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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 64 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

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 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  650 wines 

2020 – the paradox vintage 


2020 began with mild temperatures even breaking temperature record highs at the beginning of February. These conditions led to a premature budbreak. Budding developed unevenly, very much depending on the locations although the coo and humid weather in April had not a very significant impact on slowing down the growth of the vines. Finally all the vines came into bloom at the end of May without any significant coulure or millerandage. At the start of June, frequent rain intensified the pressure of mildew. From mid-June, the weather changed. The whole Bordelais saw a period of very dry weather for two months. However, the earlier accumulation of water reserves prevented water stress. Around July 18 a heat wave began to build up but the cool nighty prevented water stress on the wines again. The veraison started at the end of July and went on till the beginning of August. The heatwave in August accentuated water stress, but shorter rainy episodes avoided a complete block. The dry and sunny weather in September encouraged the grapes maturity and harvest started on September 10 with a rather mild weather. Towards the middle of September, rain prevented the fruits from wilting but as its frequency was quite concerning, the haves was pushed forward. "Le diabolique" is the title given to this vintage by Véronique Sanders. It is a very special French word, which is not correctly translated with “diabolic” in English. In France, the expression means to overcome the devil. And the vintners succeeded. 2020 is clearly a vintner’s vintage which asked a permanent reinvention of the wineries, struggling hard with this difficult vintage. However, the vintage surprises with excellent wines, exemplary freshness and elegance and very dense structure. In former times it was said that the vine has to suffer to make exquisite wines, in this vintage the people have suffered to make a great wine. The first part of notes for this tasting with over 800 wines you will find today. More notes will follow over the coming days.

3d 8h ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  100 wines 

I'll repeat myself with the phrase, "Pomerol is one of the strongest districts in 2018"! The truth is that it's s an accurate and valid statement. Despite not tasting Petrus and Lafleur, to name some of the big hitters, I can assure, that there is enough exceptional goof for every taste from Pomerol. As everywhere in Bordeaux, there also are very few wines under the usual standard in Pomerol.


 

2m 10d ago

 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  29 wines 

Penfolds G3 / The very first release of this new, somewhat iconoclastic and yet intrinsically delicious concept, this NV G3 is a blend of Grange 2008, 2012 and 2014, although fans of Grange should not expect it to taste like any of these; G3 possesses a style all its own. Very deep garnet-black colored, it has a full-throttle, up-front nose of incense, fruit cake, chocolate-covered cherries and preserved plums with touches of cinnamon stick, cloves, cigar box and Chinese five spice, plus a waft of potpourri. Full-bodied, velvety, rich and oh-so-decadent, this is true hedonist’s wine, with a very, very long spice-layered finish. To quote Homer Simpson, “Sacrilicious!” It is actually open for business and drinking deliciously right now, though should cellar for a good 20+ years. Only 1,200 bottles were made. 97 points

6m 16d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  57 wines 

Château Cos d’Estournel 2019 - 65% Cabernet Sauvignon + 35% Merlot, 14% alcohol, 55% new oak. Wow, this is real, real enjoyment for one's senses! I think 2019 here definitively breaks up with old-style Cos and continues with the gentler and more soil character-oriented style which started since 2014 vintage. Max. 27 degrees C during alcoholic fermentation. Excellent presence of cigar box, tobacco-leaf and scent of grilled bacon, so typical aromas for Cabernet Sauvignon here. Extremely refined and sophisticated on the nose and palate, multi-layered with stunning complexity, depth and length. Touch down!! 98-100p.

9m 25d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  20 wines 

Our weekly pro-tasting had this time wines from 1837-2015. Best ones were Yquem 1947, Latour 1996, Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc 2015, Masseto 2014, Petrolo 2003....

10m 2d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  32 wines 

The Union des Grands Crus hold the en primeur tasting at the Palmengarten in Frankfurt. A great opportunity to get some more samples to complete the tasting notes and to re-taste some of the wines tasted earlier. 

10m 13d ago

 Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  25 wines 

Château Margaux Pavillon Blanc 2018 / Harvest started 27 August, as in 2017. ‘It’s as if this came from another vintage’, says winemaker Phillipe Bascaules, because the drought of September missed them because of the harvest date and they missed the hydric stress that the reds faced, so they were able to keep the freshness. Easier to explain the freshness of the whites than that of the reds, he suggested. pH 3.1. Barrel sample. 
Subtle oak spice and mealy, creamy notes from the barrels but also beautifully fragrant citrus and blossom on the nose, making the palate all the more remarkable in its incredible fruit intensity. Amazing intensity and freshness at the same time. Concentration but with this salty aftertaste. Mouth-watering. Succulent and so full of pure, fragrant citrus, almost a touch of apricot. Really aromatic on the palate too. Both sweet-fruited and salty giving very good balance. Mealy, almost savoury on the final salty finish. (JH)

11m 14d ago

 Neal Martin, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  25 wines 

The 1961 Palmer is a wine that tends to deliver upon its gargantuan reputation and we were rewarded with an exemplary bottle here. It has a clear colour with modest bricking on the rim. The bouquet is difficult to encapsulate into words – utterly ethereal. Heavenly definition, almost Burgundy-like in purity with traces of pencil box and pressed violets. It grows in stature with each swirl of the glass and leaves you transfixed. The palate is bestowed beguiling balanced, almost symmetrical, framed by filigree tannin and pitch perfect acidity. Like the aromatics it coheres with aeration, the fruit undiminished by time even if it is no blockbuster. Quite the opposite – this 1961 Palmer is the apotheosis of finesse with just a hint of balsamic on the aftertaste. This Margaux can bring you to tears of joy. Tasted at the 1961 dinner Chairman Miaow’s in Hong Kong.

1y 1m ago

 Stuart Pigott, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  22 wines 

Château Haut Brion 2009 / Extravagant and exotic, but still lively, this is a super-concentrated and elegant wine that's already breathtaking, yet has enormous aging potential. Plenty of wet earth and mushroom character alongside the cassis and blackberry aromas. Super-long, perfectly balanced finish. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019) 100 points

1y 4m ago

 Boire du Bon, Wine Blogger (France)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  6 wines 

Lynch Bages 1989 : my best Bordeaux ever !


Extraordinary concentration, blackberry, smoke, spices, lasts more than 1 minute.


Still a young man, huge potential, wonder if I should buy another case...

1y 6m ago

 James Molesworth, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  17 wines 

Château Lafite 2016 / This offers the best of both sides of Pauillac, with a deep, deep well of dark currant, fig, blackberry and black cherry paste flavors forming a lush side while a series of I-beams made of graphite and iron provide the rigid structure. The two sides meld, pulling in extra sweet tobacco, smoldering cast iron, juniper and savory notes on the finish, leaving a mouthwatering feel. A real stunner. Best from 2025 through 2045.

1y 7m ago

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Lynch-Bages . In a tasting of  11 wines 

Ein fantastisches Geburtstagsfest war das, was der liebe Bernd da veranstaltete. Leckere Schweinereien aus der Küche von Gerd Dehnen und dazu großartige Weine aus großen Formaten am laufenden Band. So blieb kein Glas leer, und von jedem dieser Weine kam zumindest ein anständiger Schluck ins Glas.

1y 10m ago

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