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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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4 different wines with 70 vintages

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Wine Moments

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

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  25 wines 

Château Mouton Rothschild 2021/ Medium-deep crimson. Lifted blackcurrant, blackberry aromas with toasty, marzipan roasted chestnut notes. Inky deep blackcurrant blackberry fruits, fine graphite/firm and a hint cedary tannins with plentiful toasty/ roasted chestnut/ vanilla notes. Finishes chocolaty firm and minerally with bittersweet notes. A very lovely wine with ample dark fruits, superb richness and energy. Should develop very well. 89% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 1% cabernet franc.97–98 points

29d 9h ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  20 wines 

Château Leoville Barton 2021 - 84% C. Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 3% C. Franc. 13.12% alcohol. Full, intense redcurrants. Tobacco leaves and leather. Sappy, strong structure and backbone, vibrant, great complexity and length. Refined and sophisticated touch. Lingering finish. Excellent one. 93-94p.

1m 6d ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  3 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  33 wines 

2021 Château Latour / Ruby. Blackberries, cassis, dark fruit, very fruit driven nose at this stage, tight knit. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, detailed, blackberries and cassis, detailed, intense and layered, nuanced, energetic, superb balance, incredible length. Goes on and on. 13,1 % alcohol. 96-98

2m 4d ago

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  8 wines 

The 1988 DRC La Tache told everyone immediately that it was here for business. There was some creamy, sweet spice, with lots of dusty tomato on the vine and some white pepper and a twist of lime. This was a margarita of a palate, in fact! Speaking of the palate, there was so much density and richness by comparison to the previous two. Rich and leathery, it had great vitamin flavors on its thick and long finish. I was flip-flopping between 96 and 97 points (96+).

4m 20d ago

 Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  19 wines 

Miraval's top wine Muse de Miraval Rosé 2020, made from selected best and oldest organic vineyards – Grenache and Rolle. Bottled in magnum only. Vinified in egg-shaped concrete tanks, a very small proportion aged in demi-muids.
Pretty salmon pink. Complex aroma of pretty peachy red fruits along with the merest hint of creamy oak influence. Rounded, very creamy in the mouth. Tastes surprisingly soft, almost flabby. Gentle tannins. Quite long but for me it lacks a backbone of freshness. Have I missed something? Packaging very ornate. (JH)

7m 7d ago

 Richard Hemming MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  21 wines 

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection Brut 1959 / Disgorged February 2013. Fully fermented in oak. Mid gold. Very expressive, coffee, milk, smoke and biscuit. Has crossed the flavour threshold from champagne to Burgundy – though the mousse is still very present. Very lengthy finish. Biscuits, slight bitter orange. Splendidly indulgent and rich.

8m 12d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  29 wines 

1982 is an iconic vintage for Bordeaux, and for many wine lovers, it’s a reference point as a modern, ripe year that was delicious from the onset. The top wines are still holding up well and show no signs of fading. However, some of the lesser wines are starting to show its age. This ripe vintage has given us a wide drinking window, regardless of the specific appellation and terroir. For those that still have some top 1982 Bordeaux in your cellar, there is no rush to pull the cork. A long life ahead awaits these beauties.

9m 13d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  18 wines 

Latour vertical 1934 - 2005 in Copenhagen / Latour 1961 was, as expected, a monumental wine. Sixty years old wine and not ready yet. Still young and vigorous. Oceans of fruit and tannin perfectly supported by underlying acidity.  Enormous potential! 99-100p.

10m 4d ago

 Erin Larkin, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  14 wines 

CHATEAU MARGAUX 2017 / 89% cabernet sauvignon, 8% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot/ 100% new oak. Red currants, succulent and intense, also sweet… great harmony and choral resonance… I realise I’ve drifted off in my own thoughts with this wine… the flavour lingers so. This is BDX, it is the best wine we’ve had today (this week/month etc) and it is the reason why we seek to make and drink better wine. Holy crapola.

10m 27d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  56 wines 

Bordeaux 2020 Vintage - Château Smith Haut Lafitte 2020- lots of aromatic blackcurrants and black cherries on the nose, powerful on the palate with a strong backbone, big concentration, multilayered and with great length. Long, long finish. Impressive effort. 96-97p.

1y 1m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  38 wines 

Château Mouton-Rothschild 2020 / Ruby. Fruit driven, cassis, anise, some spices nose, blackberries, intensely scented, almost transparent yet such depth. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruits, smooth and detailed, layered, anise, liquorice, deep, long. Superb freshness to it. Such energy. Pauillac is not the place that shines the most in 2020, but this one does. 97-99

1y 2m ago

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