The 1989 Pichon-Baron repeats its performance from the vertical tasting in May 2018. It storms from the glass, bearing copious blackberry, cedar and perhaps a little more mint than I noticed on the previous bottle. There is so much youthful zeal to this harmonious, refined Pauillac that you would barely guess it is 30 years old. Long and tender with a graphite-infused finish, this bottle might be even better than the ex-château example. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London. (Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2019) — 8 days ago
The 2000 is delicious but, it is evolving at a glacial pace. Out of magnum.
On the nose, touch of barnyard, glycerin, ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, plum, strawberries & cherries. Vanilla, dry clay, limestone, river stones, just a touch of pyrazines & bandaid, dark,,turned, moist earth, dry grass and dry & fresh dark florals.
The body is full, round & sexy. Dry softened, sweet tannins. ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, plum, strawberries & cherries. Vanilla, dry clay, limestone, river stones, just a touch of pyrazines & bandaid, fresh tobacco leaf, saddle-wood, dry underbrush, dark, turned, moist earth, dry grass and dry & fresh dark florals. The acidity is magnificent. The structure, tension, length and balance are sensational. The finish is drop dead gorgeous. I’d still hold mine another 5 years as long as you have 3-4 bottles for more 5 year increments.
Photos of, their Estate vines, Clyde Beffa-Owner of K&L Wine Merchants, Owner of Chateau Lynch Bages - Jean-Michel Cazes, guests of the dinner and a sunset view from their Estate.
Producer notes and history...Lynch Bages takes its name from the local area where the Chateau is located in Bages. The vineyard of what was to become Lynch Bages was established and then expanded by the Dejean family who sold it in 1728 to Pierre Drouillard.
In 1749, Drouillard bequeathed the estate to his daughter Elizabeth, the wife of Thomas Lynch. This is how the estate came to belong to the Lynch family, where it remained for seventy-five years and received the name Lynch Bages. However, it was not always known under that name.
For a while the wines were sold under the name of Jurine Bages. In fact, when the estate was Classified in the 1855 Classification of the Medoc, the wines were selling under the name of Chateau Jurine Bages. That is because the property was owned at the time by a Swiss wine merchant, Sebastien Jurine.
In 1862, the property was sold to the Cayrou brothers who restored the estate’s name to Chateau Lynch family.
Around 1870, Lou Janou Cazes and his wife Angelique were living in Pauillac, close to Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron. It was here that Jean-Charles Cazes, the couple’s second son, was born in 1877.
In the 1930’s, Jean-Charles Cazes, who was already in charge of Les-Ormes-de-Pez in St. Estephe agreed to lease the vines of Lynch Bages. By that time, the Cazes family had history in Bordeaux dating back to the second half of the nineteenth century.
This agreement to take over Lynch Bages was good for both the owner and Jean Charles Cazes. Because, the vineyards had become dilapidated and were in need of expensive replanting, which was too expensive for the owner. However, for Cazes, this represented an opportunity, as he had the time, and the ability to manage Lynch Bages, but he lacked the funds to buy the vineyard.
Jean-Charles Cazes eventually purchased both properties on the eve of the Second World War. Lynch Bages and Les-Ormes-de-Pez have been run by the Cazes family ever since. In 1988, the Cazes family added to their holdings in Bordeaux when they purchased an estate in the Graves region, Chateau Villa Bel Air.
Around 1970, they increased their vineyards with the purchase of Haut-Bages Averous and Saussus. By the late 1990’s their holdings had expanded to nearly 100 hectares! Jean-Michel Cazes who had been employed as an engineer in Paris, joined the wine trade in 1973. In a short time, Jean Michel Cazes modernized everything at Lynch Bages.
He installed a new vat room, insulated the buildings, developing new technologies and equipment, built storage cellars, restored the loading areas and wine storehouses over the next fifteen years. During that time period, Jean Michel Cazes was the unofficial ambassador of not just the Left Bank, but all of Bordeaux. Jean Michel Cazes was one of the first Chateau owners to begin promoting their wine in China back in 1986.
Bages became the first wine sent into space, when a French astronaut carried a bottle of 1975 Lynch Bages with him on the joint American/French space flight!
Beginning in 1987, Jean-Michel Cazes joined the team at the insurance company AXA, who wanted to build an investment portfolio of quality vineyards in the Medoc, Pomerol, Sauternes, Portugal and Hungary.
Jean-Michel Cazes was named the director of the wine division and all the estates including of course, the neighboring, Second Growth, Chateau Pichon Baron.
