2022 Echo de Lynch-Bages, Pauillac, Bordeaux
The 2022 Echo de Lynch Bages, aged for 14 months in one-year-old oak, has a slightly timid nose at first. Very pure blueberry and cassis fruit emerge with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, fine acidity, and relatively compact on the mid-palate with a touch of pencil leading toward the finish. This fine, quite sturdy Deuxieme Vin will need 4-5 years.
Drink 2028 - 2045
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Echo de Lynch Bages is a powerhouse. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, spice, leather, dark chocolate, liquorice and incense saturate the palate with notable richness. This is one of the most opulent, flamboyant Echos I can remember tasting. It will be interesting to see if some brooding intensity softens over time.
Drink 2025 - 2037
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 2022 Echo de Lynch-Bages is deep garnet-purple in color. It tumbles from the glass with open-knit scents of plum preserves, mince pie, and Indian spices, with hints of menthol, rose oil, and dusty soil. The medium-bodied palate delivers a firm, chewy texture and oodles of freshness to support the baked berries and exotic spice layers, finishing long. pH 3.69, TPI 91.
Drink 2026 - 2038
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2023)
A serious Echo that gives a good entry into the main wine. There are a ton of tannins here, and it has the inky, slate, crushed rock character of Pauillac. Carefully-extracted cassis and bilberry fruit, this is measured, one to look out for, needs a few years to relax. 3.69ph, 10% new oak.
Drink 2028 - 2044
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
Revealing aromas of cassis, licorice, pipe tobacco and loamy soil, the 2022 Echo de Lynch-Bages is medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy, with a deep core of fruit and plenty of chewy tannin. It shares much of the style of the grand vin this year, and it's one second wine that will reward a bit of patience.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
Crushed stone and lead pencil with blackcurrants. Full-bodied. Chewy and flavorful. Structured. Baby Lynch. 64% cabernet sauvignon, 31% merlot and 5% cabernet franc.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
Blue fruits, subtle perfume, a juicy blackcurrant and stony minerality on the nose. Supple and juicy, a real sense of fun with detail to the fine tannins. Well balanced, gorgeous texture, depth and characterful. A great second wine still with terroir markers, a salty finish, chalky texture and grippy tannins.
Still concentrated and serious, there’s an intensity to the fruit but really well delivered. Will be a beauty. 91 IPT. 3.69pH. Ageing 14 months, new and one year old oak barrels. 3.9 g/L total acidity. 91 IPT.
Drink 2027 - 2038
Georgina Hindle, Decanter (April 2023)
The second wine of Lynch Bages is the 2022 Echo De Lynch-Bages, a ripe, medium to full-bodied, structured beauty with a kiss of classic Lynch Bages richness and depth. Cassis, black raspberries, graphite, dried flowers, and hints of chocolate all define the aromatics, and it has ripe, fine tannins, good mid-palate depth, and outstanding length.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
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."
Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.
For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.
Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.
Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.
Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.