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.
This is really back-ended thanks to a powerful and almost endless finish. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with incredible concentration and length. Round and polished tannins. Layered. This unravels bit by bit. Energetic acidity gives it such superb freshness. This is at the 2010/2009 level.
The 2016 Lynch-Bages is deep, racy and sensual, with soft contours, silky tannins and striking juiciness in its fruit. All of the elements seem to fall into place effortlessly. Today, Lynch-Bages is unusually well put together for such a young wine. Expressive floral aromatics give the flavors lift, energy and brightness, while beams of present but well-integrated tannins extend the finish.
"The 2016 Lynch-Bages delivers on its promise from barrel with an intense blackberry, cedar and mineral-driven bouquet that actually reminds me of Lafite-Rothschild. A faint dark chocolate scent makes a brief appearance. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannin, pure black fruit and a velvety texture. There is wonderful structure and focus on the finish, followed by a persistent saline aftertaste. This is an outstanding Lynch-Bages, easily the best since the twin titans of 1989 and 1990. 2023-2060"
97 Points, Vinous
"Very rich and exotic with blackberry, black-tea, graphite and lead-pencil aromas. Full-bodied, dense and structured with lots of ripe tannins and a long, flavorful finish of currants and forest floor, combined with fresh mushrooms and bark. Needs four to five years to show its true potential. Try after 2024."
97 Points, JamesSuckling.com
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.