Château Lynch Bages, 5ème Cru Classé, Pauillac, 2016

  Château Lynch Bages

Jean-Charles' mantra for the vintage was 'if 6 was 9', a Jimi Hendrix soundtrack for this rock and roll vintage. At first the sun did refuse to shine, but in the end, no-one minded as July, August, September and October were easy rider months. He explained that the final harvest date was the 12th of October, exactly the same date as in 2009, but that is the only thing these vintages have in common. They had never before seen such levels of tannin. This is dark and serious, a gravelly, introverted, mineral infused Lynch produced from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Notes of graphite and black cherry lead to a handsome and powerful mid-palate of crème de cassis, coal and salty minerals. A big bold effort that harks back to the great Lynchs of yesteryear - it will require considerable patience. Rock 'n Roll indeed, and sure to delight lovers of this great Pauillac estate.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Lynch Bages

Jean-Charles Cazes became the tenant at Lynch Bages in 1934, later purchasing the estate and starting a program of investment, restoring the Chateau and undertaking much work in the vineyards. The estate has since prospered, becoming recognised globally, but being particularly popular in the UK market. The estate is now run by Jean-Charles’ great grandson, Jean-Charles.

There are three principle plots, one between the village of Bages and the outskirts of Pauillac, one to the west of Bages towards Grand Puy Lacoste, and the final plot lies at the south of the commune close to St Julien. In all there are approximately 100 hectares under vine on classic Gunzian gravel over marl, chalk and sand. The vineyards are planted with 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Recent vintages have seen the estate returning to its very best form, not that they have ever really suffered any loss of form. This 5th growth estate has always been an over-performer, but recent efforts would suggest that the wines are on a par with the ‘Super Seconds’.

It is also worth mentioning their excellent second wine, Echo de Lynch Bages. This was previously called Haut Bages Averous. Since the 2008 vintage, Echo along with the excellent Ormes des Pez offers drinkers the Lynch Bages style at a fraction of the cost.

Appellation: Pauillac

The Cabernet Sauvignon domanates the appellation, in fact some might justifiably call Pauillac the most classical expression there is of Cabernet based Claret. It is sandwiched between St-Julien to the south and St-Estèphe to the north, a stone’s throw from the Gironde Estuary. The excellent drainage of the intensely gravely soils are the key to quality, producing some of the world’s most long-lived wines. The First Growths of Latour, Lafite and Mouton-Rothschild are found here, while other great Châteaux include Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande, Pontet Canet, Lynch-Bages and Grand-Puy-Lacoste.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot

A classic partnership. The stock left bank Bordeaux blend also used to good affect in the New World. Cabernet's, acidic, tannic complex qualities marry ideally with Merlot's sweet, softy flesh characteristics.