2011 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
District Left Bank
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 5ème Cru Classé
ABV 13%

72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Very rich black fruit nose. Tannins are less 'covered' and considerably rawer than many - but still not really severe. Very dense black fruit. A bit lumpy for now, but the constituents are there. Lacks the seamless harmony of recent vintages here. Rating: 93-93 L&S (Apr 2012)

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Good bright ruby. Dark aromas of cassis, licorice, violet and vanilla. Penetrating and well-delineated, showing a light touch to its intense if slightly lean dark fruit and spice flavors. Finishes with very good grip and length, but a bit tart for me. A wine of very good but not outstanding concentration. Rating: 89 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website(Jul 2014)

There is a lot of power on the nose with black cherry and cassis to the fore. The palate has depth of flavour structure from the firm tannins the fruit enriched by liquorice and coffee. Towards the back there is richness of fruit but enough bilberry and bramble freshness to give an elegant twist to the finish. 2022-45 Rating: 92-94 Derek Smedley MW, 2013)

Another strong effort produced under the administration of Jean-Charles Cazes (the son of Jean-Michel Cazes, who spent decades building Lynch Bages into one of the most popular Bordeaux estates), the 2011 boasts an inky/purple hue in addition to copious aromas of black currants, incense, forest floor and ink. Deep, rich, medium to full-bodied and layered with supple tannins as well as the vintage-s freshness and vibrancy, it should age easily for 20 years. 2012 - 2032 Rating: 90-93 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, 2012)

The 2011 Lynch Bages is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot raised in 75% new oak. It has an elegant, understated bouquet compared to its peers, with pure blackberry and cedar aromas, linear and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, a gentle but firm grip, with a harmonious crisp quintessential Pauillac finish with graphite lingering on the aftertaste. This is a stylish Lynch Bages, born to be drunk and enjoyed. Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, 2012)

The blend here is Cabernet Sauvignon 72%, Merlot 23%, Cabernet Franc 3%, Petit Verdot 2%. Not very expressive on the nose. The palate shows a very solid concentration, not showing a great deal of character in terms of flavour, this sample seems quite closed. But the structure is lovely, integrated and balanced. There are ripe tannins, giving the fruit a fine frame, and they show in the finish without dominating, giving shape and structure but allowing other elements to have a role. Impressive, and very promising. Difficult to judge in this rather withdrawn state but the form of the palate gives me real confidence here. Rating: 16.5-17.5 Chris Kissack, 2012)

Extremely sweet dark fruit, more damson than cassis. Firm, dry, grippy tannins seem to overwhelm the fruit. Need to prize your mouth apart on the finish. Needs a lot of time and I hope the flesh will emerge. 2021-2032 Rating: 16+ Julia Harding MW, 2012)

Fine density of blackcurrant Cabernet fruit, very good natural richness and very ripe tannins. Drink 2016-2030. Rating: 17 2012)

This has nice weight and intensity, with a solid core of plum, blackberry and cassis that's offset by a racy, spicy frame. Very sleek through the finish, with latent depth in reserve. Rating: 92-95 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2012)

Like Pontet-Canet, this is a château that continues to make a mockery of the 1855 classification. There’s much more Merlot in the blend than usual because it suffered less from the drought than the other varieties, according to Jérôme Le Roux, and 75% new oak because of the “tannic structure”. The result is a rich, hedonistic red blend, bursting with blackcurrant and liquorice flavours and dense, yet supple tannins. 10+ years. Rating: 95 Tim Atkin MW, 2012)

This is quite wonderful with a beautiful balance of ultra-fine tannins and pretty fruits from currant to blueberries. Full-bodied. Delicious to taste. Deft winemaking here for the vintage. Rating: 93-94 James Suckling, 2012)

Château Lynch Bages

Pauillac Cinquième cru 1855 Thomas Lynch emigrated to Bordeaux from Galway in Ireland in 1691. He had two children and it was his son Thomas who associated the family name with Bordeaux by inheriting Lynch-Bages through his wife, and buying Lynch-Moussas and Dauzac in Margaux. Jean-Charles Cazes, who had recently bought Château Les Ormes de Pez in St Estèphe, took the tenancy of Lynch-Bages in 1934, and bought the property outright five years later. It has been the ownership of the Cazes family, who still own the estate, which turned Château Lynch Bages into the leading estate it is today, far exceeding the seemingly lowly 5th growth status bestowed upon it in 1855. There are 90ha of vines in the small village of Bages, just south of Pauillac. Red grapes are planted to 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Wines are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless-steel before ageing in wood (60% new) for 15 months. There has been a second wine produced at Lynch-Bages since 1978 that was originally called Château Haut Bages Averous, but has recently been renamed Echo de Lynch Bages. A small amount of Château Lynch Bages Blanc is made from 40% each of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon and 20% Muscadelle.

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