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News

LYNCH-BAGES BUYS HAUT-BATAILLEY

Pauillac fifth growth Château Lynch-Bages has acquired fellow Pauillac fifth, Châtau Haut-Batailley for an undisclosed sum.

Lynch-Bages, owned by the Cazes family, has bought the entirety of the estate spanning 40 hectares (including 22ha of vineyard) and the technical facilities from the Brest-Borie family, which has owned Haut-Batailley (pictured) since the 1930s.

Jean-Charles Cazes, general manager of Lynch-Bages, said: “Château Haut-Batailley is a magnificent property that has always produced great wines. We’re particularly happy that it has passed between two families who have friendly relations and know each other well.

“This acquisition will strengthen our presence in Pauillac with the aim of undertaking a project distinct from Lynch-Bages. In order to respect the estate’s identity and the integrity of its vineyard, the property will be managed independently and have its own dedicated team of technical experts.”

François-Xavier Borie, added: “We are delighted that Château Haut-Batailley has been accepted into the fold of the Cazes family, who are committed to continuing the work undertaken at the estate. We’re confident that they will maintain the identity and character of the property.”

 

The acquisition is a substantial investment by the Cazes family, which, just last year, announced it was renovating the cellars at Lynch-Bages in a two-year project that will be overseen by Chinese-American architect Chien Chung Pei.

Furthermore, it is a comparatively rare event for a classed growth in Bordeaux to change hands, especially in a commune like Pauillac, which has some of the most expensive land prices in Bordeaux (€2 million per hectare according to 2015 figures from the Société d’aménagement foncier et d’établissement rural (SAFER)).

The news comes soon after the announcement that St-Estèphe second growth, Cos d’Estournel, had bought neighbouring property Château Pomys from the Arnaud family.

Pomys used to be the home of Cos’ founder, Louis Gaspard d’Estournel. Current owner, Michel Reybier, told the drinks business that the acquisition was: “Part of a broader vision to preserve Cos d’Estournel’s heritage, the acquisition of Château Pomys is a reference to the estate’s history. It aims to recreate the architectural ensemble originally conceived by the founder.

“By bringing together its two fundamental elements, the estate is restored to its original composition: Cos d’Estournel remains a palace dedicated to winemaking and Pomys has once again become the inviting home of its founder.”

As well as 12 hectares of vineyard, Pomys has a hotel and restaurant with 10 bedrooms. Whether this will continue however is not known as Reybier already owns several luxury hotels in Paris and Geneva, as well as having a guesthouse at Cos d’Estournel itself.

 

 

TECHNOLOGY FOR THE VINEYRAD

Château Lynch-Bages began carrying out a survey with the Telespazio company, a branch of the Thalès group, using aerial detection. Objective: to achieve an ever more fine-tuned vineyard management.

Drones at Château Lynch-Bages: technology for the vineyard

Based on cartography created through images taken from the sky by drones and microlights, the aim of this survey is to acquire more in-depth knowledge of the vineyard, and to adapt vineyard practices (notably geo-localised fertilisation and canopy management) as well as selective harvests.

Nicolas Labenne, technical director of Château Lynch-Bages says:

« The concept proposed by Telespazio, EarthLab & Millésime, enables us to obtain an extremely precise analysis of the crops in the vineyard. This technology should allow us an even deeper understanding of our 50 types of soil. For us, it’s also a matter of carrying out a general assessment in a bid to optimise our renewal policy. »

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History

At the gates of Pauillac, the Lynch-Bages Estate owes part of its name to the ancient hamlet of Bages, which for centuries was home to generations of winemakers.

The area of “Batges” is mentioned as early back as the sixteenth century in the terriers (estate records) of Lafite. The vineyard was established and then expanded by the Déjean family, one with a lineage of Pauillac dignitaries, solicitors, judges and merchants. Its great wine history began in the eighteenth century when, in 1728, it became the property of Chevalier Pierre Drouillard, Treasurer General of Guyenne, who purchased it from Bernard Déjean. Upon his death in 1749, Pierre Drouillard bequeathed the estate to his daughter, Elizabeth, who was then the wife of Thomas Lynch. The property thus passed into the Lynch family for seventy-five years.

 

Then known as the “Cru de Lynch”, the property was sold in 1824 to Sébastien Jurine, a wine merchant from Geneva who had newly moved in Bordeaux. Under the stewardship of his young son, André-Louis, it was classified among the Cinquièmes Crus in the prestigious 1855 Classification.

In 1862, “Jurine Bages” was sold to the brothers Cayrou wine merchants who restored the estate’s name, which has remained unchanged ever since as “Lynch-Bages”. Clearly a very wise decision...

Two generations later, the château was still in the hands of a member of the Cayrou family, General Félix de Vial. In the 1930s, he leased the vineyard to Jean-Charles Cazes, who was already in charge of Château Ormes de Pez in Saint-Estèphe. Cazes would go on to purchase both properties on the eve of the Second World War. Lynch-Bages has been run by the Cazes family ever since.

