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2014 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 5ème Cru Classé
ABV 13.5%

69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Already this is delicious. The nose is full of dark fruit, a whiff of menthol herb and violets. Into the palate this all builds brilliantly. A super weighty core of good blueberry and cassis fruit is supple and nicely layered. Great concentration and focus. It is the balance between density and elegance. At once rich, but floral and perfumed too. Compact shape. One for the long haul. Recommended. Rating: 95 L&S (Apr 2015)

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Deep crimson. Rather rich and glamorous. Dense and velvety but not at all sweet. Dry minerally finish. Very Pauillac! Just as it should be. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 18 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - 2018)

This has beguiling hints of plum cake and melted licorice peeking out, while a core of cassis and blackberry confiture waits in reserve. There’s ample grip, but this remains very polished and integrated, with lovely echoes of anise and fruitcake showing through the very lengthy finish. Will be hard to keep your hands off this while it ages. Drinking range: 2019 - 2035 Rating: 94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Jan 2017)

The Château Lynch Bages 2014 is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot matured in 75% new oak. Yields were a respectable 40 hectoliters per hectare, although that figure is less than Jean-Charles Cazes predicted earlier in the season. The nose is well defined with veins of graphite infusing the black fruit: quite strict for Lynch Bages, a little reserved at this early stage. The palate is medium-bodied with chalky tannin, racy acidity although the pH is around 3.7, linear and a little austere on the finish. This is tightly coiled at the moment, gritty in the mouth but I like the Pauillac typicité here – not a million miles away from Grand Puy Lacoste in style. This deserves respect and I suspect it will age with the style of Jean-Charles's father, who turned 80 on the day of my visit. Drinking range: 2018 - 2040 Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, 2015)

Very well-expressed natural concentration of fruit, very ripe tannins and lots of complexity to come. A richly textured, firmly structured wine with the Lynch-Bages hallmarks for the future. (Highly Recommended Pauillac, Decanter.) Drinking range: 2020 - 2035 Rating: 92-92 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2015)

A huge, dense wine, the 2014 Lynch-Bages rips out of the glass with layers of intense fruit. Huge swaths of tannin provide the framework for a decidedly extroverted, boisterous Pauillac. Hints of dark red and purplish-hued fruit, spices, new leather and cedar gradually open up, but it is the wine's explosive personality that speaks most loudly at this stage. I don't quite see the finesse of the very best Pauillacs. It will be interesting to see if that develops in the coming years. The blend is 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. At present, the 2014 is aging in 75% new barrels. Rating: 90-93 Antonio Galloni, 2015)

Blackish crimson. Sweet and luscious and almost with black-cherry super-ripe aromas! A note of something charred here. Pretty interesting. Lots of work to overpower the tannins. Should make very good old bones to chew over. Long and glamorous. Tasting it blind, I guessed it was Lynch. Drinking range: 2024 - 2040 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - 2015)

Fresh, fragrant, violets, mint the nose has a floral charm the start of the palate fresh. Rich in the middle with sweet ripe fruit fine tannins suppleness and fleshiness. The rich mix of black fruits gives depth at the back the finish although full of rich black fruits has brightness and elegance. Drinking range: 2027 - 2040 Rating: 92-95 Derek Smedley MW, 2015)

Fans of this château, of whom there are many, should be delighted with the quality of its 2014 release, which is up there with the super second growths. It's a very complete, harmonious wine, even at this young age, with superb oak integration, noble tannins and impressive fruit density. A 20 year wine. (One of Tim's Top 10 Left Bank Reds.) Drinking range: 2022 - 2035 Rating: 96 Tim Atkin MW, 2015)

This has fascinating aromas already with blackcurrants and cassis. Hints of spices. It’s full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins and a long, focused finish. Muscular but toned and beautiful. Rating: 95-96 James Suckling, 2015)

Offers lovely weight and feel, with a big core of plum, blackberry and black currant fruit that manages to show refinement, while ample charcoal and warm stone notes flow underneath. This is displaying terrific depth and purity today. Rating: 93-96 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2015)

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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