Lynch Bages 2016

Pauillac, Fifth Growth

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Tasting Notes

A stellar wine, the 2016 Lynch-Bages is dark and explosive in the glass. Beams of tannin and bright acids give the 2016 its sense of drive and tension. From bottle, the 2016 is quite a bit more powerful than it was from barrel. Dark flavors and potent tannins give the 2016 a distinctly brooding, somber feel. Sage, lavender, menthol, licorice and wild cherry are all laced into the potent, dramatically sweeping finish. Readers should not be in a rush, as the 2016 is going to need a number of years to be at its best. Even so, it is super-impressive today.

Score: 96

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2056 01 January 2019

The 2016 Lynch-Bages delivers on its promise from barrel with an intense blackberry, cedar and mineral-driven bouquet that actually reminds me of Lafite-Rothschild. A faint dark chocolate scent makes a brief appearance. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannin, pure black fruit and a velvety texture. There is wonderful structure and focus on the finish, followed by a persistent saline aftertaste. This is an outstanding Lynch-Bages, easily the best since the twin titans of 1989 and 1990.

Score: 97

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023-2060 01 January 2019

The 2016 Lynch Bages is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot with 13.7% alcohol and an IPT of 95, the highest ever for this property and probably one of the highest on the Left Bank this vintage. It was picked between from 27-30 September for the young vines, then the picking team stopped, restarting on 3 October with the Merlot and the Cabernets finished on 12 October. This vintage is matured in 75% new oak. It has a very concentrated, almost opaque bouquet that required some coaxing from the glass, developing floral and crushed limestone scents with time: disarmingly fresh and with stunning vivacity. The palate is concentrated and tannic, although they are not obtrusive and appear neatly embroidered into the multi-layered black fruit. This is a classic Lynch Bages with ambition and recalls vintages like 1990, a Lynch Bages built for long-term ageing. That arching backbone is counterbalanced by the keen line of acidity and a freshness that knows no bounds. There is ethereal delineation and tension on the finish, but I would give this at least ten years in bottle to enjoy this audacious Lynch Bages at its peak. Maybe the biggest surprise of the vintage, this has all the makings of a sensational wine.

Score: 97 - 99

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2026-2060 28 April 2017

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Lynch Bages comes charging out of the gate with pronounced cassis, chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and menthol notions, backed up by scents of garrigue, tilled soil and a waft of tapenade. Medium to full-bodied, rich and fantastically concentrated, the generous fruit is superbly framed by firm, ripe, grainy tannins with tons of pepper, cinnamon and cloves layers coming through on the finish. Truly, a legendary Lynch Bages!

Score: 97

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2022-2058 30 November 2018

As we have increasingly seen in recent years, Lynch-Bages has shifted up a gear to go fuller, bigger and darker. The IPTs are around 95 here, which is unusual even in the northern Médoc, although they are unquestionably yielding, pliable and expertly worked tannins. The result is a hugely impressive wine with a creamy texture through the mid-palate and lashings of dark fruits, graphite and the essential addition of mint leaf freshness on the finish. From a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, with a yield around 42hl/ha, a touch lower than some because the deep gravel produced small berries, all coming in at 3.66pH and accounting for 65% of the overall production. This is a great Lynch without doubt, one for Pauillac purists who are looking for powerful impact.

Score: 95

Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050 20 April 2017

Rich with spiced dark fruitsand lifted aromas. Abundant fruit, weighty and dense with vanilla and spices. Sensuous and round with very big structured smooth tannins.

Score: 95 - 96

Albany Vintners 19 April 2017

Very annoyingly, my tasting note on Lynch Bages has evaporated into thin air. I remember the wine as being delightfully plump yet structured and very recognisably Lynch with its trademark spiciness - so there don't seem to be any ill effects to its being made in a completely different place from usual (see pictures above) but more than that I cannot say for the moment. (I am trying to track down another sample.) I think I have remembered the score correctly but am much less certain about the drinking dates I have suggested here. All to be taken with a pinch of salt, I'm afraid.

Score: 17 - 18

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2042 18 April 2017

This flashes some sporty flavors of ripe cassis, plum and blackberry compote, but quickly pulls everything together with the terrific graphite spine. Alluring tobacco and anise notes line the finish. Delivers fruit, power and cut. A great showing.

Score: 96 - 99

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 06 April 2017

This is really back-ended thanks to a powerful and almost endless finish. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with incredible concentration and length. Round and polished tannins. Layered. This unravels bit by bit. Energetic acidity gives it such superb freshness. This is at the 2010/2009 level.

Score: 98 - 99

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 24 March 2017