Château Lynch Bages, 5ème Cru Classé, Pauillac, 2018

  Château Lynch Bages

Jean-Charles coined the vintage 'Purple Rain'. His flagship Lynch Bages is certainly a wine of epic proportions, which sends shivers down the spine, and has a finish longer than the aforementioned guitar solo. This is a proper vin de garde, hardly surprising given the IPTs were the highest since 2010. After ecoulage, yields were a meagre 37 hl/ha. The team was very careful during macerations - this is clearly precision winemaking. Very detailed, dark, mineral nose - not particularly expressive at this stage, but one can sense the potential. The palate is firm, even uncompromising; austere and powerful, grippy cassis and minerals, cool berries and spice coat the mouth and dissipate at glacial pace. The flavours stain the palate as the immense tannic profile reveals itself. This is a colossal Lynch Bages that will require considerable patience. It could be one of the all-time greats from this Chateau, something to make the doves cry. Epic!

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.