2023 Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac, Bordeaux

2023 Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Product: 20238004817
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2023 Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac, Bordeaux

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Description

Blend: 71% Cabernet Sauvignon; 24% Merlot; 3% Cabernet Franc; 2% Petit Verdot.

The 2023 has the same tannin measurement as the monumental 2022 (IPT 95). Although of similar intensity to the previous vintage, it is more sculpted and architectural. Historically a wine so expressive of cassis and generosity, this version has precise notes of filigree minerality and dark, earthy spice. The new winery has added precision and density from the extraction. It feels like a new chapter in the history of Lynch-Bages as the wine evolves into a more complete and assertive expression of its previous self. This is a serious wine and one for long ageing.

Drink 2033 - 2060

Our score: 18/20

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson96/100

Concentrated, intense and muscular, not a word that I have used very often in 2023 Bordeaux. You get a deeply-rooted tannic grip, with soot, squid ink, cassis, blackberry, bilberry, liqourice root, slate scrap, pummice stone and mint. Lynch Bages seems to be wrought from a different place than it was a decade ago, impressive, powerful Pauillac, with an eye on long ageing. 75% new oak, Jean-Charles Cazes owner, Nicolas Labenne technical director.

Drink 2033 - 2048

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (April 2024)

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Neal Martin, Vinous92-95/100

The 2023 Lynch-Bages takes some time to really settle, so I gave it 5-10 minutes in the glass. On the nose, glossy black fruit mixes with touches of cassis, graphite, violets and blood orange, perhaps demonstrating more horsepower than I anticipated. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, saturated tannins. There is a lovely symmetry to this Pauillac (not unlike Latour), armed with a cashmere texture and plenty of backbone on the finish, even though I would not describe it as a "grippy" Lynch-Bages. There’s plenty of graphite character on the aftertaste. Excellent.

Drink 2030 - 2060

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous94-97/100

The 2023 Lynch-Bages is a dark, brooding wine. In so many vintages, Lynch-Bages is a wine of sensuality, but in 2023, it is quite the powerhouse. Formidable tannins wrap around a core of black fruit, spice, menthol, licorice and gravel. This is a somber, introspective Lynch-Bages with a ton of Cabernet Sauvignon character. I can't wait to taste this from bottle.

Drink 2033 - 2073

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW93-95/100

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2023 Lynch-Bages prances out with vibrant notes of crushed blackcurrants and black raspberries plus fragrant hints of violets, iron ore, bay leaves, and fragrant soil with a touch of graphite. The medium-bodied palate delivers impressive tension, with a sturdy backbone of grainy tannins and an earthy finish. The blend is 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, with pH 3.75 and TPI 95.

Drink 2028 - 2042

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2024)

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Jancis Robinson MW17.5+/20

71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.

Restrained nose but depth, energy and power. Layered fruit on the palate. Builds steadily, the tannins powerful but refined. Very long. Definite ageing potential.

Drink 2032 - 2050

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2024)

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Wine Advocate92-95/100

As usual one of the chunkier, broader-shouldered wines of the Médoc, the 2023 Lynch-Bages exhibits aromas of dark berries and cassis mingled with pencil shavings, licorice and pipe tobacco, framed by creamy new oak. Medium to full-bodied, rich and layered, it's deep, concentrated and generously extracted, with plenty of youthfully chewy tannin to carry it along in the cellar. The 2023 is a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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James Suckling97-98/100

Blackberry, black cherry, crushed stone and graphite. Lead pencil, too. It’s full-bodied with juicy, chewy tannins. Vertical and layered with lovely length. Quite plush. Chewy tannins at the end. Cabernet sauvignon driven. Showing excellent potential.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2024)

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Decanter96/100

Weighty and ripe, but high toned and sharp, a real push pull of tannins, concentrated fruit and acidity. Feels very complete, not necessarily all in harmony right now, this is quite intense, but there’s a statuesque element which is impressive. Both rich and cool with liquorice, graphite, plum, cherry and cranberry. Layers of freshness and a real sense of classicism makes you want to go back for more. More lean and streamlined than 2022, this is focussed and there is bite and edge to the tannins that will settle, but this is very good. 65% grand vin, 25% second wine, 10% third wine. 6% press wine. 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend.

Drink 2033 - 2046

Georgina Hindle, Decanter (April 2024)

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Jeb Dunnuck95-97/100

The flagship 2023 Château Lynch-Bages is based on 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, resting in 75% new French oak. One of the biggest, richest wines in the vintage, it’s deep purple-hued and offers up some classic Lynch richness in its smoky black fruits, smoked earth, graphite, and tobacco-driven aromatics. These carry to a full-bodied Pauillac with ample mid-palate depth, ripe, building tannins, and a great finish. While it's clearly in the lively, fresher style of the vintage, it's a serious, structured, incredibly impressive Pauillac with tons to love. It's not far off the style of the 2019.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2024)

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About this WINE

Chateau Lynch-Bages

Chateau Lynch-Bages

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."


 

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Pauillac

Pauillac

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.

Recommended Châteaux
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.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

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.

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