Wine production in the Bages territory starts in the late 18th century when the vineyard was owned by the part Irish wine merchant Thomas Lynch. He produced wines under the name of 'Cru de Lynch' and was invited to Paris for the 1855 Classification where his wine would be classified as a Fifth Growth. Later the wine estate was leased to Jean-Charles Cazes, a farmer who would go on to purchase the property, and his descendants still manage the estate.
The 2010 Lynch Bages is an absolutely brilliant wine, and somewhat reminiscent at this stage in its development of the profound 1989. Jean-Charles Cazes, who took over for his father a number of years ago, has produced a magnificent wine with the classic creme de cassis note intermixed with smoke, graphite and spring flowers. It is a massive Lynch Bages, full-bodied and very 1989-ish, with notable power, loads of tannin, and extraordinary concentration and precision. This is not a Lynch Bages to drink in its exuberant youth, but one to hold on to for 5-6 years and drink over the following three decades.
Tasted at the Union de Grand Cru in London and later at the chateau. The Lynch Bages 2010 has gone back into its shell since I tasted it out of barrel. It has very fine precision and comes across as understated and poised, although I hope it develops more vigour and fruit penetration. The palate is dense and focused, with light graphite notes infusing the black fruit and a keen thread of acidity lending it fine tension towards the finish. It just needs a little more attack, but that should develop with time. Tasted November 2012.
Very deep robe, with a promising, intense nose here, there is evident depth with lovely texture to the mid-palate. As always there is a monolithic, masculine character here, but this is a very fine Lynch Bages. I would expect the 2009 vintage to have offered the preferable conditions for this estate, but on this showing I'm not so sure. Drink: 2022-2050.
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