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May 25, 2017

Lynch Bages & Echo Lynch Bages 2016

Chateau.Lynch.Bages.cabane.660x330

This morning has seen the release of one of the stars of the vintage, the stunning Lynch Bages. It is potentially the greatest ever Lynch Bages, with everything required to rival and perhaps surpass the 1989 and 1990. The 2016 has been awarded 97-99 points by Neal Martin and 98-99 points from James Suckling, its highest ever barrel score: Lynch Bages if often underscored while young due to its large structure and coyness in youth. In his tasting note Neal Martin alludes “This is a classic Lynch Bages with ambition and recalls vintages like 1990, a Lynch Bages built for long-term ageing…. Maybe the biggest surprise of the vintage, this has all the makings of a sensational wine”. We have something very special here, this is a must own wine, a future legend. The 1990 which now has 99 points trades today at £3,500 per case of 12, the 95 point scoring 1989 at £3,200; they are two of the finest wines ever made in Bordeaux.

The price of Lynch Bages 2016 is £1,120 per case of 12, or £560 per case of six. This represents a 14% euro increase on 2016 and a 26% sterling increase. This offers a 10% discount to the 96 point scoring 2010 and a 18% discount to the 98 point scoring 2009 Lynch Bages. Indeed, with a Price Over Points Score of 62 this is the best value for money of any vintage of Lynch Bages. It was tasting brilliantly during en primeur which promises an exceptional future. Today’s release will work very well in the global market and there will be none-remaining after the bank holiday.

Lynch Bages WA JS Price Release Price POP
2016 97-99 98-99 £1,120 £1,120 62
2015 93-95 95-96 £950 £890 68
2014 92 96 £800 £575 67
2013 87? 92 £750 £550 100
2012 87 92 £775 £670 111
2011 90 93 £780 £740 78
2010 96 98 £1,250 £1,220 78
2009 98 97 £1,360 £845 76
2008 93 93 £1,020 £349 78
2007 88 N/A £1,020 £395 128
2006 93 92 £1,050 £360 81
2005 92 96 £1,290 £500 108

 

Lynch Bages rises perennially from barrel to bottle, due to its global acclaim, it has a strong traditional market in old Europe and the US. It was one of the earliest Bordeaux wines exported to Hong Kong; since 1989 it has been served in the First Class cabin of Cathay Pacific Airlines, the international flag carrier of Hong Kong. Jean-Michel Cazes was one of the first proprietors to promote Bordeaux wines in Asia, travelling there for 20 years and cementing Lynch Bages’ brand globally.

Lynch Bages is situated in the small sub-village of Bages, a wonderfully picturesque setting which contains their hotel and museum, as well as a delightful square; this is certainly one to visit. High on the west hill of the Pauillac region, the 90 hectares of vines are planted on deep gravel beds covered with limestone. Lynch Bages, originally classified as a Fifth Growth, is arguably the most dominant member of the Super Seconds. It is known for combining powerful rich tannins with tobacco and cedar; it takes years in the bottle to exhibit its true splendour, with top vintages capable of ageing for 30-50 years.

Chateau Lynch Bages 2016, 12×75 – £1,120 EP

97-99 Points, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
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. 

98-99 Points, James Suckling
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. 

In addition, the second wine of Lynch Bages, Echo de Lynch Bages has also released this morning for £340 per case of 12. Following on from the exceptional quality of the Grand Vin this is again the finest ever Echo Lynch Bages, which has been awarded 89-91 points from Neal Martin and 93-94 from James Suckling.

Echo Lynch Bages 2016, 12×75 – £340 EP

89-91 Points, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
The 2016 Echo de Lynch Bages is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, representing about one-third of the total production. It has a clean and precise bouquet, very polished and developing crushed violet scents with time. The palate is medium-bodied with quite crunchy, firm tannin on the entry. Quite saline in the mouth, masculine and grippy with just a little toughness on the finish that should mellow by the time of bottling. Best give this Deuxième Vin a couple of years in bottle if you can.

93-94 Points, James Suckling
The second wine of Lynch is linear and tight with beautiful blackberry and currant character. Medium to full body, firm tannins and an energetic finish. Super concentrated on the center palate.

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