|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac|
Lynch Bages is one of the most popular and reliable Châteaux of Bordeaux. Release prices of this archetypal and significant Pauillac (100 hectares)are usually modest compared to those that consumers are happy to pay for mature vintages. This much-loved Chateau, owned by the Cazes family for nearly a century, consistently makes one of our most demanded and biggest selling wines. Jean-Michel Cazes' son, Jean-Charles, is now in charge and recent vintages have been amongst the best ever. Classic Pauillac is made here with cassis fruit, a touch of mint and cigar box aromas. The second wine used to be called Haut Bages Averous and is now labelled "Echo de Lynch". The Cazes family recently added near neighbour Haut Batailley to their portfolio but this will be kept separate from Lynch Bages. Jean-Charles described the 2018 here as being like 2016 with some 2010 in it. It is classically proportioned with 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot with ageing in 75% new oak.
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One of the finest vintages I've ever tasted from this address, the 2018 Château Lynch-Bages has everything you look for in a great wine: incredible aromatics, richness without weight, perfect balance, and a purity of fruit that's just about off the charts. Dense purple, it reveals a glorious perfume of blackcurrants and blackberry fruits, a deep, unctuous mouthfeel, building tannins, and a complex array of cedar pencil, tobacco, wood smoke, and chocolate. A true blockbuster in every sense, with masses of fruit and tannins as well as moderate acidity, it will probably merit a triple-digit score in a decade and is a 50+-year wine from this team.
The 2018 Lynch-Bages has a wonderful bouquet of supremely well-defined blackberry, briar, crushed rock and pencil lead aromas that develop more floral scents with continued aeration (the samples were monitored over 6–8 hours). The palate is beautifully balanced with fine-grained tannins and superb acidity. Fresh and focused with a touch of graphite toward the finish. There is a swagger, a bit of brio, about this Lynch-Bages, one that will age over 30–40 years with style. Bravo, l’equipe Cazes! Drink 2024-2050.
Aromas of blackberries, cloves, licorice, dried leaves, graphite and black olives. It’s full-bodied with firm, tight tannins. Structured and tannic with beautiful austerity and a long, mineral and layered finish. The tannins grow on the palate. Try from 2026.
Composed of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Lynch-Bages was aged in 75% new barriques. Deep garnet-purple in color, it soars out of the glass with a magnificently expressive nose of blueberry compote, black cherry preserves and blackcurrant pastilles, plus suggestions of dark chocolate, licorice, tar and violets with a waft of hoisin. The medium to full-bodied palate is just as impactful as the nose, coating the mouth with juicy black berry and spicy layers, supported by firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with a refreshing earthiness coming through at the end. Drink 2026-2055.
Tasted blind at Southwold 2018. Saturated purple colour in the glass. Pure blackcurrant fruit is laced with toasted aniseed, nutmeg and layers of savoury, smoky spices. Huge concentration and tannic structure is immediate on the palate. Full of chewy, dense and ripe tannins, this is a powerhouse that will require patience but be one of the longest-lived wines of the vintage. Pure black fruit keeps pace with this structure - though it is ripe it remains juicy and fresh, a real feat. The savoury spices build towards the finish, adding complexity yet remaining harmonious. A truly outstanding wine. Give it as much time as you can before approaching. Top Pauillac outside of Latour in Southwold 2018.
Plum, damson, with a touch of gunsmoke reduction on the first nose, rich and nuanced in colour and aromatics. Pure chiselled cassis and blackberry fruits as it opens, with cocia bean, sage, cardarmon, grilled cedar, smoked earth and crayon, widening through the mid palate to reveal a creamy texture. Exuberant in character, plenty of vintage signature. A yield of 38hl/ha, 75% new oak.
Tasted blind. Particularly dark crimson. Discreet, fresh nose. Good, straightforward ripe, minty fruit with about the right amount of tannin underneath. Dry finish. Long. This was extremely popular with the group as well as with me – although I learnt subsequently that it was made in temporary premises while the new winery was being built, ready for the 2020 vintage.
