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. Mar 2017, www.jamessuckling.com
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. Apr 2017, www.robertparker.com, Drink: 2026-2060
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. Apr 2017, James Molesworth, www.winespectator.com
Powerful, concentrated and long and with depth of flavor, this wine is rich and fat, like someone wearing a gold Rolex and a diamond pinkie ring. There is a refined, stern, masculine quality to the fruit with a finish that lasts and sustains the layers of fresh, sweet black currants. This is probably the best Lynch Bages since 1989/1990. Produced from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 0.4% Cabernet Franc and 0.2% Petit Verdot, this wine is aging in 75% new French oak barrels. Reaching 13.4% alcohol with a pH of 3.69, the picking took place September 28 to October 12 and the Grand Vin represents 65% of the harvest. Apr 2017, www.thewinecellarinsider.com
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! Nov 2018, www.robertparker.com
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. Apr 2017, www.decanter.com, Drink: 2027-2050
The 2016 Lynch-Bages is deep, racy and sensual, with soft contours, silky tannins and striking juiciness in its fruit. All of the elements seem to fall into place effortlessly. Today, Lynch-Bages is unusually well put together for such a young wine. Expressive floral aromatics give the flavors lift, energy and brightness, while beams of present but well-integrated tannins extend the finish.
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. Apr 2017, www.jancisrobinson.com, Drink: 2025-2042