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Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac 2010

Red Wine from France - Bordeaux
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This ranks among the very finest vintages of Lynch Bages with tremendous Pauillac power and depth enhanced by perfectly ripe cabernet sauvignon of great quality that has given fragrance, finesse and length. A Bordeaux of outstanding balance, which we recommend decanting before serving. This wine is a Museum Release: thanks to our member-owned co-operative model, our buyers are able to buy wines to mature in the perfect conditions of our temperature-controlled cellars and release them when they are ready to enjoy.
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Code: CM15401

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2040
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Cork, natural

Cru Classe Medoc, Graves

The original and most famous wine classification came about when the organisers of the 1855 Universal Exposition of Paris wanted, naturally enough, to show the finest wines of the Bordeaux region. Brokers dealing in the wines got together and produced two classifications of the best red and sweet wines respectively, based on the selling price of the wines at that time. The list was produced very soon after a request for it from the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce was made, strongly suggesting that there was an ‘unofficial’ hierarchy already well known to the brokers.

These Grand Cru Classé wines were ranked in five tiers and, apart from the famous promotion of Château Mouton Rothschild in 1973 and the addition of Château Cantemerle to the fourth growths soon after the classification was established, they have remained unchanged ever since. Effectively, they represent what should be the best wines of the Médoc with the one interloper, Château Haut-Brion from Pessac-Léognan in the...
The original and most famous wine classification came about when the organisers of the 1855 Universal Exposition of Paris wanted, naturally enough, to show the finest wines of the Bordeaux region. Brokers dealing in the wines got together and produced two classifications of the best red and sweet wines respectively, based on the selling price of the wines at that time. The list was produced very soon after a request for it from the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce was made, strongly suggesting that there was an ‘unofficial’ hierarchy already well known to the brokers.

These Grand Cru Classé wines were ranked in five tiers and, apart from the famous promotion of Château Mouton Rothschild in 1973 and the addition of Château Cantemerle to the fourth growths soon after the classification was established, they have remained unchanged ever since. Effectively, they represent what should be the best wines of the Médoc with the one interloper, Château Haut-Brion from Pessac-Léognan in the Graves region.

The wines of the right bank, such as Saint-Emilion and Pomerol were not included because their selling price was not as high at that time. Five first growths sit at the head of 62 properties, all of them from the Médoc except for Château Haut-Brion in Pessac-Léognan.

Naturally enough, there have been many unofficial revisions made over the years, with expert opinions brought to bear on what promotions and demotions might have been over the years, but none of these musings, no matter how reflective of changing standards and prices they might be, will change the stratification as it stands.

The classification is as follows:
First Growths (Premiers Crus)
Château Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac; Château Latour, Pauillac; Château Margaux, Margaux; Château Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan ; Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac.

Second Growths (Deuxièmes Crus)
Château Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux; Château Rauzan-Gassies, Margaux; Château Léoville-Las Cases, Saint-Julien; Château Léoville-Poyferré, Saint-Julien; Château Léoville-Barton, Saint-Julien; Château Durfort-Vivens, Margaux; Château Gruaud-Larose, Saint-Julien; Château Lascombes, Margaux; Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux; Château Pichon Longueville Baron, Pauillac; Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac; Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Saint-Julien; Château Cos d'Estournel, Saint-Estèphe; Château Montrose, Saint-Estèphe.

Third Growths (Troisièmes Crus)
Château Kirwan, Margaux; Château d'Issan (Margaux); Château Lagrange, Saint-Julien; Château Langoa-Barton, Saint-Julien; Château Giscours, Margaux; Château Malescot Saint Exupéry, Margaux; Château Cantenac-Brown, Margaux; Château Boyd-Cantenac, Margaux; Palmer, now Château Palmer, Margaux; Château La Lagune, Ludon (Haut-Médoc); Château Desmirail, Margaux; Château Dubignon, Margaux; Château Calon-Ségur, Saint-Estèphe; Château Ferrière, Margaux; Château Marquis d'Alesme Becker, Margaux.

Fourth Growths (Quatrièmes Crus)
Château Saint-Pierre, Saint-Julien; Château Talbot, Saint-Julien; Château Branaire-Ducru, Saint-Julien; Château Duhart-Milon, Pauillac; Château Pouget, Margaux; Château La Tour Carnet, Saint-Laurent (Haut-Médoc); Château Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe; Château Beychevelle, Saint-Julien; Château Prieuré-Lichine, Margaux; Château Marquis de Terme, Margaux.

