new oak which is the most they have ever used, feeling it necessary to cloak the exceptional fruit and powerful tannins. This is set to be a legendary Lynch so don't miss out.