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Chateau Lynch-Bages 2015

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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13.5% ABV
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Daring, innovative and with a reputation for often being the last to harvest, Jean-Charles Cazes defined the style of Lynch-Bages in the 1930's. The wine's distinctive character has earned it a place amongst Pauillac's greatest. It combines structure, finesse and elegance, offering generous aromas in its youth and developing deeper complexities with bottle age.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
V 96
Vinous
One of the finest Pauillacs of 2015, Lynch-Bages is rich, racy and voluptuous. A rush of dark red and purplish stone fruit, mint, new leather, spice and blood orange give the 2015 a very decidedly exotic character that is impossible to miss. Raspberry jam, mocha, new leather and expressive floral notes appear with time in the glass, rounding things out nicely. Even though the 2015 is quite forward and open at this stage, the wine has plenty of stuffing as well as the underlying structure to support many years of exceptional drinking. This is a stellar showing for Lynch-Bages.
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
This vintage was ideal for the rich style that this estate has made its own. This wine is full bodied and ripe with black-currant and dark berry fruits. The tannins fall into the cushioned wine with ease and richness. Of course, the wine should be aged, so wait until 2026.
Cellar Selection
JS 95
James Suckling
Brambly and attractive ripe blackberries and red-plum aromas with some floral accents, too. The palate has a very plush, polished and regal shape as tannins frame up a core of ripe black fruit. Succulent, impressive finish. Best from 2022.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
This has an ample core of plum, fig and blackberry compote flavors, underlined liberally with graphite and smoldering tobacco notes. Fleshy and focused, with ample grip through the juniper- and tar-accented finish. Well-built. Best from 2023 through 2038.
D 94
Decanter
This is powerful and deep with high but careful extraction and firm tannins. At this stage it feels so much younger and more closed than almost anything else I’ve tasted from this vintage in Pauillac. This is going for a firm, impressive impact and it manages it, but it lacks some generosity in the fruit character that it has in spades in 2016. 2% Petit Verdot. 75% new oak. One-third malolactic fermentation in vats, two-thirds in barrel.
WW 94
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Always on my radar screen as wines to buy, I have always found this 5th Growth to be under-classified. While many in the wine trade place this wine in the 2nd Growth, I see it comfortably in the 3rd Growth arena, and indeed this wine has sometimes overtaken some of the highly vaunted 1st Growths. The 2015 Château Lynch Bages is handsome in so many ways. This wine exhibits beautifully attired black currants and a shading of oak. Enjoy its perfectly claret disposition with a juicy ribeye. (Tasted: January 25, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
The inky colored 2015 Château Lynch-Bages is a seriously impressive Pauillac that’s up with the crème de la crème of the appellation in 2015. Notes of ripe blackcurrants, caramelized cherries, tobacco leaf and a kiss of lead pencil all emerge from this textbook Pauillac that has medium to full-bodied richness, notable concentration, and building structure. Made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that saw 75% new barrels, it needs 5-7 years of cellaring and will be one of the longer-lived wines from the Médoc.
Rating: 94+
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Lynch Bages offers up crushed black berries, black cherries and dried herbs with an earthy undercurrent. The medium-bodied palate is firm and taut with lively fruit and a chewy finish.
Rating: 92+
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Chateau Lynch-Bages

Chateau Lynch-Bages

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Chateau Lynch-Bages, France - Other regions
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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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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.

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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.

BTRF153352_2015 Item# 153352