Fifth Growths (Cinquièmes Crus)
Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac; Château Batailley, Pauillac; Château Haut-Batailley, Pauillac; Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac; Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Pauillac; Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac; Château Lynch-Moussas, Pauillac; Château Dauzac, Margaux; Château d'Armailhac, Pauillac; Château du Tertre, Margaux; Château Haut-Bages-Libéral, Pauillac; Château Pédesclaux, Pauillac; Château Belgrave, Saint-Laurent (Haut-Médoc); Château de Camensac, Saint-Laurent (Haut-Médoc); Château Cos Labory, Saint-Estèphe; Château Clerc-Milon, Pauillac; Château Croizet Bages, Pauillac; Château Cantemerle, Macau (Haut-Médoc).

Alongside the reds resides the classification for Sauternes and Barsac from further up river on the Garonne. There, 27 estates make up a smaller pyramid of their own, topped by the legendary Château d’Yquem, which had been classified out on its own above all the other sweet wines of the region.

Since the 1885 classification there have been other such systems established. Those of Graves and Saint-Emilion, both established much later than the 1855 and both subject to change, changes which cause no end of trouble for the authorities as estates are promoted or, more contentiously demoted and seek legal redress for the perceived injustice.

Cru Bourgeois is a further classification in the Médoc, representing some 30% of the production of the area. It was established in 1932 to represent properties outside of the Grand Cru Classé estates, though it was not officially recognised by the French government until 2003. At that time the selection of properties entitled to use the designation was revised and, unsurprisingly, fiercely contested by those who were left outside the classification, leading to a legal decision annulling the original classification while their status is re-examined by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce. The list has previously been revised every 12 years, but from the 2018 vintage will be accredited every five years, and is based on the history terroir, winemaking and quality control of the properties, overseen by the Alliance des Crus Bourgeios de Médoc created in the same year as the revision. It is divided into three categories: Cru Bourgeios, Cru Bourgeios Supérieur and Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel. In theory the fact that qualification for the designation is based on quality should see improvements in the quality of wines made under its nomenclature.
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Château Lynch-Bages

Consistent quality and the tireless energy of its owner Jean-Michel Cazes has made this fifth-growth Pauillac, once dubbed ‘the poor man’s Mouton’, one of the most popular properties in Bordeaux.

It gets its name from the Lynch family – who like many Irish families fled to Bordeaux from Galway in the 16th century after the protestant William of Orange won the battle of the Boyne – and who acquired the property in 1749, remaining at its helm for 75 years.

It then passed through two other families, before being leased to the Cazes family in the 1930s, who finally bought it outright in 1939. It has been under their command ever since – firstly managed by the talented Jean-Michel, and then, since 2006, by his son Jean-Charles, who has continued to run the property to the same high standards. The family also owns Ormes de Pez.

The property lies on the Bages plateau, overlooking the Gironde estuary, with its 100 hectares of vines planted on good Garonne gravel soils. The excellent vineyard management here includes individual treatment of 110 different vine parcels, taking into account the areas each grape variety is best suited: cabernet sauvignon on pure gravel, merlot on clay-gravel, cabernet franc on sandy gravel and the white grapes grown to the west of the estate where it is slightly cooler. The vines have an average age of 30 years but some are as old as 50.

The same level of care is apparent in the winery: gravity-flow technology in the vat room means there is minimal...
Consistent quality and the tireless energy of its owner Jean-Michel Cazes has made this fifth-growth Pauillac, once dubbed ‘the poor man’s Mouton’, one of the most popular properties in Bordeaux.

It gets its name from the Lynch family – who like many Irish families fled to Bordeaux from Galway in the 16th century after the protestant William of Orange won the battle of the Boyne – and who acquired the property in 1749, remaining at its helm for 75 years.

It then passed through two other families, before being leased to the Cazes family in the 1930s, who finally bought it outright in 1939. It has been under their command ever since – firstly managed by the talented Jean-Michel, and then, since 2006, by his son Jean-Charles, who has continued to run the property to the same high standards. The family also owns Ormes de Pez.

