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Chateau Lynch-Bages 1999

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

Lynch-Bages made primarily from Cabernet-Sauvignon, is famous for its fine bouquet and rich tannin, which becomes soft and delicious with age. Lynch-Bages is powerful with a long aftertaste. It is typical of the greatest wines of Pauillac.

Beautiful dark color. Red and black plum berry and cherry fruit, aromatic woods nose and taste. The wine is very finely balanced with ripe menthol cherry fruit and elegantly firm wood tanins. A lovely long elegant aftertaste.

Blend: 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A charming, lush, round, generous Lynch Bages, the 1999 offers plenty of sweet black currant fruit, damp earth, licorice, cedarwood and spicy herb-like characteristics. Medium-bodied, savory and broad in the mouth with no hard edges, this fully mature effort is a somewhat underrated vintage for this estate.
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Chateau Lynch-Bages

Chateau Lynch-Bages

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Chateau Lynch-Bages, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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Overlooking the Gironde estuary at the entrance to Pauillac, the vines of Lynch-Bages are located on the Bages plateau, on one of the finest gravelly rises in the appellation. The estate once belonged to the famous Lynch family, of Irish origin, and was acquired by Jean-Charles Cazes in 1934. His grandson, Jean-Michel Cazes restructured the estate in 1974, adding state-of-the-art winemaking equipment, while keeping the former wooden vats as a reminder of the 19th century.

The grapes are all hand picked and then carefully sorted before crushing. A very strict selection is made prior to blending and the wine is traditionally aged in oak barrels before bottling.

Pauillac

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The leader on the Left Bank in number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

ARP51648_1999 Item# 51648