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2012 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
District Left Bank
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 5ème Cru Classé
ABV 14%

71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Limpid ruby to purple. Quite a quiet nose of firm ripe cabernet and darker pencil-box, classic dry stuff. Sweet fruit edge in the attack. Supple, smooth dry volume of fine tannins holds the palate well with a light grip, 'lubricated' by the fruit sweetness. It's a nice balance and has grand linear purity. Rating: 93 L&S (Apr 2013)

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The 2012 Lynch-Bages has a crisp, rather introverted, tertiary nose with touches of autumn leaves coming through with time. The palate is medium-bodied with chewy tannins, a little disjointed and conservative compared to others, but gains more weight towards its austere and grippy finish. Maybe hard-going at the moment, maybe it will loosen up? Tasted at the Lynch-Bages vertical at the château. Drinking range: 2021 - 2026 Rating: 90 Neal Martin, (Jul 2023)

The 2012 Lynch Bages is much more closed on the nose after the 2012 Grand-Puy-Lacoste. Blackberry and cedar, pencil box and light minty scents gradually unfold. The palate is balanced with a chewy opening. Solid with plenty of dense black fruit, but I find this just lacking delineation and comes across a bit "blocky" on the granular, slightly austere, graphite-tinged finish, confirmed by a second bottle at the Bordeaux Index horizontal. This is just a bit rough around the edges. Tasted twice at Bordeaux Index's Ten Year-On tasting and blind at the Southwold Ten-Year On tasting. Drinking range: 2023 - 2037 Rating: 90 Neal Martin, (Sep 2022)

Dark ruby, a touch closed but as it opens reveals plenty of bilberry and blackcurrant fruit, grilled cedar and slate. Tannins still firm, you can begin to drink but will benefit from a few more years ageing. In the 2012 horizontal tasting held recently it absolutely stood out, and is one of the best to choose in the vintage - but within the Lynch Bages vertical, it falls behind the 2014. 70% new oak, Eric Boissenot consultant. Drinking range: 2024 - 2044 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter (Apr 2022)

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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