Jean-Michel Cazes has made a Lynch Bages of outstanding quality. April 2001
Beginning to open magnificently, the still dense purple-colored 2000 reveals a blossoming bouquet of blackberries, cassis, graphite and pen ink. Full-bodied with velvety tannins that have resolved themselves beautifully over the last eleven years, this wine is still an adolescent, but it exhibits admirable purity, texture, mouthfeel and power combined with elegance. One of the all-time great examples of Lynch Bages, the 2000 is just beginning to drink well yet promises to last for another 20-25+ years.
There were two bottles of this wine tasted, one of my own and one from another person’s cellar.Although both were outstanding, one was much more evolved and displayed a slight dirtiness, but it was still impressive. The other displayed beautiful creme de cassis, and cedar in a surprisingly full-bodied and evolved style that could be drunk now. I originally predicted 2008-2025 for the window of full maturity, and that looks accurate, as this wine, which exhibits a little amber and loads of glycerin, is probably the biggest, richest Lynch Bages produced after the 1995 and before the 2005. Succulent, with lots of juicy black fruit and silky tannin, this is a beauty that can be drunk now or cellared for another 15-20 years.
An utterly profound Lynch-Bages, this wine continues to remind me of a hypothetical blend of the 1990 and 1989. Interestingly, when I asked Jean-Michel Cazes to rank his top four vintages of Lynch-Bages, he ranked the 1989 first, followed by three vintages that he said were essentially equivalent in quality – 1990, 1996, and 2000. The 2000 Lynch-Bages exhibits a dense purple color, loads of glycerin and extract, big, muscular, sweet creme de cassis notes, with hints of new saddle leather, earth, and tobacco leaf. The 2000 is forceful yet plush, with a thick, juicy, succulent mid-palate, ripe tannin, and a long, layered finish. I know it will be tempting to pull corks on this wine in its youth, but it really will not hit its stride for 7-10 years and will last for at least 25. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2025.
A fitting welcome back to the family property for Jean Michel Cazes on his retirement from directing the AXA Millésimes empire. Spicy, full and attention-grabbing. Chewy but confident, chunky mouthful with even a hint of dark rum. As with so many other Pauillacs, my only hint of doubt is whether there really is enough sold core hidden underneath all that colour, acidity, tannin and alcohol for the very long term. Deep crimson with some slight chestnut tones. Intense and spicy. Exotic cocktail. Petit Mouton-like! Aromatic and piercing. Rich and velvety on the nose. Good mix of ripeness and refreshment. Dry finish, but an explosive, rich start. Surely Lynch. Round and seductive. Ripe tannins underneath. Very deep phenolics. An early drinker. Drink 2007-2018
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 18% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. All the Cabernet Franc in the grand vin. But these are very old vines from behind the Pauillac fire brigade station and usually very millerandées. 65% of the harvest became grand vin. 55 hl/ha. Very good colour. Rich and concentrated on the nose. Fullish body. Good tannins. Very good grip. Ripe andsucculent. Rich and very attractive. Good oaky base. This hasn’t quite the class and intensity for great but it iscertainly fine. From 2010.
If any château in all of the classified growths consistently outperforms its original status, it is Lynch Bages. Indeed, this château has long been prized by Pauillac lovers who seek good value, yet well made wine. The property is situated just outside the quiet village of Pauillac north of Latour and Pichon Lalande. It is owned and run by Jean-Michel Cazes, a highly admired and charismaticBordelais whose vision and joie de vivre have influenced many wine lovers the world over.
Pauillac, Red Bordeaux
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac’s renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac’s wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.