The property lies on the Bages plateau, overlooking the Gironde estuary, with its 100 hectares of vines planted on good Garonne gravel soils. The excellent vineyard management here includes individual treatment of 110 different vine parcels, taking into account the areas each grape variety is best suited: cabernet sauvignon on pure gravel, merlot on clay-gravel, cabernet franc on sandy gravel and the white grapes grown to the west of the estate where it is slightly cooler. The vines have an average age of 30 years but some are as old as 50.

The same level of care is apparent in the winery: gravity-flow technology in the vat room means there is minimal intervention, and the cellarmaster does daily checks, making amendments to each of the 35 vats as necessary, a practice which Lynch-Bages describes as ‘like a doctor issuing his prescriptions’.

The property’s grand vin is typically a blend of 72% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 5% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot, which ages for 12 to 18 months in French oak, 70% of which is new. With its high proportion of cabernet sauvignon and excellent attention in the vineyards, this is a large, generous, full-bodied claret, but one which never loses its warmth and charm. It can be enjoyed for between eight and 25 years.

Jean-Michel Cazes has been a marvellous ambassador for Bordeaux, and the shops and excellent restaurant that are the hub of the village of Bages, just behind the château, are strongly recommended to members visiting the Médoc. Visitors to the property receive an added bonus of being able to visit the original winery, dating back to 1850, which is one of the few in the region to remain intact.
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Bordeaux Vintage 2010

This is Bordeaux at its best. 2010 clarets have superb ripeness and depth of flavour, balance and freshness. The vintage was memorable on several counts. There is no question that some ‘knock-out’ wines were made. It is exciting that this was true all over Bordeaux and at all price levels. Of course, at the top end 2010 produced some of the finest red wines you can find in the world. Though prices were high for such a great vintage there are lovely wines that punch well above their weight.

The growing cycle ticked all the boxes required for a good vintage, the only drawback being uneven flowering that reduced the volume. Summer in Bordeaux, unlike in much of northern Europe) was unusually dry, causing stress to the vines but concentrating the flavour and the fruit. This is essential in great years. There was ideal weather at vintage with plenty of light but no torrid heat during the day and cool nights over an extended period that provided good harvest conditions into late October....
This is Bordeaux at its best. 2010 clarets have superb ripeness and depth of flavour, balance and freshness. The vintage was memorable on several counts. There is no question that some ‘knock-out’ wines were made. It is exciting that this was true all over Bordeaux and at all price levels. Of course, at the top end 2010 produced some of the finest red wines you can find in the world. Though prices were high for such a great vintage there are lovely wines that punch well above their weight.

The growing cycle ticked all the boxes required for a good vintage, the only drawback being uneven flowering that reduced the volume. Summer in Bordeaux, unlike in much of northern Europe) was unusually dry, causing stress to the vines but concentrating the flavour and the fruit. This is essential in great years. There was ideal weather at vintage with plenty of light but no torrid heat during the day and cool nights over an extended period that provided good harvest conditions into late October. This was particularly beneficial to the later ripening cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. Grapes had a rich abundance of all the necessary elements: fruit, natural sugar, acidity for freshness and life, and tannins that preserve the wine. The berries were smaller than usual with a higher percentage of skin to pulp, which means more flavour. The elimination of bunches affected by poor flowering was important, as was managing the tannins in the cellar by gentle handling and cooler fermentation temperatures.

Successful wines have superb ripeness and depth of flavour, balance and freshness. No two vintages are alike but the style is closer to a riper, better-balanced 1986 or a fuller rounder 2000 than the gentler charm of 2009. Great wines are to be found all over Bordeaux.

Sauternes also had a good year with lovely pure, succulent, luscious wines, most picked in the second week of October. Dry whites too were aromatic and elegant.
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Decanter

Sweetly ripe, subtlemineral and finely oaked to smell. Medium-bodied, sleek and concentrated withpungent tannins and firm acidity. Concentrated, chewy, vital, long-termPauillac with nice complexity and...
Sweetly ripe, subtlemineral and finely oaked to smell. Medium-bodied, sleek and concentrated withpungent tannins and firm acidity. Concentrated, chewy, vital, long-termPauillac with nice complexity and excellent length. Highly recommended. -
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