June 1989 marked the inauguration of the new wine making facilities at Lynch Bages, which was on of their best vintages. 1989 also marked the debut of the Cordeillan- hotel and restaurant where Sofia and I had one of our best dinners ever. A few years after that, the Village de Bages with its shops was born.
The following year, in 1990, the estate began making white wine, Blanc de Lynch Bages. In 2001, the Cazes family company bought vineyards in the Rhone Valley in the Languedoc appellation, as well as in Australia and Portugal. They added to their holdings a few years later when they purchased a vineyard in Chateauneuf du Pape.
In 2006, Jean-Charles Cazes took over as the managing director of Chateau Lynch Bages. Jean-Michel Cazes continues to lead the wine and tourism division of the family’s activities. Due to their constant promotion in the Asian market, Chateau Lynch Bages remains one of the strongest brands in the Asian market, especially in China.
In 2017, Chateau Lynch Bages began a massive renovation and modernization, focusing on their wine making, and technical facilities. The project, headed by the noted architects Chien Chung Pei and Li Chung Pei, the sons of the famous architect that designed the glass pyramid for the Louvre in Paris as well as several other important buildings.
The project will be completed in 2019. This includes a new grape, reception center, gravity flow wine cellar and the vat rooms, which will house at least, 80 stainless steel vats in various sizes allowing for parcel by parcel vinification.
The new cellars will feature a glass roof, terraces with 360 degree views and completely modernized reception areas and offices. They are not seeing visitors until it’s completion.
In March, 2017, they purchased Chateau Haut Batailley from Françoise Des Brest Borie giving the Cazes family over 120 hectares of vines in Pauillac!
The 100 hectare vineyard of Lynch Bages is planted to 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The vineyard has a terroir of gravel, chalk and sand soils.
The vineyard can be divided into two main sections, with a large portion of the vines being planted close to the Chateau on the Bages plateau. At their peak, the vineyard reaches an elevation of 20 meters. The other section of the vineyard lies further north, with its key terroir placed on the Monferan plateau.
They also own vines in the far southwest of the appellation, next Chateau Pichon Lalande, on the St. Julien border, which can be used in the Grand Vin. The vineyard can be split into four main blocks, which can be further subdivided into 140 separate parcels.
The average age of the vines is about 30 years old. But they have old vines, some of which are close to 90 years old.
The vineyards are planted to a vine density of 9,000 vines per hectare. The average age of the vines is about 30 years old. But they have old vines, some of which are close to 90 years old.
Lynch Bages also six hectares of vine are reserved for the production of the white Bordeaux wine of Chateau Lynch Bages. Those vines are located to the west of the estate. They are planted to 53% Sauvignon Blanc, 32% Semillon and 15% Muscadelle. On average, those vines are about 20 years of age. Lynch Bages Blanc made its debut in 1990.
To produce the wine of Chateau Lynch Bages, vinification takes place 35 stainless steel vats that vary in size. Malolactic fermentation takes place in a combination of 30% French, oak barrels with the remainder taking place in tank.
The wine of Chateau Lynch Bages is aged in an average of 70% new, French oak barrels for between 12 and 15 months. Due to the appellation laws of Pauillac, the wine is sold as a generic AOC Bordeaux Blanc, because Pauillac does not allow for the plantings of white wine grapes.
For the vinification of their white, Bordeaux wine, Blanc de Lynch-Bages is vinified in a combination of 50% new, French oak barrels, 20% in one year old barrels and the remaining 30% is vinified in vats. The wine is aged on its lees for at least six months. The white wine is sold an AOC Bordeaux wine.
The annual production at Lynch Bages is close to 35,000 cases depending on the vintage.
The also make a 2nd wine, which was previously known as Chateau Chateau Haut Bages Averous. However, the estate changed its name to Echo de Lynch Bages beginning with the 2007 vintage. The estate recently added a third wine, Pauillac de Lynch-Bages.
— a year ago
Dinner with some dear friends at Lucio’s BYOB. Two couples, each couple brought 3 bottles.
Another one of my contributions. Didn’t take nearly as long to open up as the last bottle of this I had 👌🏻 paired nicely with short rib & risotto. — a month ago
Drank 1/18/19 at the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux event in Miami. All wines from the 2016 Vintage.
Tasting pour, no formal notes taken. Most of these wines are very tight, and will require 5-15 years to really come together. Many will likely improve a few points with time.
