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Chateau Lynch-Bages 2003

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Winemaker Notes

Lynch-Bages, made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon, is famous for its fine bouquet and rich tannins, which become soft and delicious with age. Lynch-Bages is powerful with a long aftertaste.

It is typical of the greatest wines of Pauillac. A wine with silky, refined tannins and delicate fruit. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a lovely long, textured finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A healthy, youthful dark plum/ruby/purple color is followed by a bouquet of smoke, barbecued meats, black currants and new saddle leather. With full body and sweet tannin, this 2003 is strutting its stuff. Although it is not as fine as the 1989, 1990, or 2000, it is a complex, classic Pauillac to enjoy over the next decade
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Considering the reputation of Lynch-Bages as a rich, polished wine, it is not surprising that, in 2003, the team of Jean-Michel Cazes and Daniel Lhose produced a superlatively ripe, opulent wine, one that could almost have come from Napa. But not quite: The fruit is compact and dense, with layers of acidity that speak more of Bordeaux than California.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
A wine with silky, refined tannins and delicate fruit. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a lovely long, textured finish. This builds on the palate. More subtle than I remember. Best after 2011. 35,000 cases made.
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Chateau Lynch-Bages

Chateau Lynch-Bages

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Chateau Lynch-Bages, 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.

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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.

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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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

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.

DIXDIX86430_2003 Item# 88001

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