Chateau Lynch Bages 2016

Chateau Lynch Bages 2016

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The name Lynch Bages consists of  2 parts. The easiest to explain is Bages. That is the name of the area where the Chateau is located, very near to the city of Pauillac. The Lynch part comes from Thomas Lynch, a Bordeaux wine merchant who owned the Chateau, but it was not always named as such. Thomas Lynch owned the estate from 1748 to 1824. during that time, he called his wine Cru de Lynch. During the 1855 Classification, the wine was know as Chateau Jurine Bages because a Swiss Wine Merchant named Sebastien Jurine owned the estate. Shortly after the classification, The Cayrou Brothers purchased the property and renamed it Chateau Lynch Bages. Jean Charles Cazes leased the vineyard from a member of the Cayrou family and eventually purchased it shortly before World War 2. The estate made great strides under the guidance of Jean-Michel Cazes and currently daily operations are overseen by his son Jean-Charles Cazes.

The 100 hectare vineyard of Lynch Bages is planted to 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The vineyard has a terroir of gravel, chalk and sand soils. The Chateau also produces a small amount of white wine.
Wine Spectator: 99
This flashes some sporty flavors of ripe cassis, plum and blackberry compote, but quickly pulls everything together with the terrific graphite spine. Alluring tobacco and anise notes line the finish. Delivers fruit, power and cut. A great showing.
Wine Advocate: 99
The 2016 Lynch Bages is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot with 13.7% alcohol and an IPT of 95, the highest ever for this property and probably one of the highest on the Left Bank this vintage. It was picked between from 27-30 September for the young vines, then the picking team stopped, restarting on 3 October with the Merlot and the Cabernets finished on 12 October. This vintage is matured in 75% new oak. It has a very concentrated, almost opaque bouquet that required some coaxing from the glass, developing floral and crushed limestone scents with time: disarmingly fresh and with stunning vivacity. The palate is concentrated and tannic, although they are not obtrusive and appear neatly embroidered into the multi-layered black fruit. This is a classic Lynch Bages with ambition and recalls vintages like 1990, a Lynch Bages built for long-term ageing. That arching backbone is counterbalanced by the keen line of acidity and a freshness that knows no bounds. There is ethereal delineation and tension on the finish, but I would give this at least ten years in bottle to enjoy this audacious Lynch Bages at its peak. Maybe the biggest surprise of the vintage, this has all the makings of a sensational wine.
Decanter: 95
As we have increasingly seen in recent years, Lynch-Bages has shifted up a gear to go fuller, bigger and darker. The IPTs are around 95 here, which is unusual even in the northern Mdoc, although they are unquestionably yielding, pliable and expertly worked tannins. The result is a hugely impressive wine with a creamy texture through the mid-palate and lashings of dark fruits, graphite and the essential addition of mint leaf freshness on the finish. From a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, with a yield around 42hl/ha, a touch lower than some because the deep gravel produced small berries, all coming in at 3.66pH and accounting for 65% of the overall production. This is a great Lynch without doubt, one for Pauillac purists who are looking for powerful impact.
Wine Enthusiast: 98
This wine is ripe and opulent, while still elegant. The balance is fine, showing plenty of concentration and a light touch of acidity. Black currant fruit matches the tannins and structure, making this one for the long term.
Vinous: 95
The 2016 Lynch-Bages is deep, racy and sensual, with soft contours, silky tannins and striking juiciness in its fruit. All of the elements seem to fall into place effortlessly. Today, Lynch-Bages is unusually well put together for such a young wine. Expressive floral aromatics give the flavors lift, energy and brightness, while beams of present but well-integrated tannins extend the finish.
James Suckling: 99
This is really back-ended thanks to a powerful and almost endless finish. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with incredible concentration and length. Round and polished tannins. Layered. This unravels bit by bit. Energetic acidity gives it such superb freshness. This is at the 2010/2009 level.