WOTN for me. Pauillac also seemed to be the highlight of this vintage. A stunning wine with silky black and purple fruit backed by firm tannins, but a bit more approachable than many, and a step above the Pichon Baron in my opinion. — 8 months ago
Is there any meal better than steak (Ribeye) and well aged Claret? This is another 1991 Bordeaux experiment of mine. 1991 was a vintage with horrible frosts and a less than favorable growing season, right? A vintage critically panned. This is my 3rd recent 91 from a good producer. And again, it didn’t disappoint. Like 97 and 07, it’s better with the right bottle age than young. Magic evolution happened in the bottle way down the road. This 91 is in great form with a fair amount of life ahead of it. On the nose; a little ripe fruit funk, wonderful dark & lighter red cassis, ripe blackberries, dark cherries, poached strawberries, plums, hues of blueberries, black raspberries, dry cranberries, vanilla, light cinnamon, rich, black turned earth, cedar, soft leather, dry stones, dry top soil, notes of dry herbs and fresh & dry red flowers. The body/palate is medium, round, ripe & still fresh. The tannins nearly completely resolved. Ripe, floral fruits of; blackberries, dark cherries, poached strawberries, plums, hues of blueberries, black raspberries, dry cranberries & half cooked rhubarb. Vanilla, light cinnamon, touch of clove & nutmeg, rich, black turned earth, cedar, soft leather, dry stones, dry crushed rocks, dry top soil, notes of dry herbs, a little band-aid and fresh & dry red flowers. The acidity drips over the palate and the long, well balanced, still structured, nice tension, good length finish lasts over a minute. Again, love & appreciate the 12.5% alcohol. What a beauty with and without the steak. Next time you’re in your fine wine retail shop and see a quality producers 91 that’s been well stored, buy it and have it with a Ribeye. Photos of; their exotic Estate, Chateau interior, newer barrel room and their vines as viewed from the front of the Chateau that are across the road. Producer notes and history...Cos d’Estournel has a long distinguished history in the St. Estephe. Louis Gaspard d’Estournel, gave his name to the estate after founding in 1811. It did not take long before Cos d’Estournel became famous with wine lovers and royalty all over the world. In those early days, Cos d’Estournel did not sell through Negociants. The owner preferred selling his wine directly to his customers. In fact, Cos d’Estournel was exported to numerous countries across the globe, with a large portion of the production being sold to India. It was that connection to India that inspired much of the unique, east Indian design we see at Cos d’Estournel today. Cos d’Estournel was one of the first Bordeaux Chateaux’s to bottle, label and sell their own wine. This practice continued until the death of Louis Gaspard d’Estournel in 1852. If you’re at the property, the statue on the bench in the front courtyard is of the founder, Louis Gaspard d’Estournel. The Estate was then purchased by an owner that sold their wines on the Place de Bordeaux using the negociant system. If the Chateau was not selling their wines through the negociant system, it would never have been included in the 1855 Classification. Imagine that! So, it turned out to be a fortuitous decision. Cos d’Estournel was sold to the Charmolue family owners of the neighboring Estate of Chateau Montrose. They continued to own the estate until 1917, when it was bought by Fernand Ginestet. This purchase was the beginning of the next major step in the development of Cos d’Estournel. Decades later, the grandchildren of Fernand Ginestet, Jean-Marie Prats, Yves Prats and Bruno Prats took over ownership and management of Cos d’Estournel. In 1995, Bruno Prats sold the property to the Merlaut family, owners of the Taillan Group. The next era in the development of Cos d’Estournel took place in 2000, when Cos d’Estournel was bought by the industrious and wealthy Michel Reybier, who earned his fortune in the food industry. Michel Reybier hired the son of Bruno Prats, Jean-Guillaume Prats to manage Cos d’Estournel. Things further improved with the efforts of Jean-Guillaume Prats who helped design the most modern wine making at that time. A complete renovation of Cos d’Estournel took place in not only the wine making facilities and cellars, but in parts of the Chateau as well. While the wine making facilities are completely modern with their 100% gravity design, the outward appearance retained the original design and feeling that has always been a part of Cos d’Estournel. On October 15, 2012, Jean Guillaume Prats announced he was leaving Cos d’Estournel to join LVMH (Pichon Baron). Jean Guillaume Prats was replaced by Aymeric de Gironde. Following the departure of Aymeric de Gironde in 2017, the owner, Michel Reybier took over managing the Estate. What makes the remodel special is that the cellars of Cos d’Estournel are entirely operated by