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Four and a half glasses
External Reviews for Château Lynch Bages Pauillac Lightly Bin-Soiled Label Corroded Capsule
Lynch-Bages has always had an old-style Bordeaux charm. Even now, dressed as it is in the trappings of a super-second, the wine shows its more humble graces. The surface is sleek, the texture soft as velvet, the fruit fleshy and giving an earthy spice. A hint of red fruit syrup shows the ripeness of the vintage. Ten years out, the wine will be as much at home on a table at Cordeillon-Bages as on a picnic in the Hebrides.
Jean-Michel Cazes has coaxed greatness out of Lynch-Bages for so many years that it's easy to forget this terroir is a fifth growth. In a vintage like 2001 it gives more generous Bourgeois satisfaction than aristocratic pretension. The wine is still sleek and formidable, but in a homey way, the herbal scents of rosemary honey and ripe, succulent plum make this hard to resist. Decant it for roast agneau de Pauillac; the wine will probably be best around eight to ten years from the vintage.
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.
(Barrel tasting) Currant, blackberry, cherry and hints of licorice. Full-bodied, with silky and refined tannins and a fresh finish. This is racy and pretty. Very refined. Very structured.
Bright, full ruby-red. Cassis, mocha, nutty oak and exotic spices on the nose. Very ripe, broad and rich; less focused than the 2006 but possesses considerably more volume and merlot sweetness. But this very pliant wine also boasts excellent lift. Finishes long and sweet, with lush tannins buffered by fruit. An excellent showing.
This outstanding effort is slightly lighter, more streamlined and delicate than followers of Lynch Bages have come to expect after such great vintages as 1982, 1989, 1990, 1996, and 2000. A deep ruby/purple hue is accompanied by a classic Medoc nose of tapenade, roasted herbs, licorice, cedar, black currants, and damp earth. Medium-bodied with moderate tannin, sweet fruit, and surprising softness as well as forwardness for a 2005 northern Medoc, it can be drunk now and over the next 20+ years.
In '95, the sheer power of Lynch-Bages is incredible. It's impacted with flavor, dark, dense, yet vibrant. The extract built into the wine suppresses so much of the flavor that it only begins to emerge long into the finish, crawling out from under the tannins like a creature from the deep. A monster, but one who's forgiving, exuberant and easy-going. A remarkable achievement from Jean-Michel Cazes and Daniel Llose, there is no other fifth growth like Lynch-Bages - not a fourth, nor a third. It may not be as classy as some of the seconds, but it holds much interest.
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