Lynch-Bages is an iconic fifth growth of Pauillac and has the distinction of having produced the only wine that has ever been sent into space.
Established in the early 1700s, the wine was labelled Chateau Jurine Bages at the time of the 1855 classification, later renamed in recognition of earlier owners the Lynch family.
Jean-Charles Cazes purchased the property in the 1930s, later passing the management of the estate to his grandson Jean-Michel Cazes who modernised the winery and was a prolific spruiker of not just his own wines, but those of all Bordeaux throughout the 70s and beyond.
Now managed by the next generation, (another Jean-Charles) Lynch-Bages continues to produce Cabernet Sauvignon-led wines of great concentration, offering ripe cassis and enviable cellaring potential.
Complex aromas of dark chocolate, currant and cigar box. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a mouthpuckering finish. Still very concentrated and chewy. Finishes with loads of ripe fruits, tobacco and cedar. Big and juicy wine. Give it a couple of years still. 95 points, Wine Spectator (2009)
There are more red fruits on the nose of the ’88 Lynch Bages rather than black: raspberry, cedar, black tea and a touch of earth. Very good definition. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, touch of licorice and spice, cedar and a sweet ripe finish with hints of dried blood, that is not nearly as austere as you would expect. A delightful ’88 that punches above its weight. 91 points, Wine Advocate (3/2010).
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.