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Vineyards

Located in the heart of the Médoc in the northwest of Bordeaux, the "Pauillac" Appellation covers some 1,200 hectares located directly on the outskirts of the town of the same name, along the estuary of the Gironde.

 

It has no fewer than three of the four Premiers Crus Classés of the Médoc, and fifteen Crus Classés in 1855, which together represent more than three-quarters of the production of the town. The reputation of the appellation itself, as famous as it is, is sometimes outweighed by the very name of its great châteaux.

In the poverty of its soil lies its very richness. Of all the possible crops, only the vine finds fertile soil here, made of gravel whose composition and porosity ensure an ideal drainage. The vine deeply draws nutrients from it, which are the wellspring of a wine’s quality.

Consisting of large ridges of very pure gravel, the town is bisected from east to west at its centre, by the Pibran marsh and the Gaët channel, which flows into the Gironde. On either side of this drainage caesura are two large plateaus with vineyards to the north (Lafite, Mouton-Rothschild, Pontet-Canet etc.) and to the south (Latour, the two Pichon vineyards, Lynch-Bages etc.).

 

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot are the grape varieties of Pauillac. The majority of these are cabernets, with a large predominance of Cabernet Sauvignon, which give the wine its bright colour, subtle flavour and great aging potential. It is often said that Cabernet Sauvignon, king of fine grape varieties has found his kingdom in Pauillac. It is associated with Merlot, which complements it giving it its roundness and softness. Pauillac wines are rich, dense and deep. Particularly fine and distinguished, over time they develop bouquets and flavours of great delicacy. Their aromatic palette is very wide, just as the "texture" of their tannin is silky and firm.

 We cannot talk about the wines of Pauillac without quoting Hugh Johnson, who notes in his World Atlas of Wine"If one had to single out one Bordeaux commune to head the list, there would be no argument. It would be Pauillac. […] Many claret-lovers would tell you that the wines of Pauillac have the quintessential flavour they look for in Bordeaux – a combination of fresh soft fruit, oak, dryness, subtlety combined with substance, a touch of cigar-box, a suggestion of sweetness and, above all, vigour. Even the lesser growths approach their ideal claret".

 

 

Tretching over some 100 hectares in the commune of Pauillac, the vineyards of Lynch-Bages lie entirely upon the soil of choice for great wines, formed along the estuary by the alluvia from the gravel of Médoc. The property sits among favourably designed hillcrests located south and southwest of the city. This particular topography allows for both a natural drainage of soils to the river and, with help of the water table in shallow areas, a fine feeding of water for the vines.

From a geological point of view, the soils of Lynch-Bages are homogeneous, consisting mainly of Garonne gravel of Günz (early Quaternary) from the slow erosion of the Pyrenees by the Garonne. Highly filtered and loam poor, these gravely and sandy soils collect heat during the day to better release it during the night. Poor and scantly fertile, they allow a moderate growth of the vine and promote the subtlety of the fruit. Well drained, this promotes a deep root: the slight clay content in the subsoil brings freshness and allows regular mineral nutrition to the vine.

 

Located at the 45th parallel, 50 km north of Bordeaux, the terroir of Lynch-Bages enjoys a temperate climate. The Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde estuary play a fundamental role in regulating temperature. Combined with the natural barrier of the Landes forest alleviating the effect of harsh weather coming in from the west, they help to create a highly specific microclimate that is especially conducive to the cultivation of the vine. The winters are cold with few frosts, springs often wet, summers hot and autumns sunny: conditions that allow the Atlantic type varietals to reach optimum ripeness while maintaining the finesse and elegance that characterize the terroir.

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Winemaking

The winemaking process is tailored precisely to the terroir's characteristics and to the distinctive features of each vintage.

A huge vat room of 35 vats of different sizes allows for separate treatment of each plot or each uniform batch of grapes. Once the vats are filled, a specific vinification is applied to every single one of them, designed to extract the best colour and flavour from the fruit. This programme consists of ideally defined, diversified operations, which depend on the specificities of the batches of grapes involved and the on the character of the vintage. Like a doctor issuing his prescriptions, the cellar master sets down a daily worksheet for each vat, in an effort to avoid any unnecessary handling of the fermenting musts. The macerations are long and spread out over a course lasting more than three weeks.

 

Running off and devatting processes are carried out gently: for instance, gravity flow avoids unnecessary pumping. One third of the malolactic fermentation is done in barrels and two-thirds in vats.

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3 different wines with 50 vintages

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  15 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  17 wines 

Château Lynch-Bages vertical tasting from 1955-2010.

4m 25d ago

 Guo Ying / Sommelier, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Château Lynch-Bages 2005 / Dark, purple colour. Very open and complex nose revealing, cassis, capsicum, coffee and mintiness. The very same aromas as Mouton has on the nose. Opulent medium-bodied wine with extraordinary concentration and a chewy texture. Ripe round tannins with a mouthwatering acidity and intense dark fruitiness. Flavour shows dark chocolate and hints of anise. Very intense and long finish. Absolutely gracious wine with a long life ahead. Further bottle ageing of 10-15 years will enhance the charm of the wine.

