Chateau Lynch Bages 1988
Chateau Lynch Bages 1988, is part of the lineage of the great Pauillac wines. Blended mostly from Cabernet Sauvignon, it combines structure and finesse, elegance and longevity. It is further distinguished by its opulence. Generous right from its youth, it develops more flavours and greater complexity as it matures.
The affirmation of the Lynch-Bages style came with the arrival of Jean-Charles Cazes to head the estate in 1934. An innovative winemaker, emblematic of a new generation of owners willing to break with tradition and taking risks to ensure truly ripe harvests, he was known for often being the last to harvest in Pauillac. From 1945 onwards, the fame of the château emerged thanks to a series of great vintages. Some vintages despite being considered difficult in Bordeaux, are particularly successful at Lynch-Bages. His wines are characterized by their deep colour, their tannic structure, their controlled concentration and elegant sensuality. The vintages vinified by André Cazes, and after him Jean-Michel and Jean-Charles Cazes, confirm this trend.
The style of the wines has refined over the years, gaining suppleness and softness, whilst their consistency has been established over time. Château Lynch-Bages is characterised by its extraordinary qualitative homogeneity. Powerful, elegant and open, vintage after vintage, the wine has acquired greater accuracy, adding distinction to the hedonistic that made its reputation.
Château Lynch Bages, a 5ème Cru Classé, is one of the best-known Médoc estates and has always had a particularly strong following on this side of the English Channel. Since 1973 it has been owned by the enigmatic Jean-Michel Cazesand is now run by his son, Jean-Charles.
Lynch Bages’s vineyards are superbly sited on a plateau west of Pauillac town, in the small village of Bages. The 90 hectares of vineyards (Red: Cabernet Sauvignon 75%, Merlot 15%, Cabernet Franc 10%) lie on deep gravel beds over limestone. For the reds, fermentation is temperature-controlled with extensive ‘remontage’ to ensure concentration and depth of colour. A special system of pipes transfers the wine from the cuves to the oak barriques (60% new) where it matures for 15 months.
Lynch Bages can be surprisingly soft and approachable when young. However, when fully mature, it develops a succulent richness and a heavenly bouquet of minty blackcurrants and cigar boxes. As Oz Clarke says “Lynch Bages is impressive at five years, beautiful at ten years and irresistible at twenty.”