gravity. There are no pumps of any kind to force the wine. The purpose is to allow a gentleness to the wine and improve its purity and allow for the expression of their terroir. It set a new benchmark for cellars not only in the Left Bank, but in all of Bordeaux. Perhaps, the most inventive part of the cellars is the four 100 hectoliter lift tanks or wine elevators that replace the pumps used in the traditional pumping over and the racking off processes, which introduce air and often destabilize the marc. From the moment the grapes arrive, everything travels by the flow of gravity. Jean Guillaume Prats called this process a “pumpless pump over.” The 91 hectare vineyard of Cos d’Estournel is planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The vineyard is located extremely close to the border between Pauillac and Saint Estephe at the southern tip of the Saint Estephe. The Estate has very old Merlot vines as well, which date back more than 100 years. Part of the terroir is situated on the hill of Cos, which is at a high elevation for the Medoc at 20 meters. They also make a second wine called Pagodes de Cos. This is a great wine to buy in very good vintages. Especially, if your budget prohibits you from purchasing their first wine. — 2 years ago
45th birthday. V smooth, nice blend — 3 months ago
A little 89 Chateau Suduiraut to paIr with Hedy’s apple and toffee, toffee pudding, walnut, caramel dessert. The 89 was good but lacked the luster & beauty you get from this producers in their best vintages. Hedy’s dessert better. Still very nice. Marmalade, orange peel, honey, butterscotch, dried pineapple, toffee, nuts with skin, stone fruits, yellow & white flowers. The acidity was good & finish of course, was rich, elegant and long. @ Plate & Bottle. Photos of; Chateau Suduiraut outside & inside, Devil & Priest dinner couple guests and tasting bar at Suduiraut. Producer notes and history...Chateau Suduiraut’s history dates back to 1580 when Leonard de Suduiraut married Nicole d’Allard. The land that became Suduiraut was a dowry. Once their chateau was constructed, the property needed a garden and grounds of equal stature. The estate and vineyards were completely renovated at the end of the 17th century by the Count Blaise de Suduiraut. The Count, who was the grandson of the founder, hired the designer of the gardens at Versailles to create something truly special at Suduiraut. With its stunning park like grounds, lakes and greenery, there are few Bordeaux estates that are as beautiful as Chateau Suduiraut. Then in 1831, the property was passed to Nicolas Guillot who increased the size of the vast estate. As with many Bordeaux estates, Suduiraut passed through numerous hands for the next two centuries. During the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, the property went through a difficult period. At that time, the wines were aged in vat, instead of oak. This practice did not help in the quality of the wine. The practice was fortunately discontinued. The wines had lost interest for many who enjoyed Sauternes during this period. This changed in 1992 when Suduiraut was sold to AXA, the large French insurance group who own several other Bordeaux wine properties. These estates include Chateau Pichon Baron in Pauillac and Chateau Petit Village in Pomerol. Suduiraut is located close to Chateau d’Yquem. Suduiraut’s full property is 200 hectares with 92 hectares under vine. Their terroir is mostly gravel, sand, limestone and clay soils that are on sloping hillsides. The best parcels are located close to the chateau. The vineyard of Chateau Suduiraut is planted to 90% Semillon and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. There is also a small amount of Sauvignon Gris planted as well. The average age of their vines are around 30 years. Chateau Suduiraut’s vinification takes place in French oak barrels. The wine is aged on its lees in 50% new, French oak barrels for 18-24 months, depending on the vintage. On rare occasions, Chateau Suduiraut has also produced a special wine from time to time called Cuvee Madame; which normally has much higher sugar levels. In 1982 and 1989, the property released a special wine made from their best vines, Suduiraut Creme de Tete. The property also makes a second wine called Castelnau de Suduiraut; which debuted in 1992. They also produce dry white Bordeaux wine, S de Suduiraut, that was first produced starting with the 2004 vintage. In 2015, they added a second dry white Bordeaux wine, meant to attract, younger consumers. It’s marketed as an entry level wine called Le Blanc Sec. They launched a third wine in 2011, again, designed to reach younger customers called Lions de Suduiraut, which is produced from almost 100% Semillon with a splash of Sauvignon Blanc. — 2 years ago
Made to drink young. More fruit forward and jammy than typical Bordeaux. Tour guide at Chateau Pichon Baron said her Sommelier brother placed this as a Napa wine in a blind tasting. — 2 years ago