Chateau Lynch-Bages Pauillac 2018
|Region||France, Bordeaux, Pauillac|
Dark cassis, plum and cherry fruit flavors stream through in this red, harnessed well by bolts of iron along the way. Sweet tobacco detail echoes through the finish, which is seriously long. An extremely rock-solid wine in the making here. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Cassis, graphite, blackberries, scorched earth, and graphite notes all emerge from the 2018 Château Lynch-Bages, which is a rich, blockbuster style beauty up with the finest vintages to date from this historic estate, which by the way, is just about complete with a massive new cellar construction project. Checking in as a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, brought up in 75% new French oak, it's incredibly concentrated, opulent, and sexy on the palate, with building underlying structure, a stacked mid-palate, and a great finish. It reminds me of the 2009 with its fleshy, powerful style. The IPT, or amount of tannins, is a through the roof 95 and it hit 14.1% alcohol with a pH of 3.66. It's going to live for just about forever.
The 2018 Lynch Bages is made up of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot aging in 75% new barriques. Very deep purple-black in color, the nose is quite coy and restrained to begin, fanning out to offer pure, ripe blackcurrants, black cherries and preserved plums with wafts of red roses, cigar box, incense, cardamom and fenugreek with savory touches of black olives, Marmite toast and smoked meats. Full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house, with a solid foundation of very firm, very ripe, grainy tannins and superb freshness supporting the generous black fruit layers, finishing long with provocative ferrous suggestions.
95-97. Barrel Sample. This vintage shows the elegant side of a typically powerful wine. It offers dense black fruits that are balanced by the stylish wood aging and bold tannins. This impressive wine is likely to age well.
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.