2020 Château Lynch-Bages is described as "a great Lynch-Bages" and "reminiscent of Latour" by Neal Martin (94-96 points), but the scores and notes only tell half the story here. To our minds, this is a revolutionary vintage, released with a special label to mark the first vintage be made in the new winery, designed by architect Chien Chung Pei. Bordeaux really is at the cutting edge of winemaking technology and it is worth watching Jean-Charles Cazes give a short tour of the winery (scroll to bottom).
Part of Lynch's reputation as an over-delivering fifth growth was built on the then-revolutionary vat house built in 1850 by Skawinski. Brilliant as they are, the wines from this winery did not possess the same laser-focused purity of fruit as wines like Pichon-Lalande, made with modern micro-vinification. Jancis Robinson notes this new 'purer' direction, and Neal Martin suggests the 2020 will only improve during its elevage. It also allows more balanced wines in hot vintages, with the 2020 checking in at a moderate 13.4% abv. This is the first in a new breed of Lynch-Bages vintages, an exciting time for the estate.
Bordeaux En Primeur, landing in spring 2023
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See Jean-Charles Cazes introduce the 2020 vintage:
|RED||2020||Château Lynch Bages||75cl||£520 per case of 6||Château Lynch Bages
2020 / / 75cl
£520 per case of 6
|RED||2020||Château Lynch Bages||75cl||£1,040 per case of 12||Château Lynch Bages
2020 / / 75cl
£1,040 per case of 12
Tasting Notes“Cask sample taken 16 April. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Merlot was picked from 14 September (nine days earlier than in 2019) over five days. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot were picked 21 to 29 September. This is the first vintage to be made in Lynch-Bages' new winery. 18 months' ageing in barrel (75% new) is envisaged. Very deep, dense blackish purple. Suave, flattering nose with good freshness and precision. Marked tannins underneath (more so than its stablemate Haut-Batailley). This is less the old, spicy, comfortable pair of slippers Lynch-Bages and seems to be heading in a deliberately purer, 'cooler' direction. Impressive undertow and persistence, but with interesting top notes such as tobacco leaf. Very ambitiously dry on the finish. 13.4%. Drink 2031 – 2049. 17 ++ points.” Jancisrobinson.com, Apr 21------"The 2020 Lynch-Bages is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, aging for around 18 months in French oak barriques, 75% new. It has an alcohol of 13.41%, a pH of 3.73 and an IPT (tannin index) of 93. Opaque purple-black in color, it leaps from the glass with notes of crushed blackberries, cassis and boysenberries, plus touches of garrigue, red roses and cedar chest with hints of graphite and black olives. The medium-bodied palate has a rock-solid frame of ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness supporting the tight-knit black fruit and earthy flavors, finishing long and mineral laced. Drink 2027-2050. 94-96 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, RobertParker.com------"The 2020 Lynch-Bages contains proportionately more Merlot in the blend this year (31%) and will be aged for 18 months in 75% new oak. It has an intriguing bouquet, quite complex and classic in style, featuring tightly wound black fruit mixed with cedar, mint and touches of the estuary. One sniff and you know that the vines are in close proximity to the sea. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive weight on the entry, the tannins almost immediately coating the mouth (the IPT is 93, fairly high). But everything remains balanced thanks to the fine acidic thread, and it begins to firm up, becoming quite structured and, dare I say, reminiscent of Latour toward the finish. This is a Lynch-Bages that clearly will deserve long-term aging because there is real substance to this wine, and that will only increase during élevage. This is a great Lynch-Bages. The Cazes family should build a new winery to celebrate. 94-96 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com ------"The lowest amount of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend on recent record but the signature of Lynch Bages is very much in play here - tons of liquorice, grippy and charismatic cassis and blueberry fruit with a velvety texture layered with blackcurrant pastilles and rich dark chocolate. This is easily one of the best Pauillacs that I have tasted in the vintage, totally gorgeous. The 33hl/ha yield meant I was worried that it would be too concentrated, but it pulls it off, although you've got to assume that they will need to be careful over ageing. Lower alcohol than both 2018 and 2019, a more classical balance in fact. 4% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. 3.73pH, 75% new oak, 18 months in barrel. Drinking Window 2030 - 2048. 96 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine------"Ultra-classic notes of blackcurrants, freshly sharpened lead pencil, damp earth, and crushed stone emerge from the 2020 Château Lynch-Bages, which checks in as 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, all hitting 13.4% natural alcohol and a pH of 3.73 and a massive IPT of 93, which might be the highest in the vintage. Full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, it has brilliant purity of fruit, a layered, building sense of structure, and a great finish. While not austere or closed, this serious Lynch-Bages will need 10-15 years of bottle age to hit maturity and have 40-50 years of overall longevity. 95-97+ points" Jebdunnuck.com------"Blackcurrants, orange peel, flowers and tar with hints of graphite. Full-bodied with a creamy texture of exquisitely polished tannins. It goes on and on. Intense flavors at the end, too, with lead pencil and lots of blackberry. Very classic and precise. 98-99 points" jamessuckling.com