Drink 2027 – 2050
72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot; 75% new oak. pH 3.66. Barrel sample.
Black core. Spicy, intense cassis nose. Imposing grip in the tannins holding everything prisoner at the moment but they are compact and dense rather than tough. Chewy, dense, powerful and 'masculine'. Highly structured and muscular but well balanced. Not a charmer but finely built in its power. (JH) 14.1%
Deep, glass-staining purple in colour. The nose is deep, dense and brooding, with an almost oily richness to the cassis, camphor and cedar aromas. The palate is incredibly rich and powerful, with an explosive core of fruit that is only managed through plentiful, grippy tannins. Mulberries, scorched earth and toasted cumin all come through as this wine gains complexity on the mid-palate. A towering, structured Pauillac with an incredibly long finish, this will need time but will no doubt become a great Lynch Bages.
Dark cassis, plum and cherry fruit flavors stream through in this red, harnessed well by bolts of iron along the way. Sweet tobacco detail echoes through the finish, which is seriously long. An extremely rock-solid wine in the making here.
(72 Cabernet Sauvignon, 19 Merlot, 6 Cabernet Franc, 3 Petit Verdot) | 75% new oak for 18 months | 14 alc | 95 IPT A stunning Cabernet nose leads the way and this signals the start of a rather imposing wine. Exquisite fruit concentration coupled with prodigious length make this a bit of a beast and I found myself searching for detail among the power and extraction. Big and just about balanced with rather racy tannins and a lot of oak, this is a monolithic Lynch Bages and I hope that it starts to unravel soon for fear that it will always be a little bit too muscular and tough.
The 2018 Lynch-Bages was picked from September 19, the Cabernet starting six days later and continuing until October 9, and matured for 18 months in 75% new oak. It has a charming, pure bouquet of black cherries, blueberry, violet and iris petals, almost Margaux-like in style. The medium-bodied palate is quite dense and grippy, offering slightly grainy tannins, moderate acidity and a powerful, saline finish. It is a little monolithic when compared to, say, the outstanding 2016, although I appreciate its length and it should age well in bottle. It just needs to muster a bit more charm, and maybe that will appear once in bottle. I will remain prudent with my score for now. Drink 2024-2050.
This is incredibly powerful and structured with so much tannin backbone and length, yet it’s cool and fresh with a compact palate and great length. Muscular.
The 2018 Lynch Bages is made up of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot aging in 75% new barriques. Very deep purple-black in color, the nose is quite coy and restrained to begin, fanning out to offer pure, ripe blackcurrants, black cherries and preserved plums with wafts of red roses, cigar box, incense, cardamom and fenugreek with savory touches of black olives, Marmite toast and smoked meats. Full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house, with a solid foundation of very firm, very ripe, grainy tannins and superb freshness supporting the generous black fruit layers, finishing long with provocative ferrous suggestions.
This is hugely impressive right from the off - strap on your walking boots, get your crampons at the ready, there is a wall to climb - not one that you ever hit by the way, because contrary to expectations this unfurls slowly, keeping the peak just out of sight.
It’s great quality and one of my favourites from this property because it’s full of power but with a caress, so much tannic power too and yet so light of foot. It’s filled with absolutely delicious black chocolate, rosemary, cardamom and pepper but also lets the light in thanks for a fresh core running through. Having tasted it a few times it’s clear it’s going to age extremely well. A yield of 38hl/ha.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
Cassis, graphite, blackberries, scorched earth, and graphite notes all emerge from the 2018 Château Lynch-Bages, which is a rich, blockbuster style beauty up with the finest vintages to date from this historic estate, which by the way, is just about complete with a massive new cellar construction project. Checking in as a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, brought up in 75% new French oak, it's incredibly concentrated, opulent, and sexy on the palate, with building underlying structure, a stacked mid-palate, and a great finish. It reminds me of the 2009 with its fleshy, powerful style. The IPT, or amount of tannins, is a through the roof 95 and it hit 14.1% alcohol with a pH of 3.66. It’s going to live for just about forever.