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5ème Grand Cru Classé
Producer: Château Lynch Bages
Overlooking the Gironde estuary at the entrance to Pauillac, the vines of Lynch-Bages are located on the Bages plateau, on one of the finest gravelly rises in the appellation. The estate once belonged to the famous Lynch family, of Irish origin, and was acquired by Jean-Charles Cazes in 1934. His grandson, Jean-Michel Cazes restructured the estate in 1974, adding state-of-the-art winemaking equipment, while keeping the former wooden vats as a reminder of the 19th century.
The grapes are all hand picked and then carefully sorted before crushing. A very strict selection is made prior to blending and the wine is traditionally aged in oak barrels before bottling.
The 2018 vintage was then marked by two periods. The first saw relatively mild temperatures but heavy rainfall, from March to early July. The second period began mid-July with fine summer weather, hot temperatures and excessive sunshine.
Full flowering occurred in line with the 20-year average.
Thanks to ideal weather conditions, harvest started on 19 September with the Merlot and was followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot until 9 October. Upon arrival at the cellar, the sanitary state of the grapes was perfect, with rich sugar content and exceptional polyphenols. Alcoholic fermentation was straightforward and homogeneous and average vatting time was 21 days. During the runoff from 15 to 29 October, the vats produced juice yields that were below expectations. Then came the time for malolactic fermentation, one third of which took place in vats and two thirds in barrels. It was completed in November. The first blends were carried out in December.
Lynch-Bages 2018 offers a seductive mouthfeel with powerful yet silky tannins. On the palate, there is a strong prelude of black chocolate, rosemary and spices on a fresh core leading to a long finish.
Robert Parker Rating: 96
Grape Variety: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot
Alcohol percentage: 14.5%