Château Lynch Bages
The Château Lynch-Bages is one of the most valuable wineries in the Bordeaux wine region and is now owned by the winemaker Jean-Michel Cazes. Located in the commune of Bages, west of Pauillac, it has shaped the history of the Médoc since the 17th century. The opulent and long-lived red wines are popular among wine lovers as an investment. They have the particularity of a first-class aging, possess a marked tannic structure, a deep robe and a sensual and complex aroma.
The grandfather of the current owner, Jean-Charles Cazes, broke with tradition for the first time in the 1940s and took new risks. He was one of the last to harvest his vines and created a series of great vintages that relaunched the château's reputation. Several high-quality grape varieties were created, which are still stored in classic barrique barrels today. In this way, the aromas develop in several stages in order to make the branded wines labeled "Château Lynch-Bages" an unmistakable pleasure experience, which add value due to their particularity.
The history of the Château Lynch-Bages
The Médoc is one of the most famous wine-growing regions in the world and is a triangular peninsula in south-west France. The soil is barren and is composed of glaciation from the Pyrenean ice ages. This creates the best conditions for some of the best grape varieties in the world, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Creation and foundation of the winery
The history of the winery began in the 17th century when Galway-born John Lynch fled Ireland for France after the Battle of the Boyne and settled in Bordeaux as a merchant. After marrying Guillemette Constant, he was naturalized as a Frenchman in 1710 and they had their son Thomas-Michel. In 1740 he married Elisabeth Drouillard, who inherited half of the Bourdieu de Batges estate when her father died in 1749, and which soon became her sole property through a payment. Although this period represents the founding of the estate, it went through some changes, including the division in 1835 into the Château Lynch-Bages and Château Lynch-Moussas wineries and significant marketing problems during the temperance movement after the First World War.
Recovery after times of crisis
In 1934, Jean-Charles Cazes acquired the estate, whose grandson is the current owner. Not only did he save the property from decay, he also set a new quality standard through creative ideas, just like his grandfather did back then. From the outside, the château appears simple and modest and is reminiscent of a monastery complex. The vineyards, on the other hand, border on the vineyards of Château Mouton-Rothschild and offer optimal drainage.
In the cellars where the barriques are, there is a scent of wood and fermented berries. During the oil crisis, which resulted in a massive recession, Jean-Michel Cazes established himself as an experienced winemaker and created his own wine empire. The winery received more and more attention through the productive production of the noble quality wines and created a new wine culture. Today the production area is monitored by satellite and opens its gates to visitors to taste the fine wines and visit the vineyards and cellars.
The growing area in Bordeaux
The Château Lynch-Bages wine region is one of the most productive in France and has been one of the eighteen estates of the official Bordeaux classification since 1855. It lies on a ridge and covers an area of 97 hectares over the entire Plateau de Bages near the town of Paulliac. The vineyards lie on a limestone foundation, consist of deep gravel beds and are divided into a large plot for red grape varieties and a small plot for white grape varieties. The red wines, excellently characterized by Cabernet, are profound and animating. They have already brought some wine critics into ecstasy, including the 1990 and 2009 vintages. Due to their special features, they are now among the highest rated and most sought-after wines in the entire Bordeaux region and are worth buying for longer storage.
Winemaking at the highest level
The winery is one of the most coveted of the Bordeaux Crus Classés and offers the pleasure of aromatically powerful wines that develop an even more precise and fine aroma with each vintage. The wines are generous in their youth and unique in their maturity, where all the complexity unfolds. Compared to other highly traded wineries, the prices per bottle have remained moderate. The fifth degree of the Bordeaux classification, which has always been considered too low for the quality of the wine varieties, is noticeable here.
After the harvest, the grapes have enough time to develop their own character. The timing of the harvest depends on the grape variety, but also on the terroir and degree of ripeness. Maceration, racking, pressing and malolactic fermentation follow, until the assemblage, the crucial moment.
In 2020, the winery received a brand new infrastructure with new fermentation chambers and aging cellars designed by architect Chien Chung Pei. They allow the terroir to come into its own through successful and artful vinification.
Wine types at a glance
The château is particularly well-known for its red wines. They are characterized by their strength and structure and are particularly durable. They have an elegance rich in finesse, beautiful fruit notes and mature tannins. During the tasting, they unfold aromas of tobacco, truffle, earth and ripe berries.
On average, around 25,000 cases of the opulent red wine, each containing 12 bottles, are produced each year. While fermentation takes place in large stainless steel tanks, the wines are then stored in oak barrels for 15 months before being bottled. Despite the classification as a Cinquième Cru, the wine is on the level of the Deuxième Crus among connoisseurs. The red wines from 1961, 1982, 1989, 1990, 1996 and 2000 are now among the best vintages. The wines from the 2004 vintage achieved the highest auction prices.
The different grape varieties
Red wine vines are preferably planted on the vineyard. This includes grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, which alone accounts for 73 percent of the plot, but also other typical Bordeaux varieties such as Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The aging potential of these varieties is very high. The wine was called "Château Haut-Bages-Avérous" until 2007, after which it was given the elegant name "Echo de Lynch-Bages". One of the branded wines is dedicated to the former brother of the founder and is called "Michel Lynch".
An area of about 4.5 hectares is dedicated to white grape varieties, including a large proportion of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc and a smaller proportion of Muscadelle. The sweet white wines are commercially available under the name "Blanc de Lynch-Bages" and go well with fish and vegetable dishes.