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  • Country ranking ?

    1 235
  • Producer ranking ?

    19
  • Decanting time

    1h30min
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Duck Bolognese

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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In 2017, absolutely terrific. It has preserved the wonderful, concentrated, cassis intensity of that period. The flavour is fabulously full, fruity and forceful and yet it slips down - all too quickly. We were lucky, as it was paired with the Grand Puy Lacoste 1961, an extraordinary twosome from Pauillac and this mythical vintage. Serena Sutcliffe, MW WA 95

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The Story

The power and elegance of a great Pauillac. Daring, innovative and known for often being the last to harvest, Jean-Charles Cazes defined the style of Lynch-Bages in the 1930's. The wine's distinctive character earns it its place amongst Pauillac's greatest. It combines structure, finesse and elegance. It is generous in its youth and develops more complex aromas with bottle age.

Outstandingly consistent quality

The estate’s reputation as a top quality wine producer took off in 1945 after a series of exceptional vintages. Since then, Lynch-Bages has continued to produce excellent wines, even during years considered difficult in the Bordeaux region. The wine’s deep colour and tannic backbone have become part of its signature style. Jean-Michel Cazes, grandson of Jean-Charles, has worked hard to develop and refine the wine’s supple and smooth structure over the years. Vintage after vintage, the estate’s precise and excellent winemaking techniques have served to firmly establish Lynch-Bages reputation for consistent quality.

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Wine Information

The 1960s ushered in an era of technological advances. Steel tanks and temperature control were new phenomena. Latour followed the lead of La-Mission-Haut-Brion and installed steel tanks at its vineyards in 1964. New vines were planted and irrigation systems were installed on the plantations. Changes were also made in the structure of the wine trade, as vineyard bottling became mandatory in 1969.

The long-standing use of négociants had come to an end. During the 1960s the popularity of Bordeaux had also increased and interest in Bordeaux wines expanded beyond the borders of the dominant market England. The new market situation made English merchants work hard to ensure that the wines would remain affordable, even in the future. As a result, companies such as Harvey’s of Bristol and the Pearson Group acquired Delor and Château Latour, respectively.

1966 also saw the advent of an institution that had a significant impact on Bordeaux’s wine trade. Michael Broadbent MW resurrected the Wine Department at Christie’s, which had been closed for decades. It had been precisely two hundred years before—in 1766—that Christie’s held the very first wine auction in the world. The timing couldn’t have been better. The market was on the rise and those who invested their money in wines at that time would later see a manifold return on their investment. Bordeaux´s finest wines were already then the main attraction; they are still today, accounting for some 70% of all wine transactions.

In terms of vintages the 1960s are generally considered to be weaker than previous decades. The decade only saw one outstanding year – 1961. This was, together with the 1945, one of the most legendary vintages to come out of Bordeaux. In addition to the 1961, other good vintages were the 1962, 1964 and1966, all of which produced excellent wines. 1967 was the exception in Sauternes, where one of its finest vintages of the century was produced.



1961 was to become the decade’s and one of the century’s most adored vintages of Bordeaux red wines. Despite a frost in March, the growing season started on time and well. The frost combined with weak pollination caused by poor weather reduced the crop volume significantly. July’s rains gave way to drier weather in August, and September bathed Bordeaux in beautiful sunshine. The grapes were small, thick-skinned and extremely concentrated, much as they were in 1928 and 1945. However, unlike these earlier vintages, the vineyard now had at its disposal new technologies and equipment, which made it possible for the wines to be produced with greater subtlety, thus avoiding such problems as excessive tannicity. On the whole, excellent wines, both red and white, were produced in Bordeaux. Even though the vintage was a red, very good dry whites and Sauternes were also produced. The reds are eminently drinkable right now, although the Château Latour vintage will just get better with age.

Some of the more incredible drinking experiences were had with the Château Pétrus and Château Palmer, Haut-Brion and La-Mission-Haut-Brion, and Château Margaux. These wines all shared an uncommon elegance and balance, not to mention a massive rise in price in recent years. The finest wines should be decanted for at least 2-3 hours before drinking. This is also one of those rare years, during which wholesaler bottling is almost qualitatively on a par with vineyard bottling, even if the price points are not




 

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2014 2010 2005 2000
652€ +18.8% 549€ +33.6% 411€ +24.9% 329€ +28.5% 256€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Tasting note

color

Light and Brick red

ending

Long, Gentle and Lingering

flavors

Licorice, Toasty, Cassis, Chocolate, Leather and Earthy

nose

Unclean and Open

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Well-structured, Complex, Medium-bodied, Elegant, Silky and Refined

Verdict

Sophisticated

Written Notes

Harmony and elegance are the best words to describe the style of Château Lynch-Bages. Therefore it is no surprise that the outstanding vintage 1961 has taken the time so well. Beautiful deep ruby red colour with a garnet rim. The nose is stylish and layered, opening up in the glass and revealing new nuances time after time. The range of aromas spans from red berry, salted licorice, wood, leather all the way to earthy notes. The youthful palate is firm and harmonious. This wine is peaking now, but will have no problems in hanging onto the top form for another 10 to 15 years. Highly recommendable.
  • 93p

Stupendous clarity on the nose; still astonishingly fresh. Ripe, soft red fruit – raspberry, redcurrant, sweet spice and the most seductive mélange of chocolate, violet, coffee, licorice, and earth. Utterly compelling – so layered and complex, so interesting. Dry, very lengthy (but with the slightest metallic, rusty tang on the finish). All the rest of it is in tremendous condition, the freshness is dumbfounding, the quality of the fruit is A1, the layers and grace and charm all brilliant. It's the nose that is most memorable though, giving the ideal expression of the uniqueness of terroir and maturity.

  • 96p

The 1961 Lynch-Bages is another wine that I have not seen for quite some time. I don’t think this is the best it can show, although there is nothing obviously at fault. It has a touch of VA on the nose that enhances the liquorice-tinged black fruit, tobacco scents emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshy, vivacious opening. The acidity lends this sufficient freshness, nevertheless I feel that this bottle is a tad disjointed towards the finish. Not bad, but I would love to try an ex-château example. Tasted at the 1961 dinner Chairman Miaow’s in Hong Kong.

 

  • 90p
Harmony and elegance are the best words to describe the style of Château Lynch-Bages. Therefore it is no surprise that the outstanding vintage 1961 has taken the time so well. Beautiful deep ruby red colour with a garnet rim. The nose is stylish and layered, opening up in the glass and revealing new nuances time after time. The range of aromas spans from red berry, salted licorice, wood, leather all the way to earthy notes. The youthful palate is firm and harmonious. This wine is peaking now, but will have no problems in hanging onto the top form for another 10 to 15 years. Highly recommendable.
  • 94p
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Information

Origin

Bordeaux, Pauillac

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

No Potential

Fake factory

None

Drinking temperature

16

Inside Information

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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