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Chateau Lynch-Bages 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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750ML / 13.5% ABV
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4.6 10 Ratings
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4.6 10 Ratings
750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 97
James Suckling
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.
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Lynch Bages comes charging out of the gate with pronounced cassis, chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and menthol notions, backed up by scents of garrigue, tilled soil and a waft of tapenade. Medium to full-bodied, rich and fantastically concentrated, the generous fruit is superbly framed by firm, ripe, grainy tannins with tons of pepper, cinnamon and cloves layers coming through on the finish. Truly, a legendary Lynch Bages!
Rating: 97+
WS 97
Wine Spectator
This is built for the cellar, with a generous core of kirsch, raspberry paste and plum preserve flavors waiting to unfurl. Will take time, due to the licorice snap, roasted apple wood and sweet tobacco elements draped over the fruit. Should meld with age, as the structure is invigorating in feel, showing both acidity and tannins in lockstep with the fruit. Best from 2025 through 2040.
V 96
Vinous
A stellar wine, the 2016 Lynch-Bages is dark and explosive in the glass. Beams of tannin and bright acids give the 2016 its sense of drive and tension. From bottle, the 2016 is quite a bit more powerful than it was from barrel. Dark flavors and potent tannins give the 2016 a distinctly brooding, somber feel. Sage, lavender, menthol, licorice and wild cherry are all laced into the potent, dramatically sweeping finish. Readers should not be in a rush, as the 2016 is going to need a number of years to be at its best. Even so, it is super-impressive today.
D 96
Decanter
Harvest started a week later than in 2015, allowing a longer, slowing ripening as Pauillac fully benefitted from the conditions of the vintage. Touches of reduction for the first minute emphasise the redcurrant notes in with the cassis and bilberry. The acidity is clear, and the layers of fine tannins build to show an extremely impressive construction: thickly sliced black fruits, fresh menthol, toast, tobacco and grilled, almost tarry almonds. 2% Petit Verdot makes up the blend. Eric Boissenot consults.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Rich, jammy and powerful, this wine is all about concentration and firm tannins. Ripe black-currant flavors add great juiciness at the end. The wine has magnificent potential. Drink from 2025.
JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck
The flagship 2016 Château Lynch Bages is a powerhouse, checking in as 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot raised in 75% new French oak. This deep, concentrated, powerful 2016 is going to be one for the ages, but if you’re looking for instant gratification, this isn’t for you. Saturated purple-colored, with thick black fruits, graphite, and scorched earth aromas and flavors, it fills the mouth with fruit, has masses of tannins, and beautiful overall balance. Don’t even think about opening bottles before 7-8 years from now, and it’s going to have 3-4 decades of longevity.
Rating: 95+
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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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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.

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