Chateau Lynch-Bages Pauillac 2018
|France, Bordeaux, Pauillac
One of the finest vintages I've ever tasted from this address, the 2018 Château Lynch-Bages has everything you look for in a great wine: incredible aromatics, richness without weight, perfect balance, and a purity of fruit that's just about off the charts. Dense purple, it reveals a glorious perfume of blackcurrants and blackberry fruits, a deep, unctuous mouthfeel, building tannins, and a complex array of cedar pencil, tobacco, wood smoke, and chocolate. A true blockbuster in every sense, with masses of fruit and tannins as well as moderate acidity, it will probably merit a triple-digit score in a decade and is a 50+-year wine from this team.
Vibrant, with a violet and cassis lead-in that then expands to include steeped black cherry and plum fruit as well as extra savory, iron and licorice root notes. Nice latent grip too, with a mouthwatering tug of earth at the very end. The fruit is so vibrant, it's a tease now, but there's structure here for the long haul, so be patient. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2025 through 2040.
The Lynch-Bages style is unmistakeable in this wine's richness and the density of its structure and tannins. In addition it conveys a great sense of style, restrained power and opulence. Drink this wine from 2027.
The 2018 Lynch-Bages was picked from September 19, the Cabernet starting six days later and continuing until October 9, and matured for 18 months in 75% new oak. It has a charming, pure bouquet of black cherries, blueberry, violet and iris petals, almost Margaux-like in style. The medium-bodied palate is quite dense and grippy, offering slightly grainy tannins, moderate acidity and a powerful, saline finish. It is a little monolithic when compared to, say, the outstanding 2016, although I appreciate its length and it should age well in bottle. It just needs to muster a bit more charm, and maybe that will appear once in bottle. I will remain prudent with my score for now.
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