Château Lynch Bages
Lynch Bages: characteristics of wines from a viticulture more than a century old
Located in Pauillac in the heart of the Gironde, Château Lynch-Bages is a 100 hectare family-owned wine estate, known for its tasty wines combining finesse and mixed aromas. Its taste qualities vary according to the year it was made and other factors. Sometimes they are remarkably mature with a complex and persistent finish that will surprise you from the first sip, sometimes they are young with full-bodied textures with spicy or fruity flavours that improve with time in the bottle. Ranked fifth in the official 1855 Bordeaux wine classification, the Lynch Bages estate boasts a diverse portfolio of quality wines. In this guide, let's take a look at the history of this prestigious estate, its terroir, and the characters of the estate's red and white wines.
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A little history of Lynch-Bages
The Château's wine production dates back to 1749 when Thomas Lynch, the son of an illustrious Irish family, inherited the wine estate from his wife Elisabeth Drouillard. Mention of the land of Bages can already be found in 19th century archives. The château changed owners over the centuries. Then, the Cazes family took possession of the estate in 1934. For the record, the production of Bordeaux wines was harsh in the past centuries. The estate's old gravity storage cellar, a Skawiski invention dating from 1850, is a unique testimony to the material used at the time. At that time in the Médoc, a crane would lift the grapes upstairs in a horse-drawn cart. The grape staves were then emptied into a wooden conquet where workers waded to get the juice to flow from the conquet holes into the vats. Workers then removed the grape skins from the fermentation vat using a rope and pulley system. The remarkable work of the winemakers was thus risky. The visionary grandson in his thirties, Jean-Michel Cazes, who took over the management of the family business, preferred to invest in new state-of-the-art technology. His objective is to optimise the quality and precision of the wines. The new winery and vat room are inspired by this model. It is under Jean-Michel's impulse that the wines are endowed with the intense, generous and complex character that we know them as today. Collectors, wine lovers, the curious and tourists can visit this old vat room, which is the pride of the Château, by appointment. A little extra, the estate can accommodate and cater for visitors and it is also possible to enjoy the pleasure of tasting!
The Lynch cru, a vineyard of three centuries
With 272 years of viticultural history to its credit, Château Lynch Bages is without doubt one of France's oldest winegrowers. The terroir, also known as "Cru de Lynch", is a beautiful wine-growing heritage of about 100 ha which produces red and white wines in a temperate oceanic climate. The terroir is composed of deep Garonne gravel, sand, clay and limestone. The policy adopted by the winegrower is the reasoned culture. The estate is located on well-defined hillsides in the Gironde and benefits from good natural drainage and favourable sunshine. In addition, the deep roots and the good fertilisation of old vines are important. Indeed, old vines dry out the soil after a few years. But the estate has carried out a soil analysis of the Lynch-Bages vineyards. This helped them to find the definition of a good grape variety structure. Thus the grape variety cabernet savignon noir (73%), merlot (15%), petit verdot (2%), can produce fruit up to 60 years, and 30 years for the average. This is a great achievement which allows the perpetuation of wine growing despite the French wine crisis and the drop in world production. Production techniques for the estate's white and red wines. The estate has been producing a wide range of wine choices without any weaknesses since the 1970s and has had a great influence on the French wine market. Indeed, while the general rule in wine is that the oldest wines are the best, vintage may not be an indicator of quality for some brands. This is because some wines lose quality as they mature, which is not the case with Lynch-Bages wines. They gain in precision and character as they age, while imposing a delicious combination of texture, richness and freshness. It should also be noted that the loss of quality is often due to poor observation of storage conditions and temperature. But to return to the white wine of Lynch-Bages, this one was born in 1990. It is a blend of 3 white grape varieties, Sauvignon (60%), Semillon (27%) and Muscadelle (13%). This crop occupies an area of approximately 7 ha. The grapes are harvested manually. After removing the large impurities from the must before fermentation, 75% of the juice is put into barrels with the temperature regulated at 18 degrees. The rest is matured in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats. The wine is pumped back into the vats after 6 months of vinification. The wine is then ready to be bottled. The red grape varieties grown on the estate include grape varieties (4%), Cabernet-Sauvignon (70%), Merlot and Petit Verdot (2% each). It covers an area of about 100 ha. The grapes ripen beautifully in the well-drained soils, producing velvety tannins and aromatic complexity. Chateau Lynch-Bages uses the classic winemaking method. The thermovinification of the red grapes is also done in steel tanks. However, some of the grapes are vinified in stainless steel vats. The estate also carries out vinification in oak barrels for some of the vintages produced. In order to lighten the acid notes of the red wines, the wines go through the malolactic fermentation process and the clarification stage. The latter consists of adding egg whites to help obtain a wine free of impurities.
Wines of exceptional quality and intense character
The Château's range of wines are in the line of great AOC Pauillac wines. They are available in red and white wines whose mouthfeel varies according to numerous parameters such as age, ageing, variety of grape variety... The wines of Lych-Bages are recognisable by their full and firm structure, charming flavours and a complex aftertaste of rare length with an alcohol level of around 13. These wines age delightfully over time with rich, concentrated flavours. The colour of red wines varies between raspberry, purple, ruby and orange-red depending on the grape variety and the intensity of the colour.
-For example, the Château Lynch-Bages 1943, classified as a 5th growth, stands out for its unique, rare, unclassifiable character, combining suppleness and precision with an extraordinary taste experience. A wine that invites meditation.
-Château Lynch-Bages 2007 has a purple colour with a pleasant nose and a hint of acidity, all without being overwhelming on the tongue. You can buy this wine to accompany grilled meats with fine spices.
-As for the younger red wine of Château Lynch 2017, it seduces you with its finesse, its elegance. It is a product offering a memorable tasting experience at its maturity. You can accompany it with beef or chicken. Not being very heavy, this fruity wine also goes well with cheeses and cold meats during a dinner party.
On the site, you will find vintages dating from 1966 to 1998. All of these wines are impressive either for their maturity or for their ability to be appreciated in their youth and to become more complex over the decades. The estate has chosen to produce only the best, sacrificing quantity for rarity. Older wines make great gifts for wine lovers and connoisseurs. They are an ideal gift to mark a new partnership, an engagement.
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