4m 28d ago

 Nathan Long, Wine Dealer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  13 wines 

1982 was without question one of the great vintages and from a financial viewpoint the most important year in the 20th century for Bordeaux: the vintage brought wines of superb class in not small quantities. The growing season progressed ideally. An early flowering was followed by a hot and dry summer. The resulting wines are meaty and possess powerful tannin structure.

5m 18d ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  161 wines 

Bordeaux 2016 vintage!

5m 25d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.


 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.


 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

6m 1d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  272 wines 

BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2016 / Tasting "en primeur" is a challenge every year. The wines tasted are showing a tendency only and it is still the beginning of a longer process of evolution and maturation in the barrels. There might be some changes during the next year and a half until the wines will be bottled, but already today the tendency is quite clear. For most of the red wines it will be an outstanding vintage, a vintage for Cabernet, old vines, limestone and clay soil. It was a challenging year for the vintners. An incredibly wet spring was worrying the winegrowers and at the beginning of June, the spirits were down. However warm and dry weather between June 3 and June 11 creating an close to ideal situation for the flowering and good weather conditions starting in mid June changed the nature of the vintage. The fine weather continued into July and August. The month of August was featuring hot weather and a remarkable amount of sunshine but the absence of rain let to water stress. Heavy rain in mid September set an end to water stress and when the sun returned on September 20 the vintage was saved as there was excellent weather till to the end of the harvest. The effects were various. the white wines are on a good quality level and display fruit and flavour but the acidity is lower than in previous vintages and the white wines show an opulent and rather soft style. The noble sweet wines are extremely pure and are more on the rich and powerful side than on the freshness. For the red wines originating from the right terroirs and old vines, the vintage an be called outstanding. Water stress was managed well on limestone and clay terroirs, Cabernet varieties did extremely well and old vines found water even during the stressful dry periods of summer. In some few red wines the tannins are slightly harsh, almost bitter, a result of water stress and/or intense extraction. In general the red wines are on an excellent level with an advantage for the left bank, mainly the Médoc area, and the classic great terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. 

6m 3d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  30 wines 

My TOP 30 wines of the Bordeaux 2016 vintage.

6m 4d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  75 wines 

In 2016 Pauillac has made some excellent wines and on the top, Mouton has made something very special and might be wine of the vintage competing with Petrus. Lots of estate has made excellent wines from Pauillac this year. Saint-Estephe has also made stunning wines and Cos d'Estournel has made one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted from them. Northern Médoc is far better in 2016 than in 2015, but for me, 2016 on a whole delivers more. 2015 for me eas a bit hyped even if the wines were very good indeed. 2016 probably has the edge over 2011 as well that is seriously undervalued in the market, but will give many some surprises for the future.

6m 9d ago

 Château Lynch-Bages  has news

LYNCH-BAGES BUYS HAUT-BATAILLEY Pauillac fifth growth Château Lynch-Bages has acquired fell  more ...

6m 16d ago

 Paulius Gruodis, Pro (Lithuania)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  16 wines 

BYOB night with quite a few interesting wines including 1947 Montrose, 1959 Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot, 1982 Latour, and of course some lovely bubbles to prepare one's palate - 1981 Lanson Oenotheque Magnum, Louis Roederer Rose (70s) and Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle (70s).

7m 14d ago

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  18 wines 

We started feeling frisky,  and we wanted to reciprocate, so I selected one of my favorite, all-time  wines, the 1985 Meo Camuzet Richebourg.  This is a wine that would be on my top 100 of all-time, and after not having  it for at least three or four years, it was good to see it still showing  incredibly. Of course, Henri Jayer had his hand in the ’85 Meo, and many feel  that Henri was the greatest winemaker ever in Burgundy. Consider the ’85 Meo Riche ‘Exhibit A.’ It had a ‘wow’ nose, layers upon layers cascading up into  my nose. 


I literally felt like I was swimming in it. Pick a fruit, any fruit,  as they were all seemingly there - red, purple, black and blue danced together freely, transporting us to a shiny, happy place, a veritable  Woodstock for wine. Adam hailed it as ‘intoxicating,’ and ‘miles ahead of DRC  in 1985.’ Hey, he said it, not me! But, he was right, not to take away from  the DRC Riche, in and of itself a great wine, but the 1985 Meo Richebourg is  just one of those wines that is one step beyond the rest. Incredibly complex,  there was this magnificent floral component, along with distinctive and sexy  Asian spices, an ocean of fruit, and even some morning fog. Smelling it was  like looking out on a horizon of wine, endless in its possibilities and  promise. Adam noted, ‘sap and pine tar, menthol and spring forest.’ All I  could then see were naked nymphs. Adam cooed, ‘the whole world stops for a  great bottle of Burgundy; armies could march past me right now, and I would still be sitting here.’ Here, here. No, seriously, here, give me the rest of  your ’85 Meo; it was actually a wine over which wars are started (98)!

8m 14d ago

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